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(A) Establishment. The Design and Historic Review Commission (DHRC) is hereby created. The Design and Historic Review Commission is the merger of the formerly known Design Review Commission and Historic District Review Commission. The Commission shall consist of an odd number of members no fewer than five and no more than seven to be appointed by the Mayor and Council. The Design and Historic Review Commission shall be organized to conduct business in a manner specified in the Commission bylaws.
(Ord. O97-45, passed 7-2-1997; Ord. O98-44, passed 5-20-1998; Ord. O2007-61, passed 11-20-2007; Ord. O2008-31, passed 8-6-2008; Ord. O2009-54, passed 10-21-2009)
(B) Organization of the Design and Historic Review Commission.
(1) Terms. Members shall serve a term of five years. Beginning July 1, 2011, all terms will expire on December 31. Elections for positions of Commission Chairperson and Commission Vice-Chairperson shall be on an annual basis at the first meeting of the calendar year.
(2) Meetings. The Design and Historic Review Commission shall meet bi-monthly, or at the call of the Chairperson as specified in the Commission bylaws, to be amended as required.
(3) Rules. The Commission shall adopt rules for the conduct of its business. The Commission may delegate certain responsibilities and/or tasks to be performed by a sub-commission or subcommittees of the Commission.
(4) Compensation. Members shall serve without compensation.
(5) Composition. Appointed member shall meet these qualifications:
(a) All must be residents of the city and should have a demonstrated interest in the history of this city with a desire to promote building and site design that is of high aesthetic and functional quality while in harmony with the surrounding community;
(b) At least one member must be an architect, architectural designer, planner or design professional who demonstrate an interest in local historic preservation as well as the design, image and appearance of the community;
(c) At least one member must be a general building contractor or a tradesman in the building construction industry who should have an interest in historic structures;
(d) At least one member must have qualified training or experience in historic preservation, or be a member of the Rio Colorado Chapter of the Arizona Historical Society and selected from among three or more members nominated by the Board of Directors of that chapter;
(e) One member must be a member of the City Planning and Zoning Commission;
(f) At least one person who owns property or resides within a historic district as established under this subchapter;
(g) Two members shall be members at-large; and
(h) Should no persons be available for appointment that meet the criteria listed herein, the City Council may select a person whose background approximates the knowledge and expertise being sought.
('80 Code, App. A, § 114) (Ord. 583, passed 9-16-1952; Ord. 2125, passed 5-4-1983; Ord. O98-44, passed 5-20-1998; Ord. O2007-61, passed 11-20-2007; Ord. O2009-54, passed 10-21-2009; Ord. O2010-56, passed 11-17-2010)
(C) Purpose. The purpose of the Design and Historic Review Commission is to promote and protect the Historic and Architectural integrity of the city within the defined geographical limits of the Aesthetic Overlay District and the Historic Districts of the city.
(D) Duties. The Commission’s duties are outlined as follows:
(1) To promote the educational, cultural, economic and general welfare of the community and to ensure the harmonious growth and development of the municipality by encouraging the preservation of historic places and structures, and advancing aesthetic and functionally well-designed projects;
(2) To designate sites and districts of historical significances;
(3) To provide regulatory oversight regarding exterior modifications to all historic structures or sites that are listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and have received the city’s Historic (H) District Zoning Overlay, as well as projects within the Aesthetic Overlay District;
(4) To review all project design plans within an Aesthetic Overlay District. Such plans shall be reviewed for compliance with the Aesthetic Overlay Design Guidelines;
(5) To provide regulatory oversight regarding the exterior appearance of any structure (new construction, renovation or alteration) within a recognized Historic District or within the Aesthetic Overlay and areas with specific design requirements;
(6) The Commission shall decide whether a permit should be issued for any demolition, removal, exterior renovation, addition or any other exterior alteration of any historic structure, historic site or any property located within an historic district. The Commission’s review of applications for new construction shall be limited to building size, scale, exterior elevation, design, color and appearance, to ensure compatibility with the historic character of the property, neighborhood or environment. When the local Commission governing the historic district denies an application or request, the applicant may not legally proceed with any exterior work, including demolishing or moving a structure, unless the Commission’s decision is appealed and is set aside or modified by a superior authority;
(7) Review and approval of all private and commercially oriented development of lands located within the RO Zoning District;
(8) Review and approval of all exterior lighting in the Bed and Breakfast Overlay District;
(9) Hear and decide appeals of the City Zoning Administrator’s decisions on signage and building requirements within the Historic Park Zoning District; and
(10) The Commission shall keep the Mayor and Council apprised in all matters concerning historic sites and districts. In this regard it:
(a) May recommend to the Mayor and Council acquisition by the city of structures or easements for maintenance or repair of structures for their preservation where private preservation is not feasible; and
(b) May initiate and conduct detailed studies and surveys of buildings, in conjunction with the Rio Colorado Chapter of the Arizona Historical Society and interested others, the intention of assessing potential of such buildings, structures or areas for designation as historic sites or districts.
(E) Appeals and variance.
(1) Proper maintenance is essential to the longevity of historic structures. Minor maintenance modifications to properties within an historic district may be approved or denied by the Zoning Administrator or the Zoning Administrator’s designee. Denials by the Zoning Administrator or Zoning Administrator’s designee may be appealed to the Design and Historic Review Commission. Minor maintenance modifications include the following:
(a) Replacement of existing wood or asphalt shingles with dimensional asphalt shingles provided that the property is not individually listed on the National Historic Register or a contributing property within the Brinley Avenue Historic District;
(b) Patching or resurfacing of an existing flat roof;
(c) Reapplication of applied color to a surface with applied color (stain or paint);
(d) Replacement of an electrical service panel and associated screening;
(e) Replacement of an HVAC unit and associated screening; and
(f) New or replacement fencing or perimeter walls.
(g) Investigation of structural and building system integrity by means of inconspicuous exterior exploration. Exploration is limited to one temporary occurrence at a time with a maximum removal of four square feet of the facade for each such occurrence. Repair/restoration to match the surrounding exterior is to be completed within 30 days of commencement of the exploration.
(2) Appeals of the project design decisions of the Design and Historic Review Commission within an Aesthetic Overlay District shall be heard by the Planning Commission.
(3) Any requests for variances from the development standards of the underlying zoning district for a project within an Aesthetic Overlay District shall be considered by the City Hearing Officer.
('80 Code, App. A, § 114) (Ord. 583, passed 9-16-1952; Ord. 2125, passed 5-4-1983; Ord. O98-44, passed 5-20-1998; Ord. O2007-61, passed 11-20-2007; Ord. O2009-54, passed 10-21-2009; Ord. O2010-32, passed 7-7-2010; Ord. O2010-66, passed 1-5-2011; Ord. O2011-16, passed 5-4-2011)