§ 4-176.  Designation of historic districts and landmarks.
   (a)   Recommendations and designations.  The board shall recommend to the city commission the designation of historic districts and individual landmarks, and the city commission may make these designations by the enactment of ordinances.  In addition, a property owner, any resident of the city, or any organization may ask the board to study a property or an area and then to vote on whether or not to start the process for designating it as historic.
   (b)   Public hearing and notice.  To start the designation process, the board shall assemble information about the district or property being considered for designation and shall schedule a public hearing on the proposed designation.  Advertised notice of the hearing shall be given, including conspicuous posting in the proposed district or on the lot of the proposed landmark or property for fifteen (15) consecutive days immediately prior to the hearing.  At least fifteen (15) days prior to the public hearing, written notice shall be given by first class mail to the owners of property under consideration and the owners of all adjoining property.  The secretary of the board or other officer of the board shall certify that the notices were mailed.  Written notice shall be considered sufficient when it is mailed to the person listed on the tax rolls of the city.  Owners and any interested person may present testimony and evidence at the public hearing on the designation.  The record on the designation may also include letters received by the board.
(Ord. No. 1479, 6-30-93)
   (c)   Guidelines.  Before its first public hearing on a designation, the board shall adopt general guidelines that will apply to historic districts and landmarks or property and will assist owners in the preservation and rehabilitation of their property.  The guidelines shall be submitted to the planning and zoning commission and the city commission for their approval.  The guidelines shall include the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings and may include other guidelines that will apply to all designated property to the city.  In its guidelines and in its decisions the board shall not limit new construction to any one (1) architectural style but shall seek to preserve the character and integrity of the historic districts and landmarks or properties.  The guidelines shall suggest changes that would be appropriate for landmarks or for property in historic districts and shall refer to appropriate work completed on property in the city so that applicants may visit those sites.  The board may expand on or amend the guidelines it has adopted provided it holds a public hearing on the changes and submits the proposed changes to the planning commission and the city commission for their comments and approval.
   (d)   Criteria for designation.  A historic district or a landmark or property shall qualify for designation when it meets one (1) or more of the following criteria which shall be discussed in a board report making its recommendations to the city commission:
      (1)   Its character as an established and geographically definable residential neighborhood, united by culture, architectural styles or physical plan and development;
      (2)   Its character as a geographically definable area possessing a significant concentration of buildings or structures united by past events or by its plan or physical development;
      (3)   Its value as a reminder of the cultural or archaeological heritage of the city, state or nation;
      (4)   Its location as a site of a significant local, state or national event;
      (5)   Its identification with a person or persons who significantly contributed to the development of the city, state or nation;
      (6)   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;
      (7)   Its value as a building that is recognized for the quality of its architecture and that retains sufficient elements showing its architectural significance; or
      (8)   Its distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style valuable for the study of a period, method of construction, or use of indigenous materials.
   (e)   Report to the city commission.  After evaluating the testimony at its public hearing, survey information and other material it has assembled, the board shall make its recommendation to the city commission with a written report on the area or property under consideration.  The report shall also contain information about the buildings which have been identified for inclusion in the proposed designation.  The recommendation and the report shall also be sent to the planning commission.
   (f)   Report by the planning commission.  The planning commission shall hold a public hearing, after which it shall report on the relationship between the proposed historic district designation and existing and future plans for the development of the city.  If the planning commission recommends the approval of the proposed historic district designation, it shall prepare a proposed overlay for the zoning map showing said historic district.  The planning commission shall forward its comments and recommendation for the proposed zoning map overlay addition to the city commission.  If the planning commission does not approve of the proposed designation, it shall forward its comments to the city commission in the form of a recommendation.
   (g)   Action by the city commission.  The city commission shall approve, modify or disapprove the proposed designation and the map amendment within sixty (60) days after receiving the recommendation for the proposed overlay from the planning commission.  If approved, the official zoning map shall be so marked.
   (h)   Relationship to zoning.  The property in a historic district shall be subject to the zoning article and subdivision regulations and other rules of its underlying zoning district.  A landmark shall be subject to the zoning article and subdivision regulations and other rules of its zoning district.  When there is a conflict between this article and the zoning article or subdivision regulations, the higher standard shall govern.  Upon establishment of an overlay district, development within the area shall conform to all zoning regulations applicable to the area and shall also conform to all historic overlay district regulations.
   (i)   Notification of designation.  The board shall notify each owner of the decision relating to his property and shall arrange that the designation of a property as a landmark or as a part of a historic district be filed by the county clerk in the land records by owner's name and tax district lot and block number.  The board shall also give notice of the designation to the government offices in the city and county which shall retain them for future reference.
   (j)   Amendment or rescission of a designation.  The amendment or rescission of any designation shall be accomplished through the same steps as were followed in the original designation.
(Ord. No. 1479, 6-30-93; Ord. No. 1802, § 5, 4-23-12; Ord. No. 1838, § 5, 6-23-14)