The Preservation Commission shall have the following powers and authority.
   (A)   To conduct an ongoing survey of the County to identify buildings, structures, areas, sites and landscapes that are of historic, archaeological, architectural, or scenic significance, and, therefore, potential landmarks or preservation districts;
   (B)   To hold public hearings and recommend to the County Board the designation of landmarks or preservation districts;
   (C)   To compile information concerning and prepare descriptions of the landmarks or preservation districts identified and recommended for designation and the characteristics that meet the standards for designation;
   (D)   To prepare, keep current, and publish a map or maps showing the locations and exact boundaries of proposed and designated landmarks and preservation districts, and, if the Commission so chooses, the locations and boundaries of designated state or federal landmarks or districts;
   (E)   To keep a register of all designated landmarks and preservation districts;
   (F)   To establish an appropriate system of markers or plaques for all designated landmarks and preservation districts, and for streets, roads, trails, and highways leading from one landmark or preservation district to another and to confer recognition upon the owners of landmarks or property within preservation districts by means of certificates, plaques, or markers;
   (G)   To nominate landmarks and preservation districts to any state or federal registers of historic places;
   (H)   To advise and assist owners of landmarks and property within preservation districts on physical and financial aspects of preservation, renovation, rehabilitation, and reuse, and on procedures for inclusion on any state or federal register of historic places;
   (I)   To inform and educate the citizens of the County concerning the historic, archaeological, architectural, or scenic heritage of the County by publishing appropriate maps, newsletters, brochures, and pamphlets, and by holding programs and seminars;
   (J)   To hold public hearings and to review applications for construction, alteration, removal, or demolition affecting landmarks or property within preservation districts and issue or deny Certificates of Appropriateness for such actions;
   (K)   To consider applications for Certificates of Economic Hardship that would allow the performance of work for which a Certificate of Appropriateness has previously been denied;
   (L)   To develop specific criteria and guidelines for the proper alteration, construction, demolition, or removal of landmarks, or of property within preservation districts;
   (M)   To review proposed amendments to zoning regulations, applications for special uses or applications for zoning variations that affect any and all landmark or preservation district. Proposed zoning amendments, applications for special use, or zoning variations that affect any landmark or preservation district as defined in this chapter or any application for demolition of any structure which is more than 30 years old shall be reviewed by support staff and/or at the discretion of the staff shall be forwarded to the Preservation Commission for review within seven working days.
   (N)   To administer on behalf of the County Board any property, or full or partial interest in real property, including a conservation right, upon designation by the County Board;
   (O)   To accept and administer on behalf of the County Board gifts, grants, money or other personal property as may be appropriate for the purpose of this chapter. Such money may be expended for publishing maps and brochures, for hiring staff or consultants or performing otherwise appropriate functions for the purpose of carrying out the duties and powers of the Preservation Commission and the purposes of this chapter.
   (P)   To administer any system established by the County Board for the transfer of development rights;
   (Q)   To call upon available county agencies and staff as well as other experts for technical advice;
   (R)   To retain specialists or consultants, or to appoint citizen, neighborhood or area advisory committees, as may be required;
   (S)   To testify before all boards and commissions including the Will County Planning and Zoning Commission, also known as the Will County Regional Planning Commission, on any matter affecting potential or designated landmarks or preservation districts;
   (T)   To periodically review any county comprehensive plan and to develop a preservation component in any comprehensive plan of the County and to recommend it to the Planning and Zoning Commission and the County Board;
   (U)   To periodically consult the County zoning administrator, review any County zoning ordinance and building code, and to recommend to the County Board any amendments appropriate for the protection and continued use of landmarks or property within preservation districts;
   (V)   To undertake any other action or activity necessary or appropriate to the implementation of its powers and duties or the implementation of the purposes of this chapter.
(Res. 92-192, passed 9-17-1992)