A.   Minimum Requirements: Any person, group of persons or association, including, but not limited to, the Charleston historic preservation commission, may apply to the Charleston historic preservation commission for the designation of a landmark. Nominations shall be made to the historic preservation commission on a form provided by the commission and available at city hall. A filing fee may be required. Persons wishing guidance or advice prior to completing an application may contact the chair of the historic preservation commission. At a minimum, the application for landmark designation shall include the following:
      1.   The name and address of the property owner.
      2.   The legal description and common street address of the property.
      3.   A written statement describing the property and setting forth reasons in support of the proposed designation. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)
      4.   Documentation that the property owner has been notified of the application for designation. (Ord. 06-O-48, 11-7-2006)
      5.   A list of significant exterior architectural features in the case of private property, or interior and exterior features in the case of public property, that should be protected.
      6.   Photographs of the landmark. The photos shall include front, side, and rear elevations and photos showing context (building and surroundings, photos of the site).
   B.   Criteria: The commission shall, upon investigation as it deems necessary, make a preliminary determination as to whether a property, structure, or area possesses the integrity of design, workmanship, materials, location, setting and feeling and meets one or more of the following criteria:
      1.   Significant value as part of the historic, heritage, or cultural characteristics of the community, county, state or nation.
      2.   Its identification with a person or persons who significantly contributed to the development of the community, county, state or country.
      3.   Representative of the distinguishing characteristics of architecture inherently valuable for the study of a period, type, method of construction or use of indigenous materials.
      4.   Notable work of a master builder, designer, architect or artist whose individual work has influenced the development of the community, county, state or country.
      5.   Its unique location or singular physical characteristics that make it an established or familiar visual feature.
      6.   Its character as a particularly fine or unique example of a utilitarian structure, including, but not limited to, farmhouses, gas stations, or other commercial structures, with a high level of integrity or architectural significance.
      7.   Area that has yielded or may be likely to yield information important in history or prehistory.
   C.   Landmark Designation Procedure:
      1.   Preliminary Determination: The commission or the executive committee of the commission shall make a preliminary determination as to whether a property, structure, or area meets one or more of the foregoing criteria within fifteen (15) days of filing of a nomination with the commission. If the preliminary determination concludes that the nomination does not merit further consideration, the commission will decline the nomination. If the preliminary determination concludes that the nomination does merit further consideration, the city planner, property owner, and the submitter will be notified. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)
      2.   Hearing:
         a.   The commission shall schedule a public hearing within thirty (30) days after the filing of an application at city hall.
         b.   Notice of date, time, place and purpose of the public hearing shall be sent by mail to owner(s) of record and to the nominator(s) as well as to the adjoining property owners, not less than fifteen (15) nor more than thirty (30) days prior to the date of the hearing. A public hearing notice also shall be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the city. The notice shall state the location of the property and a statement summarizing how the proposed landmark meets the criteria set forth in landmark designation criteria. The nominator shall bear the cost of legal notice publication in the local newspaper. City staff shall prepare and deliver said notice to local newspaper for publication; nominator shall bear cost of publication.
         c.   During the public hearing, the commission shall review and evaluate the application according to the criteria established by ordinance. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004; amd. Ord. 06-O-48, 11-7-2006)
      3.   Certificate Of Appropriateness: A certificate of appropriateness shall be required for alteration, construction, removal or demolition of properties for which an application for landmark designation has been approved.
      4.   Decision: A decision shall be made at the closing of the public hearing. If the commission decides that the landmark should be designated, it shall do so by a resolution passed by a majority of the commission. The owner(s) of record shall be notified promptly by letter of the commission's decision. Following the public hearing, the commission shall prepare the commission's evaluation, recommendation, and all available information for submission to the city council within ten (10) days. A simple majority vote by the city council is necessary for approval of a landmark designation. If the city council approves the application for a designation, a notice will be sent to the property owner, the planning department, the building official, and the office of the city clerk, and recorded with the county recorder of deeds. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)