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Regulation of Construction Work
Any act or process that materially changes one or more of the architectural features of a structure, other than a temporary sign, including but not limited to, erection, construction, reconstruction, removal, or a material change to the color or texture.

Certificate of Appropriateness
No owner or person in charge of a historic structure, historic site or structure within a historic district shall reconstruct, alter or demolish all or any part of the visible surface of such property or construct any improvement having a visible surface upon such property or cause or permit any such work to be performed upon such property unless a certificate of appropriateness has been issued authorizing such work.

Ordinary maintenance and repairs may be undertaken without a certificate of appropriateness provided that the work does not alter a historic structure or site and does not require the issuance of a building permit per the City’s Building Regulations.

The Building Inspector shall establish procedures to monitor alterations to the visible surface of a historic structure, historic site or structure within a historic district and shall report all such alterations to the Commission. 

Criteria for Approval
Upon filing of any application for a certificate of appropriateness, the Commission, or the Building Inspector in a case falling within the administrative approval authority of the Building Inspector, shall within 45 days determine if the proposed changes are consistent with the character and features of the property or district, and approve the issuance of the certificate of appropriateness unless: 

  • In the case of a designated historic structure or historic site, the proposed work would detrimentally change, destroy or adversely affect any exterior feature of the improvement or site upon which said work is to be done; 
  • In the case of the construction of a new improvement upon a historic site, or within a historic district, the exterior of such improvement would adversely affect or not harmonize with the external appearance of other neighboring improvements on such site or within the district; 
  • In the case of any property located in a historic district, the proposed construction, reconstruction, alteration or demolition does not conform to the purpose and intent of this Chapter and to the objectives and design criteria of the historic preservation plan for said district;
  • The building or structure is of such architectural or historical significance that its demolition would be detrimental to the public interest and contrary to the general welfare of the people of the City and the State;
  • In the case of a request for the demolition of a deteriorated building or structure, any economic hardship or difficulty claimed by the owner is self-created or is the result of any failure to maintain the property in good repair. 

Fees
The fee for issuance of a certificate of appropriateness and for actions required to comply with these regulations shall be established from time to time by resolution of the common council. See Fee Schedule

Approval Process
Approval by Commission: no certificate of appropriateness shall be issued until the issuance thereof has been approved by the Commission. 

Administrative Authority of Building Inspector exception: the Commission may by resolution delegate to the Building Inspector authority to administratively issue a certificate of appropriateness for an alteration if such alteration falls within a class of work that has been clearly identified and appropriately defined by the Commission as work that may be approved administratively by the Building Inspector. Issuance of a certificate of appropriateness for such work by the Building Inspector shall be deemed for all purposes to be approval thereof by the Commission. 

The following items can be administratively approved by the Building Inspector per resolution:

  • Roof repair or replacement with like color & materials
  • Gutter repair/replacement with like materials & styles
  • Sidewalk & driveway repair/replacement with like materials
  • Stair and stoop repair/replacement with like materials
  • Chimney repair & tuck pointing if like color, design & materials
  • Signage repair/replacement with like color, materials & typeset
  • Painting with like colors and materials
  • HVAC repair/replacement
  • Awning repair/replacement with like color and materials
  • Soffit & facia repair/maintenance with like colors and materials
  • Window repair with like colors and materials
  • Minor repairs & maintenance with like colors and materials

Issuance of Certificate of Appropriateness
Upon approval of an alteration and fulfillment of all conditions placed upon such approval the Building Inspector shall issue a certificate of appropriateness.

Other City Permits
Issuance of a certificate of appropriateness shall not relieve the applicant from obtaining other permits and approvals required by the City. A building or other City permit needed to perform work on the visible surface of a historic structure, historic site or structure within a historic district shall be invalid if it is obtained without the presentation of the certificate of appropriateness required for the proposed work.

Appeals
Should the Building Inspector, in a case falling within the administrative approval authority of the Building Inspector, fail to approve a certificate of appropriateness, the applicant may appeal such decision to the Commission within 30 days.

Should the Commission fail to approve a certificate of appropriateness, the applicant may appeal such decision to the common council within 30 days.

In addition, if the Commission fails to approve a certificate of appropriateness, the Commission shall, with the cooperation of the applicant, work with the applicant in an attempt to obtain a certificate of appropriateness within the guidelines of this Chapter.

Violations
Any person or persons violating any provision of the Historic Preservation Regulations shall be fined fifty dollars ($50.00) for each separate violation. Each and every day during which a violation continues shall be deemed to be a separate offense. Notice of violations shall be issued by the Building Inspector.