§ 23-227. Certificate of appropriateness.  

Effective on Tuesday, October 4, 2022
  • A certificate of appropriateness is a written approval issued by the historic preservation regulatory board for work proposed on buildings or sites within an historic district designated under this chapter. See section 23-802 for definitions of terms used in this section.

    Sec. 227.[1]. Applicability.

    a. Certificate of appropriateness. Unless otherwise provided herein, no person may undertake the following actions affecting any property in an historic district designated under this chapter without first obtaining a certificate of appropriateness from the historic regulatory board.

    1. Alteration of the exterior part of any building or structure, regardless of whether a building permit is required for the work.

    2. Demolition of a building, structure or object or removal of a significant exterior feature of a building or structure. (Demolition delay only. See section 23-227.3.b.)

    3. Installation of a new sign or alteration of an existing sign; removal of existing signs integral to the architecture of any building. (See exemption for incidental signs.)

    4. Construction of a new building or an addition to an existing building.

    5. Construction of fences, not including hedges.

    b. Exemptions. The following actions are exempt from the requirement of a certificate of appropriateness:

    1. Ordinary maintenance and repairs, provided the work involves repairs to existing features of a structure or site or the replacement of elements of a structure with pieces identical in appearance and provided that the work does not change the exterior appearance of the structure or site

    2. Landscaping, not including non-vegetative features such as walls, fences, and paving.

    3. The administrative official may determine that work is exempt from the requirement for a certificate of appropriateness if the alteration will not be visible from a public street or pedestrian way. The administrative official may impose reasonable conditions on the approval in keeping with the guidelines of the historic board.

    4. Murals, provided they do not meet the definition of a sign under this chapter.

    5. Alterations meeting guidelines adopted by the historic board for paint color or other materials.

    6. Directional and other incidental signs exempt from permitting requirements under this chapter.

    c. Other permits. No building permit, demolition permit, land alteration permit, or site development permit shall be issued for work on a building or site in an historic district designated under this chapter unless a certificate of appropriateness has been issued for the work or the work has been verified as exempt by the administrative official. The issuance of a certificate of appropriateness shall not relieve the applicant from obtaining other required permits and approvals. A building permit or other permit issued by the city shall be invalid if it is obtained without the presentation of the certificate of appropriateness required for the proposed work.

    d. Violations; stop work. A stop work order shall be issued for any work undertaken in violation of the requirement for a certificate of appropriateness or the conditions of a certificate of appropriateness.

    Sec. 23-227.2. Application.

    a. Pre-application conference. A pre-application conference with the administrative official is required prior to submission of an application for a certificate of appropriateness for construction of a new building or an addition or for any alteration of the exterior of a building within an historic district designated under this chapter. An applicant for any work within an historic district may request a pre-application conference with the administrative official or with the historic board to obtain information or guidance regarding a proposed project. The purpose of the pre-application conference is to discuss and clarify preservation objectives and guidelines of the historic board in relation to a proposed project.

    b. Application for certificate of appropriateness. Application shall be made on forms supplied by the administrative official and shall be accompanied by the fee as set forth in section 23-242. The number of copies of required support documents, application deadlines, and review guidelines shall be determined by the administrative official.

    The following support documents are required as applicable:

    1. A site plan, rendering, sketch or drawing of the proposed work, specifically indicating the proposed changes in appearance, color, texture of materials, dimensions, architectural design of the exterior of the structure, including the front, sides, rear (if visible from a public right-of-way), roof, and any alterations to or additions of any outbuilding, courtyard, fence, or other accessory structure or improvement.

    2. Photographs of the existing building, structure, or sign as applicable.

    3. Photographs of adjacent buildings.

    4. Any other information which may be reasonably required by the administrative official in order to convey a clear understanding of the applicant's proposal.

    Sec. 23-227.3. Review of application for certificate of appropriateness.

    a. Administrative review.

    1. All applications for certificates of appropriateness shall be reviewed by the administrative official within ten (10) working days of receipt to determine that the application is complete in accordance with the requirements of this section. Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant with reference to deficiencies.
    2. Upon a finding that an application is complete, the administrative official, in consultation with other department as necessary, shall review the application for compliance with the purpose and intent of these regulations including the provisions of article IV, Resource Protection Standards, division 5, Historic Preservation (section 23-651 et seq.). The administrative official may request modifications or additional information if necessary.
    3. After completion of review the administrative official may approve transmittal of the application to the historic board or require re-submittal with modifications or corrections.
    4. If the administrative official approves transmittal of the application to the historic board, The administrative official shall prepare a report with recommendations and shall submit the report to the historic board in advance of its next scheduled meeting in accordance with the schedule established for agendas and public notice.
    5.  An application for a Certificate of Appropriateness for vinyl, painted, etched, or other types of non-structural signs may be reviewed and approved by the Administrative Official. The Administrative Official’s decision shall be based on an assessment of compliance according to section 23-545 and section 23-653. In any case, the Administrative Official has the right to determine that formal review and approval by the Historic Board is necessary.

    b. Historic board review and action. The historic board shall hold a public hearing on the application except those for signs and shall review the application with reference to these regulations, with particular attention to the historic preservation resource protection standards (section 23-651 et seq.).

    1. Except for application for demolitions, the board shall approve with stated conditions or stipulations, or deny an application with specific reference to the requirements for this chapter and standards adopted by the historic regulatory board. The board may continue the hearing until the next regularly scheduled meeting if further information or modifications to plans for proposed work are requested. However, the board shall make a decision at the continued hearing unless the applicant agrees to further delay.

    2. For applications for building demolitions, the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness may be delayed for up to sixty (60) days for the purpose of exploring alternatives to demolition, including relocation of the structure. Upon the request of the historic board, an additional sixty-day delay may be granted by the city commission with reference to the criteria for certificates of appropriateness for demolitions under section 23-652. In no case, however, shall a certificate of appropriateness for a demolition be denied.

    Sec. 23-227.4. Appeal of decision on certificate of appropriateness. See section 23-244.

(Ord. No. 2008-11, § 4, 5-20-08; Ord. No. 2008-31, 10-7-08; Ord. No. 2016-01, § 3, 01-19-16; Ord. No. 2021-20, § 1, 09-10-21; Ord. No. 2022-45, § 1, 10-04-22)