(A)   No person shall alter or demolish a listed property without an approved COA.
   (B)   Procedure for COA application review.
      (1)   Step 1 - Optional pre-application meeting.
         (a)   Owners may seek a pre-application meeting with the Commission for the purpose of discussing a proposal prior to the applicant expending considerable time and/or money on required design, surveying, and/or engineering.
         (b)   At the pre-application meeting the owner may provide any information the owner considers relevant to the Commission's final COA determination. The owner shall submit such information to the Planning Department to place on the agenda for the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Commission.
         (c)   The Commission shall not take any formal action on the application during the pre-application meeting. Any discussions during the pre-application meeting are not binding on the city or the Commission and do not constitute official assurances or representations by the city, its officials, or the Commission regarding any aspects of the plan or application discussed.
      (2)   Step 2 - Application.
         (a)   An application for a COA shall be filed with the Planning Department at least 15 days before the next regular meeting of the Commission. Applications shall include such plans, drawings, specifications, and other materials as may be requested by the Commission in order to make a determination, as well as the following:
            1.   The information required for a zoning certificate as set forth in § 150.94;
            2.   Eight copies of each color photograph of the present facade of each exterior wall of the building which is proposed to be modified or of the existing landscaping, plantings, fence, or other visible exterior elements to be changed if such exterior changes are likely to alter the streetscape;
            3.   Eight copies of sketches of proposed changes to each exterior wall or of the proposed additions or changes to landscaping, if such changes are likely to significantly alter visible exterior elements, drawn to scale and being easily understandable, with said sketches to include structural changes, all windows and doorways, roof lines, signage, and all other related changes and additions;
            4.   A description of proposed colors and materials to be used and related information fully describing the proposed modifications and additions;
            5.   For applications involving demolition, eight copies of sketches (drawn to scale) of the construction and other improvements proposed for the site following demolitions; and
            6.   The non-refundable fee.
   Electronic submission with attachments is permitted. An application for a COA will not be considered until the application is complete.
      (3)   Step 3 - Commission review.
         (a)   The Commission shall give written notice to the applicant of the time, date, and place of the Commission's meeting at which the applicant's COA application will be considered. The Commission shall give the general public notice of the same.
         (b)   The Commission shall make a determination on an application for a COA within 60 days of the filing of the application unless the Commission approves an extension of time. The Commission may also table the application for additional information, lack of information, or clarification until the next scheduled meeting or for a specific period of time, thus extending the 60-day requirement by that length of time.
         (c)   If the Commission fails to render a decision within the specified time period, whether 60 days or an extended time frame due to tabling, the application for a COA shall be deemed approved, unless the Commission receives a written request from the applicant to extend the time.
         (d)   Following approval or approval with modifications, the Commission shall inform the applicant of the Commission's decision by first class mail within ten days.
         (e)   If the Commission determines that a COA should not be issued, it shall provide the applicant the reasons for denial and the recommendations, if any, of the Commission by first class mail within ten days. A denial of the application may be appealed in accordance with this chapter.
   (C)   COA Review criteria.
      (1)   In considering an application for a COA the Commission shall refer to the Standards, except as specifically modified in this chapter, and any other design guidelines adopted by the Commission.
      (2)   When reviewing a COA, the Commission shall also consider whether the proposed project:
         (a)   Will substantially alter the exterior features of a listed property or a property within an historic district;
         (b)   Will significantly alter the view corridor and/or streetscape;
         (c)   Is compatible in character and nature with the historic significance of the historic district in which the property is located;
         (d)   Would or would not be detrimental to the listed property or historic district;
         (e)   Would enhance or aid in the protection and preservation of the listed property or historic district;
         (f)   Is necessary in order that unsafe conditions or health hazards be remedied; or
         (g)   Is necessary in order that the owner of the listed property or property within a historic district not be deprived of reasonable use of the property or suffer undue hardship.
      (3)   The Commission may relax the standards or guidelines that apply to a COA application for a non-contributing property.
   (D)   The COA shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of approval by the Commission. If the improvements have been started within one year from the date of the issuance of the COA, the COA shall be in effect for a total of two years from the date of issuance. The Commission may approve an alternative construction scheduled for its COA approval. All improvements must be completed prior to the expiration of a COA. If the COA expires, a new COA shall be required for these improvements.
   (E)   Unless otherwise stated in this chapter, any request for an amendment or modification to the approved plans or conditions of the COA must be done in accordance with the procedures and standards established for its original approval.
   (F)   Except as otherwise stated herein, no permits for zoning, building, or demolition shall be issued without first obtaining a COA. If a COA is approved, permits relative to the proposed modifications may be issued immediately following normal review procedures. If a COA is denied, the city shall not issue any permits that would allow modifications for which the COA was denied.
   (G)   If an application for a COA seeks approval of demolition, the Commission may delay determination of the application for a period of 90 days upon a finding that the listed property is of such importance that alternatives to demolition may be feasible and should be actively pursued by both the applicant and the city. In the event that action on an application is delayed as provided herein, the Commission may take such steps as it deems necessary to preserve the listed property in accordance with the purposes of this chapter. Such steps may include, but are not limited to, consulting with civic groups, public agencies, and interested citizens; developing marketing plans; and making recommendations for acquisition of the property by public or private bodies or agencies.
(Ord. 8878, passed 3-15-2021; Am. Ord. 9101, passed 6-12-2023)