(A)   Creation, composition, term. There is hereby created a City Historic Preservation Commission herein referenced as the Commission.
      (1)   The Mayor, with the advice and consent of the City Council, shall appoint seven Commissioners with one of the members appointed as Chairperson. Each shall have demonstrated interest, knowledge, ability, experience or expertise in architectural restoration, rehabilitation or neighborhood conservation or revitalization. Each member may serve a maximum of three consecutive, two-year terms on a staggered basis so that the terms of not more than four Commissioners shall expire in any calendar year. Every Commissioner shall continue in office after expiration of the term until a successor shall have been duly appointed.
      (2)   Notwithstanding the requirements of division (A)(1) above, upon adoption of this chapter, the Mayor, with the advice and consent of Council, shall appoint seven Commissioners. The terms of these Commissioners shall commence upon appointment.
      (3)   A Chair of the Commission shall be appointed by the Mayor, with the advice and consent of the Council, prior to May 1 of each year. The Chair shall serve a term of one year and shall be eligible for reappointment. In the absence of the Chair, a designated Commission member shall act as Chair and shall have all the powers of the Chair. The acting Chair shall have such other powers and duties as may from time to time be provided by the rules of the Commission.
      (4)   One of the Commissioners may also serve concurrently as a member of the Plan Commission.
      (5)   Permanent vacancies on the Commission shall be filled by the Mayor with the advice and consent of Council for the unexpired term of the former Commissioner.
      (6)   Any Commissioner may be removed from office at any time by the Mayor for failure to regularly attend meetings or inattention to duties or responsibilities.
      (7)   Commissioners shall be subject to the provisions of all rules, regulations, ordinances and statutes governing conduct of members of the boards and commissions of the city, including, but not limited to, Chapter 40, Ethics, of the city code, state statutes regarding gifts to public officials, filing of statements of economic interest and the like.
      (8)   Commissioners shall serve without compensation.
   (B)   Powers and duties. The Commission shall have the following powers and duties:
      (1)   To investigate and make recommendations to the Council or its duly authorized committee concerning amendments and additions to city ordinances or codes;
      (2)   To provide a forum for public discussion of historic preservation issues;
      (3)   To prepare and distribute application forms for the review of proposed demolitions, replacement structures, new structures on vacant lots, additions and alterations within the historic districts; to hold meetings and public hearings to review applications for certificates of appropriateness affecting proposed or designated landmarks, interior landmarks and districts; to approve or disapprove the issuance of certificates of appropriateness;
      (4)   To recommend that the Council grant or deny exceptions to the maximum floor area (building scale) requirements set forth in § 150.148(C) of the city code, for a new residence or an addition to an existing residence that is a landmark or structure within a district, based on the standards set forth in this § 150.148(D) of the city code are met;
      (5)   To consider applications for certificates of economic hardship; to hold meetings and public hearings to review applications for certificates of economic hardship affecting proposed or designated landmarks, interior landmarks and districts; to approve or disapprove the issuance of certificates of economic hardship and to recommend to the City Council incentive plans as provided for in this chapter;
      (6)   To advise and make recommendations to other city boards and commissions on matters before those bodies;
      (7)   To call upon available city staff members as well as other experts for technical advice;
      (8)   To adopt its own procedural rules and regulations;
      (9)   To undertake any other action or activity necessary or appropriate to the implementation of its powers and duties or to implementation of the purposes of this chapter;
      (10)   To develop guidelines, if it deems appropriate, to further explain how the standards set forth in § 155.08 may appropriately be incorporated into a project. Such guidelines shall be available from the Community Development Department; and
      (11)   To hold meetings and public hearings to review nominations for landmark, interior landmarks and district designations; to make determinations as to whether such nominations do or do not meet the criteria for designation and to forward recommendations for approval of designations to the City Council.
   (C)   Meetings, hearings, procedures and decisions.
      (1)   Regular meetings of the Commission shall be held monthly. Special meetings may be called, or meetings may be canceled by the Chair or any four Commissioners. All meetings, hearings and deliberations shall be subject to the provisions of the Illinois Open Meetings Act, being 5 ILCS 120. Testimony at any hearing may be required by the Commission to be given under oath.
      (2)   The meeting minutes and a permanent record of all resolutions, motions, transactions and determinations of the Commission shall be kept by the Director of Community Development or designee. Such records, unless exempt from disclosure by law, shall be public records open to inspection during working hours upon reasonable notice.
      (3)   The Commission shall adopt its own procedural rules for the conduct of its business not inconsistent with the statutes of the state, this chapter and the Council rules. Such rules shall be filed with the Commission and with the City Clerk. Any rule so adopted which relates solely to the conduct of hearings, and which is not required by the statutes of the state or by the Council or by this chapter, may be waived by the Chair upon good cause being shown.
      (4)   The Commission, by its rules, may create a sub-committee structure to enhance efficiency in consideration of Commission business.
      (5)   No motion shall be passed by the Commission that could in any manner deprive or restrict the owner of a property, structure, site or object in its use, alteration, maintenance, disposition or demolition until such owner shall first have had the opportunity to be heard at a public meeting of the Commission.
      (6)   Every determination made by the Commission on an application shall include written findings of fact, and shall specify the reason or reasons for such determination.
      (7)   Notice of any decision of the Commission shall be mailed to the applicant, ordinarily within ten business days of such decision.
      (8)   A quorum shall consist of four Commissioners for any regular or special meeting. A meeting of the Commission cannot be called to order without establishment of a quorum.
(Prior Code, § 51-3)  (Ord. 2012-03, passed 2-6-2012)