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A. Scope: Notwithstanding any of the provisions of this chapter to the contrary, the commission may issue a certificate of economic hardship to allow the performance of work for which a certificate of appropriateness has been denied. Applicants claiming economic hardship shall be required to seek rehabilitation assistance. The eligibility for and availability of financial aid shall be considered by the commission in making its decision.
B. Required Information: An applicant for a certificate of economic hardship may submit any or all of the following information in order to assist the commission in making its determination on the application:
1. The amount paid for the property, the date of purchase and the party from whom purchased (including a description of the relationship, if any, between the owner and the person from whom the property was purchased).
2. The assessed value of the land and improvements thereon according to the two (2) most recent assessments.
3. Real estate taxes for the previous two (2) years.
4. Remaining balance on mortgage, if any, and annual debt service, if any, for the previous two (2) years.
5. All appraisals obtained within the previous two (2) years by the owner or applicant in connection with purchase, financing or ownership of the property.
6. Any listing of the property for sale or rent, price asked and offers received, if any.
7. Any consideration by the owner as to profitable adaptive uses for the property.
8. If the property is income producing, the annual gross income from the property for the previous two (2) years, itemized operating and maintenance expenses for the previous two (2) years, and annual cash flow before and after debt service, if any, during the same period; form of ownership or operation of the property, whether sole proprietorship, for profit or not for profit corporation, limited partnership, joint venture or other.
9. Any other information, including income tax bracket of the owner, applicant or principal investors in the property, reasonably necessary for a determination as to whether the property can be reasonably used or yield a reasonable return to present or future owners.
C. Delay Of Application: If the commission finds that without approval of the proposed work, the property owner cannot obtain a reasonable economic return therefrom, then the application shall be delayed for a period not to exceed three (3) months. During this period of delay, the commission shall investigate plans and make recommendations to the city council to allow for reasonably beneficial use or a reasonable economic return, or to otherwise preserve the subject property. Such plans and recommendations may include, but are not limited to: a relaxation of the provisions of this chapter, a reduction in real property taxes, financial assistance, building code modifications and/or changes in zoning regulations.
D. Issuance Or Denial Of Certificate: If, by the end of the three (3) month period, the commission has found that without approval of the proposed work, the property cannot be put to a reasonable beneficial use, or the owner cannot obtain a reasonable economic return therefrom, then the commission shall issue a certificate of economic hardship approving the proposed work. If the commission finds otherwise, it shall deny the application for a certificate of economic hardship.
E. Appeals: When a certificate of economic hardship is approved or denied for either a landmark or a structure within a historic district, the applicant or any interested party may, within thirty (30) days, appeal the commission's decision to the city council. The council may receive comments on the contents of the record, but no new matter may be considered by the council. The council may affirm the decision or recommend changes by a majority vote of the council after due consideration of the facts contained in the record submitted to the council by the commission. A four-fifths (4/5) majority is required to overturn a negative recommendation of the commission. If the council decides that a certificate of economic hardship should be issued, the secretary shall notify the applicant and the building official within seven (7) days of the council's decision, and the building official then shall issue the permit within fifteen (15) days. If the council concurs with the commission's decision not to issue a certificate of economic hardship, the secretary shall notify the applicant and the building official within seven (7) days. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)