(A)   Established; composition; appointment; compensation. There is hereby established the South Monroe Historic District Commission, hereafter referred to as the Historic District Commission or commission, to consist of seven (7) regular members appointed by City Council, and two (2) alternate members also appointed by City Council. The chairperson shall receive seventy-five dollars ($75) per meeting attended. All other members shall receive fifty dollars ($50) per meeting attended. Alternate members shall serve on the Historic District Commission in the absence or temporary disqualification of any regular member or to fill a vacancy pending appointment of a member. Each alternate member serving on behalf of any regular member has all the powers and duties of a regular member.
   (B)   Terms; reappointment. Members of the Historic District Commission shall serve terms of four (4) years; provided that for the initial terms, three (3) members shall be appointed for two (2) years, two (2) members for three (3) years, and two (2) members for four (4) year terms. A member may be reappointed for a second consecutive term, but after two (2) consecutive terms a member shall be ineligible for reappointment until one (1) calendar year has elapsed from the date of the termination of his or her second term.
   (C)   Qualifications. All members of the Historic District Commission shall be residents of the territorial zoning jurisdiction of the city, and a majority of the members shall have demonstrated special interest, experience or education in history or architecture.
   (D)   Meetings; generally. The commission shall establish a meeting time, and shall meet at least quarterly and more often as it shall determine and require. All meetings of the commission shall be open to the public, and reasonable notice of time and place thereof shall be given to the public. All meetings shall conform to the North Carolina Open Meetings Law, G.S. §§ 143-318.9 et seq.
   (E)   Meetings; attendance. Any member of the commission who misses more than three (3) consecutive meetings, or more than half the regular meetings in a calendar year shall lose his or her status as a member of the commission and shall be replaced or reappointed by City Council. Absences due to sickness, death or other emergencies of like nature shall be recognized as approved absences and shall not affect the member's status on the Board; except that in the event of a long illness or other such case for prolonged absence, the member shall be replaced.
   (F)   Rules of procedure. The Historic District Commission shall adopt and publish rules of procedure for the conduct of its business.
   (G)   Annual report. An annual report shall be prepared and submitted by June 30 of each year to the City Council. Such report shall include a comprehensive and detailed review of the activities, problems and actions of the commission, as well as any budget requests and/or recommendations.
   (H)   Minutes. The commission shall keep permanent minutes of all its meetings. The minutes shall record attendance of its members and its resolutions, findings, recommendations, and actions. The minutes of the commission shall be a public record.
   (I)   General responsibilities. The commission shall seek to promote, enhance and preserve the character of the district; provided that the commission shall not require the reconstruction of individual or original buildings or structures or portions.
   (J)   Specific authority and powers. The Historic District Commission is authorized and empowered to undertake such actions reasonably necessary to the discharge and conduct of its duties and responsibilities as outlined in this subchapter and G.S. Chapter 160A, Article 19, including but not limited to the following:
      (1)   To recommend to the Planning Board, districts or areas to be designated by ordinance as "historic districts."
      (2)   To recommend to the Planning Board that designation of any district or area as a historic district be revoked or removed.
      (3)   To consider and grant or deny applications for certificates of appropriateness in accordance with § 156.164.
      (4)   To give advice to property owners concerning the treatment of the historical and visual characteristics of their properties located within a district, such as color schemes, gardens and landscape features, and minor decorative elements.
      (5)   To propose to the City Council changes to this subchapter or any related ordinance and to propose new ordinances or laws relating to a historic district or relating to the total program for the development of the historical resources of the city and its environs.
      (6)   To cooperate with other city boards or commissions or other governmental units; to offer or request assistance, aid, guidance or advice concerning matters under its purview of mutual interest.
      (7)   To publish information about, or otherwise inform the owners of properties within a district of any matters pertinent to its duties, organization, procedures, responsibilities, functions or requirements.
      (8)   To undertake programs of information, research or analysis relating to any matters under its purview.
      (9)   To report violations of this subchapter or related ordinances to the local official responsible for enforcement.
      (10)   To assist city staff in obtaining the services of private consultants to aid in carrying out programs of research or analysis.
      (11)   To accept funds granted to the commission from private or nonprofit organizations.
      (12)   To contract, with the approval of the City Council, for services or funds from the state and agencies or departments of the United States government.
      (13)   To recommend to the City Council and the state districts worthy of national, state or local recognition.
      (14)   To initiate and participate in negotiations with owners and other parties in an effort to find means of preserving buildings scheduled for demolition.
      (15)   To establish guidelines under which the City Manager or his designee may approve minor modifications on behalf of the commission. No application shall be denied without first being considered by the commission.
      (16)   To conduct public hearings on applications for certificates of appropriateness where the commission deems that such hearings are necessary.
      (17)   To organize itself and conduct its business by whatever legal means it deems proper.
      (18)   To exercise such other powers and perform such other duties as are required elsewhere by this subchapter, the General Statutes of North Carolina or City Council.
(Ord. O-2000-37, passed 9-5-00; Am. Ord. O-2003-42, passed 8-5-03; Am. Ord. O-2017-03, passed 1-3-17)