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All authority, board, bureau, commission, and committee appointments authorized by ordinance or resolution shall be made by the mayor and such appointment confirmed by the city council at a meeting in January of each year, and shall be a resident of the city of Little Falls. The term of each appointee shall be established and stated at the time of their appointment, and terms of present authority, board, bureau, commission, and committee members may be reestablished and changed so as to give effect to this section. Except as otherwise provided by the ordinance or resolution establishing a particular authority, board, bureau, commission, or committee, new appointees shall assume office on February 1, January 31 being the date of expiration of terms. All vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as for an expired term, but the appointment shall be only for the unexpired term. All appointed authority, board, bureau, commission, and committee members shall serve without remuneration, but may be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses incurred in performance of their duties when such expenses have been authorized by the city council before they were incurred. The chairperson and secretary shall be chosen from and by the membership at its first regular meeting in February or as soon after as they meet each year to serve for the ensuing year. Any member may be removed by the city council for misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance in office and their position filled as any other vacancy. Each authority, board, bureau, commission and committee shall hold its regular meetings at the time established and approved by each group. The mayor and city administrator shall be ex officio members of all authorities, boards, bureaus, commissions, and committees; provided, that if they are unable to attend a meeting or act in the capacity of such membership, they may be represented by their assistants or some persons duly authorized by them. All appointees to authorities, boards, bureaus, commissions, and committees shall hold office until their successor is appointed and qualified.
A. Airport Commission (Joint): Pursuant to the joint powers agreement of January 6, 1965, entered into by the city of Little Falls and the county of Morrison, a joint airport commission is hereby established, composed of six (6) members, three (3) members appointed by the city council and three (3) members appointed by the county commissioners, with city members serving three (3) year staggered terms. The joint airport commission shall be governed by the terms of the joint powers agreement entered into between the city of Little Falls and county of Morrison on January 6, 1965, and any amendments of said agreement.
B. Airport Zoning Board (Joint): A joint airport zoning board, pursuant to laws 1945, chapter 303, section 26, and acts amendatory thereof is hereby established. The board shall consist of five (5) members, as follows: two (2) members to be appointed by the city council, two (2) members to be appointed by the Morrison County commissioners, and one member who shall act as chairperson, elected by a majority of the other four (4) members. The board shall be appointed as needed.
The joint airport zoning board shall adopt, administer and enforce airport zoning regulations for the airport hazard areas in the vicinity of the Little Falls/Morrison County Airport as provided in laws 1945, chapter 303, sections 24 and 36, and acts amendatory thereof.
If airport zoning regulations proposed by the joint airport zoning board designates an administrative agency of the city or county as the administrative agency to administer and enforce such regulations, such designation shall be submitted to the city council and the county commissioners for approval, which shall be granted by resolution adopted by each body.
C. Architectural Review Board: An architectural review board is hereby established consisting of three (3) voting members serving three (3) year staggered terms. One member of the board shall be a member of the planning commission, one member shall be a member of the economic development authority, and one member shall be qualified by experience and training to pass upon matters that pertain to building construction and who are not employees of the city, notwithstanding any member may be a qualified resident. The city building official shall be an ex officio nonvoting member.
The purpose of the architectural review board shall be to establish criteria for architectural design and exterior treatment of property and buildings on properties purchased from the city and individuals/corporations receiving public funding, to ensure that high standards of development are created that are compatible with neighboring development and contribute to a community image of permanence, stability and visual aesthetic, while preventing impermanent construction and use of materials that are unsightly, rapidly deteriorate, contribute to depreciation of neighborhood property values or cause urban blight. The standards are further intended to ensure coordination design of building facades, additions and accessory structures in order to prevent visual disharmony and to reduce visual monotony through ordinance variation of building materials, heights, offsets, changes in building plane and the like. Building design and construction standards must be used to create a structure with equally attractive sides. Primary emphasis shall be on the most visible side of the building. All buildings governed by Little Falls heritage preservation commission are exempt from this section.
D. Building Code Board Of Appeals:
1. Establishment And Composition: A building code board of appeals is hereby established consisting of five (5) members who shall be appointed as needed. Members shall be individuals qualified by experience and training to pass on matters pertaining to building construction and who are not employees of the city. The building official shall be an ex officio nonvoting member and shall act as secretary to the building code board of appeals. The building code board of appeals shall have no authority relative to interpretation of the administrative provisions of the code, nor shall the board be empowered to waive the requirements of the building code. The building code board of appeals shall hear and decide appeals of orders, decisions or determinations made by the building official relative to the application and interpretation of the state building code, as adopted by chapter 5 of this city code, and in the uniform Housing Code, as adopted by chapter 5 of this City Code, subject to judicial review as provided by law. The Building Code Board of Appeals shall adopt rules of procedure for conducting its business and shall render all decisions and findings in writing to the appellant with a duplicate copy to the building official within fifteen (15) days of the date of its decision.
2. Time Of Filing: All petitions and appeals shall be filed within thirty (30) days after written notice of the decision or determination appealed from, by service of such petition or written notice of appeal upon the City Administrator.
3. Form And Content: All petitions and appeals shall be filed by the aggrieved person and shall summarize the facts and circumstances giving rise to the petition or appeal.
4. Hearing And Procedure:
a. Upon receipt of any petition or appeal, the City Administrator shall forthwith forward a copy thereof to the Building Code Board of Appeals, any administrative officer involved in the enforcement thereof and the City Attorney, showing the date of receipt thereof.
b. Within thirty (30) days after receipt of the petition or notice of appeal by the City Administrator, a hearing shall be called before the Building Code Board of Appeals, and notice thereof shall be given in writing to all petitioners, appellants and such other persons as may be determined to have an interest or property right in any decision made pursuant thereto, and such members of commissions or administrative officers as may be appropriate. Such notice shall be mailed at least twenty (20) days prior to the date set for hearing. Notice shall also be given to the public by publication thereof once in a legal newspaper at least fourteen (14) days prior to the date set for hearing.
c. At any such hearing, all persons desiring to be heard shall have such opportunity. (Ord. 77, 6th Series, eff. 10-19-2015)
E. Economic Development Authority: An economic development authority, to be known as the economic development authority of the City of Little Falls, is hereby established, composed of five (5) Commissioners, two (2) of whom shall be members of the City Council. Commissioners shall serve six (6) year terms. Council representatives' terms shall expire concurrent with the expiration of their position on the City Council.
The economic development authority of the City shall have all of the powers, rights, duties and obligations as set forth in Minnesota Statutes 469.090 through 469.108, and any other law as is hereby established in and for the City. Notwithstanding these provisions, provisions of Minnesota Statutes, or any other law as is hereby established, the economic development authority of the City shall have no authority to sell bonds, issue debt or levy taxes without the expressed prior approval of the City Council.
The economic development authority shall meet as needed. Meetings shall be called by its Chairperson or two (2) voting members, upon notice provided to the public and all members at least three (3) days before the date of the meeting. The economic development authority may adopt bylaws and such additional rules, regulations and procedures as it may deem necessary. All bylaws, rules, regulations and procedures, and any changes therein, shall be approved by a majority vote of the City Council.
Nothing shall prevent the City Council from modifying this enabling section to impose limits on the powers of the authority, or for providing for other matters as authorized by Minnesota Statutes section 469.090 through 469.108 or any other law.
F. Energy And Environmental Committee: An Energy and Environmental Committee composed of seven (7) members serving three (3) year staggered terms is hereby established. The committee shall serve as an advisory body to the City Council in matters of policies, educational programs and procedures to conserve energy consumption and enhance and improve the environment for the residents of the City of Little Falls. The committee shall perform all duties assigned to it by the City Council.
G. Heritage Preservation Commission: A Heritage Preservation Commission composed of seven (7) members, one of which must represent the Morrison County Historical Society appointed by their board of directors, serving three (3) year staggered terms; together with a representative from the Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, the Little Falls convention and visitors bureau, and one property owner in a local or national historic district, who are all ex officio nonvoting members. Members shall be persons who have demonstrated an interest in historical, cultural or architectural development. The commission shall have the responsibility of recommending to the city council the adoption of ordinances designating areas, places, buildings, structures, works of art or other objects having special historical, cultural or architectural interest for the community as heritage preservation landmarks or districts.
1. Declaration Of Public Policy And Purpose: The city council hereby declares as a matter of public policy that the preservation, protection, perpetuation and use of areas, places, buildings, structures, lands, districts and other objects having a special historical, cultural or aesthetic interest or value, is a public necessity, and is required in the interest of public health, prosperity, safety, and welfare of the people of the city. The purposes of this subsection are to:
a. Safeguard the heritage of the city by preserving sites and structures which reflect elements of the city cultural, social, economic, political, engineering or architectural history.
b. Protect and enhance the city's attractions to residents, tourists and visitors and services as a support and stimulus to business and industry.
c. Enhance the economic viability of heritage preservation landmarks and districts through the protection and promotion of their unique character.
d. Enhance the visual and aesthetic character, diversity and interest of the city.
e. Foster civic pride in the accomplishments of the past.
f. Promote the use and preservation of historic landmarks and districts for the educational and general welfare of the people of the city.
HERITAGE PRESERVATION DISTRICT: A contiguous collection or group of lands, parcels, sites, structures, buildings or objects that is determined to be historically, culturally or architecturally significant as a whole and has been locally designated as a heritage preservation district pursuant to this subsection.
HERITAGE PRESERVATION GUIDELINES: The established criteria by which any proposed changes, including architectural or site modifications, shall be judged.
HERITAGE PRESERVATION LANDMARK: Any individual property, parcel, place, building, structure, work of art or other object that has been determined to be historically, culturally or architecturally significant and has been locally designated as a heritage preservation landmark pursuant to this subsection.
NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES: The nation's official list of properties worthy of preservation designated by the United States department of the interior, national park service. Nominations of properties within Minnesota to this list are made through the auspices of the state historic preservation officer of the Minnesota Historical Society.
3. Powers And Duties: The heritage preservation commission shall make recommendations to the city council on the designation of the heritage preservation landmarks and districts as hereinafter provided.
a. Report: Prior to recommending a landmark or district to the city council for designation, amending a designated landmark or district, or nominating a landmark or district to the national register of historic places, an investigation and report on the historical, cultural, and architectural significance of the buildings, structures, sites or objects proposed for designation, shall be made. Such report shall also attempt to determine the economic status of the property or properties by providing such information as assessed value, recent real estate transactions and other data.
b. Criteria For Designation: The commission shall recommend heritage preservation landmarks and districts only when the property or properties are found to meet at least one of the following criteria:
(1) It has character, interest or value as a part of the development, heritage or cultural characteristics of the city, state or the United States.
(2) Its location was a site of a significant historical event.
(3) It is identified with a person or persons who significantly contributed to the culture or development of the city, state or the United States.
(4) It embodies a distinguishing characteristic of an architectural type.
(5) It is identified as the work of an architect or master builder whose individual work has influenced the development of the city, state or United States.
(6) Its unique location or singular physical characteristics represent an established and familiar visual feature of a neighborhood, community or the city as a whole.
(7) It embodies elements of architectural design, detail, materials, or craftsmanship which represents significant architectural innovation.
(8) Its unique location or singular physical characteristics represent an established and familiar visual feature of a neighborhood, community, or the city as a whole.
c. Planning Commission Review: The commission shall receive the comments of the city's planning commission regarding any proposed heritage preservation district or landmark prior to forwarding its recommendation to the city council. The planning commission shall consider any such designation's potential effects on the surrounding neighborhood, economics, environment and other planning considerations. Said comments shall become part of the official record and be submitted as part of the commission's report to the city council.
d. Communication With State Historical Society: A copy of the commission's report on any proposed designation for heritage preservation landmark or district, including boundaries, shall be sent to the state historic preservation officer for review and comment in accordance with Minnesota statutes. Any comments made by the state historic preservation officer regarding a proposed designation must be received and forwarded to the city council prior to final designation.
e. Heritage Preservation Commission Hearings: Prior to the commission recommending to the city council any heritage preservation landmark or district, the commission shall hold a public hearing and seek the recommendation of all concerned citizens.
f. Communication With City Council: If the commission recommends to the city council that a landmark or district be designated for heritage preservation, the commission shall transmit to the city council a complete report on the recommended heritage preservation landmark or district. Such communication shall include the initial investigative report, comments made by the planning commission, required comments by the state historic preservation officer and the proposed heritage preservation guidelines.
g. City Council Designation: The city council may, by ordinance, designate a heritage preservation landmark or district. Prior to such designation, the city council shall hold a public hearing.
h. Survey Of Eligible Areas: The commission shall conduct a continuing survey of all areas, places, buildings, structures or similar objects in the city which the commission, on the basis of information available or presented to it, has reason to believe are or will be eligible for designation as heritage preservation landmarks or districts.
i. Citizen Education: The commission shall work for the continuing education of the citizens of the city with respect to the historic and architectural heritage of the city. It shall keep current and public an official list of the designated heritage preservation landmarks and districts, and shall maintain a map of all properties and areas designated by the city council as heritage preservation districts or landmarks, which shall be kept at city hall and be available to the public.
j. Acquisition Of Properties: The commission may recommend to the city council, after review and comment by the planning commission, that certain properties eligible for designation as heritage preservation landmarks or districts be acquired by gift, by negotiation or other legal means.
k. Application For Grant Funds: The commission shall assist in the preparation of applications for grant funds to be made to the City for the purpose of heritage preservation.
l. Heritage Preservation Guidelines: Upon final designation of a heritage preservation landmark or district by the City Council, the commission shall adopt heritage preservation guidelines specific to the landmark or district. Such guidelines shall detail allowable architectural and/or site modifications, essential features to be retained and any other criteria by which future proposals for modifications shall be judged. These guidelines are intended to provide assurance to owners of properties within heritage preservation landmarks or districts that any permit review process, per this subsection, will be based on clear and objective standards rather than the taste of individual commission members, and shall be in conformance with the Secretary of Interior's standards for historic preservation projects.
m. Nomination To National Register: The commission may nominate a heritage preservation landmark or district to the National Register of Historic Places, but only with the consent of the City Council.
n. Annual Report: The commission shall make an annual report to the City Council and the State Historic Preservation Officer each year.
4. Review Of Construction And Demolition Activity:
a. Type Of Activity: The commission shall review and make recommendations of construction and demolition activities so as to encourage the preservation of historical buildings and/or landmarks within any heritage preservation landmark or district. In addition, the commission shall review and approve or disapprove the issuance of City permits to do any of the following in a heritage preservation landmark or district in the City:
(1) Remodel, repair or alter in any manner which will change the exterior appearance.
(2) New construction, including parking facilities.
(3) Move a building.
(4) Change the nature or appearance of a designated heritage preservation landmark or district.
b. Permit Application And Plans: Every application for any type of permit, per subsection G4a of this section, for any property designated as a heritage preservation landmark or district, shall be accompanied by detailed plans for the proposed work to be done. A copy of the application and plans submitted therewith shall be immediately referred to the commission by the building official. Building permits shall not be issued in regard to an application until written recommendation is received from the commission, subject, however, to subsections G4c, G4e and G4f of this section.
c. Commission Review:
(1) The commission, upon receipt of the application for a permit and plans, shall determine if the work to be performed would adversely affect the heritage preservation landmark or district based upon the adopted heritage preservation guidelines per subsection G3l of this section. If the commission determines that the work to be performed pursuant to the permit complies with the adopted heritage preservation guidelines, the application shall be approved.
(2) If the application is not approved, the owner may petition the commission to conduct a public hearing for the purpose of determining whether the work to be performed adversely impacts the heritage preservation landmark or district. The commission shall review the permit and such plans as were submitted therewith and, after receiving comments from concerned citizens, shall render its decision thereof as a written order to the City Administrator and the building official. In case of a denial, the commission shall furnish the applicant with a copy of the commission's decision, together with a copy of any recommendations for changes necessary to be made before the commission will reconsider the applicant's permit application.
d. Findings: All decisions of the commission with respect to this subsection shall be based on explicit findings which are in accordance with the adopted heritage preservation guidelines for heritage preservation landmarks or districts or the Secretary of the Interior's "Standards for Historic Preservation Projects".
e. Appeals To City Council: The commission, in any written order denying a permit application, shall advise the applicant of the right to appeal to the City Council. The permit applicant or any party aggrieved by the decision of the commission shall, within ten (10) days of the date of the commission's written order and decision, have a right to appeal such order and decision to the City Council. Such appeal shall be addressed to the City Council and submitted to the City Administrator, with a statement of the reasons setting forth the grounds for appeal. The City Administrator shall transmit copies of such appeals to the City Council and the Heritage Preservation Commission. The City Council may modify or overrule the commission's decision, but only if the project is found to be consistent with the United States Secretary of Interior's "Standards for Historic Preservation Projects", or adopted heritage preservation guidelines.
f. Limitations: If, within sixty (60) days of receipt of the permit application by the commission, it has neither approved nor denied the building permit application, the plans and permit application shall be deemed to have been approved by the commission; and if all other requirements of the City have been met, the City Administrator shall authorize a permit for the proposed work. In the event that the commission disapproves the application in accordance with this subsection, and the City Council upholds the disapproval, the City building official shall, sixty (60) days after final action by the City Council, issue a building permit if the application is in compliance with all other requirements of this Code, except for this subsection. The City building official shall notify the City Council and the commission of this action pursuant to this subsection.
g. Emergency Repair: In emergency situations, where immediate repair is needed to protect the safety of the public or structure and its inhabitants, the City Administrator may, without commission action, approve the repair of only those items needed to correct the safety emergency. In the case of a permit issued pursuant to this subsection, the City Administrator shall require that such repairs to be made in conformance with the United States Secretary of Interior's "Standards for Historic Preservation Projects" or adopted heritage preservation guidelines, to the extent possible, and a copy of the permit issued shall be given to the building official. In addition, the City Administrator shall immediately notify the Heritage Preservation Commission of the action, and specify the facts and conditions constituting the emergency situation.
h. Building Code Enforcement: One purpose of this subsection is to encourage the sensitive rehabilitation, restoration, stabilization and/or preservation of historic buildings throughout the City. These rehabilitation and preservation efforts should provide for the upgrading and maintenance of the safety features of the building or structure to provide a practical level of safety to the public and surrounding properties. While ensuring this increased level of public safety, the enforcement authorities are encouraged to be open to acceptable alternative solutions and alternative compliance concepts, where practical, that will permit the continued use of the existing buildings and structures without creating overly restrictive financial burdens on owners or occupants. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance or repair of any exterior elements of the building or structure required by this Code.
5. Filing Of Documents: The Office of the City Administrator shall keep at least one copy of all studies, reports, recommendations, decisions, and heritage preservation guidelines developed by the commission and City Council. In addition, the City Administrator shall make available an official list of all locally designated heritage preservation landmarks and districts to the building official and the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Officer and the public.
6. Recording Of Heritage Preservation Sites: The City Administrator shall record or file with the Morrison County Recorder the legal description of all properties designated as heritage preservation landmarks or districts by the City.
H. Housing And Redevelopment Authority: A housing and redevelopment authority composed of five (5) members serving five (5) year staggered terms is hereby established. The Director of the housing and redevelopment authority shall also be an ex officio member. The authority's duties shall address the housing needs of low income and disabled residents of the City; redevelop plighted areas of the City; promote industrial and business development of the City; and shall undertake such matters of redevelopment as the City Council may request.
I. Library Board: A Library Board composed of five (5) members serving three (3) year staggered terms is hereby established. The board's duties and responsibilities are to advise and make recommendations to the City Council on matters relating to the library. The board shall perform all duties assigned to it from time to time by the City Council.
J. Park, Recreation And Tree Board: A Park, Recreation and Tree Board composed of five (5) members serving three (3) year staggered terms is hereby established. The board's duties include advising the City Council on park and recreation issues. The board shall perform all duties assigned by the City Council.
K. Planning Commission: A Planning Commission composed of seven (7) members serving three (3) year staggered terms is hereby established. The Planning Commission shall also serve as the Board of Zoning Appeals as required in chapter 11 of this Code. The Zoning Official, Public Works Director/Engineer and City Attorney will be ex officio nonvoting members. The commission's duties include serving as an advisory body to the City Council in matters of directing the future physical development of the City. The commission shall, upon request of the City Council, make studies, investigations and recommendations to the City Council regarding the Comprehensive Plan; zoning ordinances; conditional use permits; interim use permits; subdivision regulations; zoning variances; official map; appeals to denials of zoning, land use or building permits based on the official map. (Ord. 77, 6th Series, eff. 10-19-2015; amd. Ord. 6, 7th Series, eff. 2-20-2018)