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Notwithstanding any of the provisions of the this chapter to the contrary, the Commission may issue a Certificate of Economic Hardship to allow the performance of work for which a Certificate of Appropriateness has been denied.
(a) State Assistance. Applicants claiming economic hardship shall be required to apply to the State Historic Preservation Agency to determine eligibility for rehabilitation assistance. The eligibility for and availability of financial aid shall be considered by the Commission in making its decision.
(b) Application Requirements. An applicant for a Certificate of Economic Hardship may submit any or all of the following information in order to assist the Commission in making its determination on the application:
(1) The amount paid for the property, the date of purchase, and the party from whom purchased (including a description of the relationship, if any, between the owner and the person from whom the property was purchased).
(2) The assessed value of the land and improvements thereon according to the two most recent assessments.
(3) Real estate taxes for the previous two years.
(4) Remaining balance mortgage, if any, and annual debt service, if any, for the previous two years.
(5) All appraisals obtained within the previous two years by the owner or applicant or their lenders in connection with this purchase, financing, or ownership of the property.
(6) Any listing of the property for sale or rent, price asked, and offers received, if any.
(7) Any consideration by the owner as to profitable adaptive uses for the property.
(8) If the property is income-producing, the annual gross income from the property for the previous two years, itemized operating and maintenance expenses for the previous two years, and annual cash flow before and after debt service, if any, during the same period.
(9) Form of ownership or operation of the property, whether sole proprietorship, for-profit or not-for-profit corporation, limited partnership, joint venture, or other.
(10) Any other information including income tax bracket of the owner, applicant, or principal investors in the property, reasonably necessary for a determination as to whether the property can be reasonably sold or yield a reasonable return to present or future owners.
(c) Study Period. If the Commission finds that, without approval of the proposed work, the property cannot obtain a reasonable economic return therefrom, then the application shall be delayed for a period not to exceed forty-five days. During this period of delay, the Commission shall investigate plans and make recommendations to the Council to allow for a reasonably beneficial use or a reasonable economic return, or to otherwise preserve the subject property. Such plans and recommendations may include, without limitation, the following: a relaxation of the provisions of this title, a reduction in real property taxes, financial assistance, building code modifications, and/or changes in zoning regulations.
(d) Decision. If, by the end of this forty-five-day period, the Commission has found that without approval of the proposed work the property cannot be put to a reasonable beneficial use, or the owner cannot obtain a reasonable economic return therefrom, then the Commission shall issue a Certificate of Economic Hardship approving the proposed work. If the Commission finds otherwise, then it shall deny the application for a Certificate of Economic Hardship.
(e) Appeal. When a Certificate of Economic Hardship is denied, the applicant may appeal the Commission's decision in the same manner provided for Certificates of Appropriateness, as described in Section 1498.05(e).
(Ord. 2005-01. Passed 1-10-05.)