§ 12.14  CERTIFICATES OF APPROPRIATENESS (HISTORIC).
   12.14.01   Applicability.  Within the boundaries of a Historic Preservation Overlay zone or a Chapter 99 Development Plan that calls for the application of design guidelines in the Development Plan area or within Subdistrict 5 of the Linden Gateway District Zone, the alteration of the exterior appearance or demolition of any existing structure, or construction of a new structure, or portions thereof, may not be undertaken until a Certificate of Appropriateness has been issued. However, a Certificate of Appropriateness is not required for:
   (A)   Ordinary maintenance and repair where the purpose of the work is to correct deterioration to the structure or where no change is made to the appearance of a building or site. Ordinary maintenance and repair includes:
      (1)   Repainting a building the same color;
      (2)   Replacement of window glass (but not the style or type of windows);
      (3)   Caulking and weather-stripping;
      (4)   Installation of minor landscaping, including the planting vegetable and flower gardens, shrubs, and trees, except when part of overall landscaping or replanting of yard space;
      (5)   Pruning trees and shrubbery and removal of trees less than six inches in diameter;
      (6)   Repairs to walks, patios, fences, and driveways, provided that replacement materials match the original or existing materials in detail and color;
      (7)   Replacement of small amounts of missing or deteriorated original or existing siding, trim, roof coverings, porch flooring, steps, and the like, as long as replacement materials match the original or existing materials in detail and color;
      (8)   Replacement of gutters and downspouts as long as the color and shape matches the original;
      (9)   Erection of temporary signs such as real estate and political signs;
      (10)   Installation of house numbers and mailboxes that are compatible with the original in style, size and material;
      (11)   Repair of existing street or yard lighting.
      (12)   Any construction, alteration, or demolition duly approved prior to the effective date of this section.
   (B)   Any construction, alteration, or demolition that only affects the interior of the structure.
   (C)   Any alteration or demolition undertaken by the City, or any alteration or demolition that is necessary to correct or abate a condition that has been declared unsafe by the Fire Department or the Code Enforcement Department after notification to the Historic Preservation Officer and where emergency measures have been declared necessary by such departments.
   12.14.02   Application.
   (A)   An application for a Certificate of Appropriateness must be filed by the owner of the subject property or the owner's authorized agent.
   (B)   Applications must be filed with the Historic Preservation Officer, who must forward the application to the Urban Design Review Board, unless staff approval is authorized by § 12.14.03.
   (C)   There is no application fee for a Certificate of Appropriateness; however, a Certificate of Appropriateness must be obtained before any work is initiated.
   (D)   Any person who performs work without a Certificate of Appropriateness may be required to have their application heard before the Urban Design Review Board and will be required to pay a $50.00 application fee to cover administrative costs.
   (E)   Contents.
      (1)   Prior to either the preparation of working drawings and specifications or calling for proposals or bids from contractors, applicants are encouraged to prepare preliminary scale drawings and outline specifications, including color samples, for review and informal discussion with the Historic Preservation Officer. The purpose of this review is to identify any inconsistencies between the proposed work and Covington Design Guidelines or any applicable Chapter 99 Development Plan guidelines, and allow for discussion of alternative treatments.
      (2)   Every application for alterations or additions to existing structures or the erection of any new structure within the boundaries Historic Preservation Overlay zone or Chapter 99 Development Plan area or within Subdistrict 5 of the Linden Gateway District Zone must be accompanied by drawings of the proposed exterior alterations, additions, or changes.  For new construction, all buildings and other site improvements must be indicated on the drawings. For demolition, all proposed changes to any remaining structures and any site improvements must be indicated on the drawings.
      (3)   As used herein, "drawings" mean site plans, elevations, and/or perspectives drawn at a scale with sufficient detail to show the location of improvements on the site (if applicable) and the architectural design and exterior appearance of buildings and structures on the site.  These drawings must include the following information (unless waived by the Historic Preservation Officer):
         (a)   Existing and proposed principal and accessory buildings, including location, dimensions, and height;
         (b)   Access points and off-street parking spaces;
         (c)   Driveways, sidewalks, walkways, terraces, and other paved surfaces;
         (d)   Accessory structures, including walls, fences, porches, lighting, signs, and other site improvements;
         (e)   Existing and proposed landscape areas and materials, if proposed to be altered;
         (f)   Proposed materials, textures, and colors, including samples of materials or color samples.
         (g)   All properties immediately adjacent to the site must also be included in the site plan; a site section and/or site elevations, including any adjacent properties, may be required for new construction.
      (4)   An application for a Certificate of Appropriateness is not considered complete until all illustrative material necessary to adequately describe the proposed project has been submitted to the Historic Preservation Officer. The Urban Design Review Board may refuse to consider an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness if it judges that insufficient information has been provided by the applicant.
   12.14.03   Staff Approval.  The Historic Preservation Officer is hereby authorized to issue Certificates of Appropriateness without review by the Urban Design Review Board, under the following circumstances:
   (A)   An application may be approved by the Historic Preservation Officer only if it is for an alteration to an existing structure and the procedures and criteria outlined in § 12.14.06(A) are followed. The application must be determined to be consistent with the Covington Design Guidelines and any applicable Chapter 99 Development Plan guidelines.
   (B)   The Historic Preservation Officer may not approve any application for any new construction or for the demolition of a principal or contributing structure.
   (C)   The Historic Preservation Officer may refer any project to the Urban Design Review Board upon which it may otherwise act, due to the complexity of the project or uncertainty as to its consistency with the Covington Design Guidelines and any applicable Chapter 99 Development Plan guidelines.
   (D)   The Historic Preservation Officer may not disapprove any project. Any application which is not approved by staff must be forwarded to the Urban Design Review Board in accordance with § 12.14.05.
   (E)   Upon issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness by the Historic Preservation Officer, all other provisions of this section must be followed, and the Historic Preservation Officer must notify the Urban Design Review Board of such action at its next regular meeting.
   12.14.04   Public Hearing Notice.  When an application is made for a Certificate of Appropriateness that consists of new construction, demolition, or moving of a principal or contributing structure, substantial alteration of a structure, or is forwarded by the Historic Preservation Officer, a public hearing must be held by the Urban Design Review Board. Applications for minor alterations or additions to existing structures, construction of accessory structures, or other site improvements and major landscaping do not require a public hearing.
   (A)   Mailed.
      (1)   When a public hearing is required, written notice must be given at least seven calendar days in advance to the applicant and all owners of the property. All adjacent neighbors will be notified in cases of demolition of a principal or contributing structure, new construction, or substantial alterations to a building.
      (2)   Written notice must be sent by first class mail.
      (3)   Records maintained by the Property Valuation Administrator may be relied upon conclusively to determine the identity and address of said owner. In the event such property is in condominium or cooperative forms of ownership, then the person notified by mail must be the president or chairperson of the owner group which administers property commonly owned by the condominium or cooperative owners. A joint notice may be mailed to two or more co-owners of an adjoining property who are listed in the Property Valuation Administrator's records as having the same address.
   (B)   Posted.  Notice of all required public hearings for requests for demolition of principal structures, new construction, or substantial alteration to an existing structure must be posted conspicuously on the subject property for at least  seven calendar days prior to the public hearing. The posting must consist of one or more signs, constructed of durable material and clearly depicting the following information:
      (1)   The words " CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS" (three-inch high lettering);
      (2)   The date, place, and time of the public hearing (one-inch high lettering); and
      (3)   The address, including telephone number, of the Historic Preservation Officer where
additional information regarding the hearing may be obtained.
   12.14.05   Urban Design Review Board Hearing/Action.
   (A)   The Urban Design Review Board must hold regular meetings, at least once a month, and review applications that have been received by the staff ten business days or more prior to each meeting. The Urban Design Review Board must hold at least one public hearing on all applications for Certificates of Appropriateness that involve new construction, demolition of principal or contributing structures, or substantial alterations to a building.  The applicant must be informed of the time and place at which the Urban Design Review Board will consider the application and the applicant will be heard.
   (B)   Following the Urban Design Review Board's review and public hearing, if required, the Board must take action, by simple majority vote, on applications for Certificates of Appropriateness, based on the review and decision-making criteria of § 12.14.06.
   (C)   In acting on an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness, the Urban Design Review Board is authorized to approve, approve with modifications, or disapprove the application.
   (D)   If the Urban Design Review Board approves an application, it must cite the appropriate section(s) of the Covington Design Guidelines or any applicable Chapter 99 Development Plan guidelines.  A Certificate of Appropriateness must then be issued to the applicant and signed by the Historic Preservation Officer on behalf of the Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson.  The Certificate of Appropriateness must be attached to the application, along with documents approved by the Urban Design Review Board, and must be transferred to the office of the Zoning Administrator and Building Inspector. All documents approved by the Urban Design Review Board must be stamped accordingly. The Zoning Administrator or Building Inspector must thereupon process the application in the usual manner.
   (E)   If the Urban Design Review Board disapproves an application, it must cite the appropriate section(s) of the Covington Design Guidelines or any applicable Chapter 99 Development Plan guidelines, for such disapproval and must transmit a record of such action and the reasons therefore in writing to the Zoning Administrator and Building Inspector and to the applicant. No further action may be taken by the Zoning Administrator or Building Inspector on the application. The applicant may modify the application to make it acceptable to the Urban Design Review Board and has the right to resubmit the application at any time.
   (F)   The Urban Design Review Board must act within 60 days of receipt of a complete application. The failure of the Urban Design Review Board to approve or disapprove such application within such time, unless otherwise mutually agreed by the applicant and the Urban Design Review Board, will be deemed to constitute disapproval and the issue will be considered to have been resolved. The applicant has the right to re-apply to the Urban Design Review Board again, if they so choose.
   (G)   After a Certificate of Appropriateness has been issued in accordance with this section, the project must, from time to time, be inspected in the field to review the construction, reconstruction, alteration, maintenance, or repair as authorized and such action as is necessary must be taken to assure compliance with the approved application.
   (H)   Approval of a Certificate of Appropriateness does not exempt the applicant from complying with all of the requirements of this zoning ordinance, the Building Code, Housing Code, and other regulations of the City.
   12.14.06   Review and Decision-Making Criteria.  In acting on any application for a Certificate of Appropriateness, the Urban Design Review Board must follow the procedures and make findings regarding the applicable criteria as follows:
   (A)   If the work involves the alteration of an existing structure or site, including demolition of additions, the staff or Urban Design Review Board must first determine whether the structure or site is contributing based on:
      (1)   Its value as a reminder of the cultural or archeological heritage of the city, state, or nation;
      (2)   Its location as a site of a significant local, state, or national event;
      (3)   Its identification with a person or persons who significantly contributed to the development of the city, state, or nation;
      (4)   Its identification as the work of a master builder, designer, or architect whose individual work has influenced the development of the city, state, or nation;
      (5)   Its value as a building that is recognized for the quality of its architecture and that retains sufficient elements showing architectural significance;
      (6)   Its characteristic of an architectural style of a period; or
      (7)   Its character as a contributing element in a Historic Preservation Overlay zone or in a Historic Designation Report.
   (B)   If the structure or site is determined to be contributing, the Urban Design Review Board must state the basis for such determination and must make the following findings to approve the proposed work:
      (1)   That the proposed work is consistent with the Covington Design Guidelines or any applicable Chapter 99 Development Plan guidelines, and the historic and architectural character of the building, structure, appurtenance, or site will be properly preserved;
      (2)   That the proposed project will not have a detrimental impact on the historic or architectural character of the property; and
      (3)   That the proposed project is compatible with other properties in the Historic Preservation Overlay zone or Chapter 99 Development Plan area in terms of form, proportion, mass, texture, configuration, building materials, color, the location of the building on the lot, and the land use.
   (C)   If the structure or site is not determined to be significant or contributing, to approve the proposed work, the Urban Design Review Board must find § 12.14.06(B)(3) above and it must further find that the proposed work will not increase the incompatibility of an existing structure.
   (D)   If the Urban Design Review Board fails to make positive finding(s) as required above, a Certificate of Appropriateness may not be issued unless the Urban Design Review Board finds:
      (1)   That the proposed alterations are necessary for the continued viability of the structure and the cost of making these improvements in such a manner as to meet the above finding(s) will result in the building being incapable of earning an economic return upon its value at that time, or upon future sale of the property in the case of an owner/occupant. The Urban Design Review Board may require cost estimates for an alternative that would comply with the design guidelines; or
      (2)   The proposed project is required for the physical functioning of the building or health or safety reasons and no reasonable alternative is available to meet this need.
   (E)   If the Urban Design Review Board finds that either of the latter two circumstances exists, every effort must be made to minimize the adverse impact of the proposed work and to allow for the work to be reversed in the future.
   (F)   If the proposed work involves new construction (both infill and additions to existing structures), the Urban Design Review Board must make the following findings to approve the work:
      (1)   That the proposed work is consistent with the Covington Design Guideline or any applicable Chapter 99 Development Plan guidelines; and
      (2)   That the proposed project is compatible with other buildings in the Historic Preservation Overlay zone or approved Chapter 99 Development Plan area or within Subdistrict 5 of the Linden Gateway District Zone in terms of form, proportion, mass, texture, configuration, building materials, color, and location of the building on the lot.
   (G)   Requests for approval of demolition, in whole or in part, or relocation of a contributing structure must also follow the procedures established in § 12.14.07.
   12.14.07   Procedure and Criteria for Demolition and Moving of Structures.  The demolition or moving of all or part of a designated Historic Landmark or an existing building in a designated a Historic Preservation Overlay zone requires the approval of the Urban Design Review Board, in accordance with the following procedures:
   (A)   The Urban Design Review Board must approve the Certificate of Appropriateness to demolish the structure if any one of the following circumstances is found to exist:
      (1)   Demolition has been ordered by a responsible public official for reasons of public health and safety.  In the case of imminent danger, such demolition may occur prior to approval by the Urban Design Review Board; or
      (2)   The demolition is requested for an inappropriate addition or a noncontributing building, and the Urban Design Review Board determines that the demolition will not adversely affect the character of the area, including the appearance of the streetscape in terms of the overall scale, rhythm, design, or unity; or
      (3)   The proposed replacement structure and development will strengthen the viability of the area as a whole and will not adversely affect the character of the area, including the appearance of the streetscape in terms of the overall scale, rhythm, design, or unity; or
      (4)   The demolition is consistent with plans or policies adopted by the Mayor and the City Commission; or
      (5)   In approving the Certificate of Appropriateness to demolish the structure, the Urban Design Review Board must state the basis for approval, pursuant to one of the above findings.
   (B)   If none of the circumstances listed in § 12.14.07(A) are found to exist, the Urban Design Review Board may approve the permit to demolish the structure only if it finds that the structure cannot be reused or cannot earn an economic return upon its value. If an owner requests a demolition permit for this reason, the Urban Design Review Board must hold a public hearing in accordance with § 12.14.04 and the following procedures:
      (1)   Unless otherwise agreed by the applicant, the hearing must be held at the next regular meeting of the Urban Design Review Board. In every case, however, the hearing must be held within 45 days of the date of the original application.
      (2)   At the hearing, the owner must present reasons why the structure cannot be reused or cannot earn an economic return upon its value. Any other persons may speak at this hearing and may present evidence to demonstrate reuse potential or opportunities for an economic return upon its value.
      (3)   Within no more than 90 days of the date of the hearing, the Urban Design Review Board must identify a satisfactory plan for the preservation of the structure. If such a plan is presented, the demolition may not be approved. In the event the Urban Design Review Board does not identify an economically feasible plan, or otherwise concurs with the showing by the owner, the demolition must be approved. If, prior to the expiration of the 90-day period, the Urban Design Review Board identifies a preliminary plan for the preservation of the structure, the Urban Design Review Board must be given an additional period of time not to exceed 90 days to recommend a final plan.
      (4)   If the Urban Design Review Board has taken no action to approve or disapprove the request within the 90-day period (or 180-day period if extended), the demolition must be allowed and permits must be issued by the Zoning Administrator and the Building Inspector.
   (C)   If the Urban Design Review Board approves a Certificate of Appropriateness for demolition as per this subsection, it may require the applicant to perform mitigating actions, such as archival documentation of the structure and/or salvage and re-use of historic elements.
   (D)   As an alternative to demolition that has been approved pursuant to § 12.14.07(A) or § 12.14.07(B), the Urban Design Review Board may approve the moving of an existing building where:
      (1)   The new surroundings would be harmonious with the historical and architectural character of the building; and
      (2)   The relocation would help preserve and protect a building of historical interest.
   12.14.08   Features not Subject to Review.  In reviewing an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness, the Urban Design Review Board may not consider interior arrangement or features that are not subject to any public view.  The Urban Design Review Board may not impose any requirements except for the purpose of preventing development that is architecturally incompatible with the Historic Preservation Overlay zone or Chapter 99 Development Plan area or within Subdistrict 5 of the Linden Gateway District Zone.
   12.14.09   Expiration of Certificate of Appropriateness.  A Certificate of Appropriateness is valid for six calendar months from the date of issue.  Work on the project must commence within that six- month time period, or the Certificate of Appropriateness will expire and be of no further effect.  Once a Certificate of Appropriateness has expired, the applicant will be required to apply for a new Certificate of Appropriateness prior to initiating any work.
   12.14.10   Work Performed Without a Certificate of Appropriateness.
   (A)   The City Manager has the right to revoke the occupational license of any person performing work without a required Certificate of Appropriateness.
   (B)   Any work completed without a Certificate of Appropriateness that cannot be approved by the Historic Preservation Officer must be reviewed by the Urban Design Review Board and the owner will be required to pay a $100 application and review fee to cover administrative costs thereof.
   (C)   Any violation of provisions within this article is subject to the provisions of Article 15.
   12.14.11   Maintenance of Historic Structures; Emergency Conditions.
   (A)   Maintenance of Historic Structures.  All contributing buildings and structures in Historic Preservation Overlay zones or any Chapter 99 Development Plan areas or within Subdistrict 5 of the Linden Gateway District Zone must be properly maintained and repaired, in accordance with applicable city ordinances and codes.  Should an owner deliberately omit essential maintenance and repairs, which would eventually result in the building becoming so run down that it would be constitutionally unreasonable for the City to refuse to allow the owner to demolish the building, the Urban Design Review Board will bring this matter to the Historic Preservation Officer and/or the Code Enforcement Department, which will immediately require the owner or agent to undertake protective maintenance and repair to further the economy, health, safety, and general welfare of the city and nothing in this section should be construed to prevent ordinary maintenance or repairs of any structures.
   (B)   Emergency Conditions.  In any case where the Code Enforcement Department determines that there are emergency conditions dangerous to life, health, or property affecting an historic structure or area, he or she may order these conditions remedied without the approval of the Urban Design Review Board.  The Historic Preservation Officer must promptly notify the Chairperson of the Urban Design Review Board of the action being taken.
(Ord. O-37-06, passed 8-15-06; Am. Ord. O-21-08, passed 6-27-08; Am. Ord. O-35-10, passed 9-28-10)