A.   Composition; Appointment: The Charleston historic preservation commission shall consist of seven (7) voting members, residents of the city, appointed by the mayor and approved by the city council. Nonvoting, ex officio members may be appointed to the commission by the mayor with the recommendation of the commission chairman. Ex officio members may serve any number of one year terms and need not be residents of the city.
   B.   Qualifications: The members shall be appointed on the basis of expertise, experience or interest in the area of architectural history, building construction or engineering, finance, historical and architectural preservation, neighborhood associations, or real estate. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)
   C.   Terms Of Office; Vacancies; Compensation: Members of the commission shall be appointed for terms of three (3) years. Of those members first taking office, two (2) shall be appointed for one year, three (3) for two (2) years, and two (2) for three (3) years. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term only, and members shall serve without compensation. (Ord. 12-O-17, 5-1-2012)
   D.   Officers: Officers shall consist of a chairman, vice chairman, and a secretary, elected by the preservation commission, who shall serve a term of one year and shall be eligible for reelection, but no member shall serve in the same capacity for more than two (2) consecutive years. The chairman shall preside over meetings. In the absence of the chairman, the vice chairman shall perform the duties of the chairman. If both are absent, a temporary chairman shall be elected by those present. The secretary shall take minutes of each preservation commission meeting, and shall prepare and submit to the city council a complete record of the proceedings before the preservation commission on any matter requiring council consideration. In addition, the secretary shall have the following duties: (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004; amd. Ord. 06-O-49, 11-7-2006)
      1.   Be responsible for publication and distribution of copies of the minutes, reports, and decisions of the preservation commission to the members of the preservation commission.
      2.   Give notice as provided herein or by law for all public hearings conducted by the preservation commission.
   E.   Meetings And Procedures:
      1.   A quorum shall consist of a majority of the members. All decisions or actions of the historic preservation commission shall be made by a majority vote of those members present and voting at any meeting where a quorum exists.
      2.   Meetings shall be held the third week of the month or at regularly scheduled times to be established by resolution of the commission at the beginning of each calendar year or at any time upon the call of the chairman. There shall be a minimum of four (4) meetings per year.
      3.   No member of the historic preservation commission shall vote on any matter that may materially or apparently affect the property, income or business interest of that member. No action shall be taken by the commission that could in any manner deprive or restrict the owner of property in its use, modification, maintenance, disposition, or demolition until such owner shall first have had the opportunity to be heard at public meeting of the preservation commission, as provided herein.
      4.   The chairman, and in his absence the acting chairman, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses. All meetings of the preservation commission shall be open to the public.
      5.   The preservation commission shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote, indicating such fact, and shall keep records of its examinations and other official actions, all of which shall be immediately filed in the office of the preservation commission and shall be a public record.
   F.   Powers And Duties:
      1.   To adopt its own procedural regulations.
      2.   To conduct an ongoing survey to identify historically and architecturally significant properties, structures and areas.
      3.   To investigate and recommend to the city council the adoption of ordinances designating properties or structures having special historic, community, or architectural value as landmarks.
      4.   To investigate and recommend to the city council the adoption of ordinances designating properties or structures having special historic, community or architectural value as historic districts.
      5.   To keep a register of all properties and structures that have been designated as landmarks or historic districts, including all information required for each designation.
      6.   To determine an appropriate system of markers and make recommendations for the design and implementation of specific markings of the streets and routes leading from one landmark or historic district to another.
      7.   To advise owners of landmarks and property or structures within historic districts on physical and financial aspects of preservation, renovation, rehabilitation, and reuse, and on procedures for inclusion on the State or National Register of Historic Places.
      8.   To inform and educate the citizens of Charleston concerning the historic and architectural heritage of the city by publishing appropriate maps, newsletters, brochures, and pamphlets, and/or by holding programs and seminars.
      9.   To hold public hearings and to review applications for construction, alteration, removal, or demolition affecting properties for which preliminary determinations have been approved for historic designation or designated landmarks or structures or historic districts and issue or deny certificates of appropriateness for such actions. Applicants shall be required to submit plans, drawings, elevations, specifications, and other information as may be necessary to make decisions.
      10.   To develop and recommend to the council specific guidelines for the alteration, demolition, construction or removal of landmarks or property and structures within historic districts.
      11.   To review proposed zoning amendments, applications for conditional use permits or variances that affect properties for which a preliminary determination of historic significance has been made or designated landmarks and historic districts. Applications should be forwarded by the city to the commission upon receipt. Such review shall be made prior to the date of the hearing by the board of zoning appeals and planning. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)
      12.   To administer on behalf of the city, upon request, any property, or full or partial interest in real property, including a "conservation right" as that term is used in 765 Illinois Compiled Statutes 120/1 et seq., which the city may have or accept as gifts or otherwise. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004; amd. 2006 Code)
      13.   To accept and administer on behalf of the city, upon request, such gifts, grants and money as may be appropriate for the purpose of this chapter.
      14.   To call upon available city staff members as well as other experts for technical advice.
      15.   To testify before all boards or commissions, including the board of zoning appeals and planning, on any matter affecting historically and architecturally significant property and landmarks. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)
      16.   To periodically review the Charleston unified development code and to recommend to the board of zoning appeals and planning and the city council any amendments appropriate for the protection and continued use of landmarks or property and structures within historic districts. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004; amd. 2006 Code)
   G.   Surveys And Research: The historic preservation commission shall undertake an ongoing, comprehensive survey and research effort in the city to identify neighborhoods, areas, sites, structures, and objects that may have historic, community, architectural, or aesthetic importance, interest or value. As part of the survey, the historic preservation commission shall review and evaluate any prior surveys and studies by any unit of government or private organization and compile appropriate descriptions, facts, and photographs. The historic preservation commission shall identify potential landmarks and adopt procedures to nominate them in groups based upon the following criteria:
      1.   The potential landmarks in one identifiable neighborhood or defined geographical area of the city.
      2.   The potential landmarks associated with a particular person, event, or historical period.
      3.   The potential landmarks of a particular architectural style or school, or of a particular architect, engineer, builder, designer or craftsman.
      4.   Such other criteria as may be adopted by the preservation commission to assure systematic survey and nomination of all potential landmarks within the city. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)