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(A) Requests for designation of an historic landmark may be made by:
(1) The Town Board;
(2) The Planning Board;
(3) Town planning staff; or
(4) Any interested person.
(B) All requests shall first be presented to the Historic Preservation Commission. The requests should include reference to the historical, architectural, or archaeological significance of the proposed landmark. The Commission will conduct a preliminary investigation to determine the eligibility of the landmark.
(C) If the Commission determines that the proposed landmark is ineligible to become an historic landmark, the Commission shall report such determination to the entity that requested the designation. Such report shall be made within 30 days of the Commission's consideration of the request. The report may also include recommendations of if and how the request may be amended in order to improve it.
(D) If the Commission determines that the proposed landmark is eligible to become an historic landmark, it shall notify property owners within the area through first class mail that designation of an historic landmark will be considered by the Commission at a specified date and time. The Commission shall hold the public informational meetings and receive questions and comments.
(E) The Commission shall prepare and submit a report to the Planning Board and the Town Board. The report shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:
(1) The name and address of the current property owner;
(2) The location of the property proposed to be designated historic, including the street address and tax map and parcel numbers;
(3) The date of construction and of any later alterations, if any;
(4) An architectural or archaeological description of the area of the site or structure proposed to be designated. If outbuildings or other appurtenant features are proposed for designation, the report shall contain a description of those features;
(5) An assessment and historical discussion of the site or structure within its type, period, and locality;
(6) Photographs that clearly depict the property proposed for designation, including views of all facades, pertinent details and siting; and
(7) A map clearly showing the location and boundaries of the property, including any outbuildings and appurtenant features.
(F) Pursuant to review and comment by the Town Board, the report shall be forwarded to the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources who shall make an analysis of and recommendations concerning such report and description of proposed boundaries to the Town Board. If the department does not submit its written comments or recommendations in connection with any proposed designation within 30 calendar days after a written request for such analysis has been received by the department shall relieve the town of any responsibility for awaiting such analysis.
(G) The Town Board and Historic Preservation Commission shall hold a joint public hearing on the proposed ordinance. Notice of the hearings shall be published at least once in a newspaper generally circulated within the town. Written notice of the hearings shall also be mailed by the Commission to all owners and occupants of properties. All such notices shall be published or mailed not less than ten nor more than 25 days prior to the date set for the public hearing.
(H) Upon adoption of the ordinance or any amendments thereto, the owners and occupants of each designated historic property shall be given written notification of such designation. One copy of the ordinance and each amendment thereto shall be filed by the Historic Preservation Commission in the office of the County Register of Deeds. Each historic property designated as an historic landmark in the ordinance shall be indexed according to the name of the owner of the property in the grantee and grantor indexes in the Register of Deeds office, and the Historic Preservation Commission shall pay a reasonable fee for filing and indexing. A second copy of the ordinance and of each amendment thereto shall be kept on file in the Town Clerk's office and shall be made available for public inspection at any reasonable time. A third copy of the ordinance and each amendment thereto shall be given to the Wilkes County Building Inspector.
(I) Upon adoption of the ordinance or any amendments thereto, it shall be the duty of the Historic Preservation Commission to give notice thereof to the Wilkes County tax assessor. The designation and any recorded restrictions upon the property limiting its use for preservation purposes shall be considered by the assessor in appraising it for tax purposes. The fact that a building, structure, site, area, or object has been designated an historic landmark shall be clearly indicated on all tax maps maintained by the County for such period as the designation remains in effect.
(Am. Ord. passed 9-14-2016)