Chapter 18.85
H-1 HISTORIC PRESERVATION DISTRICT

Sections:

18.85.010    Purpose.

18.85.020    Definitions.

18.85.030    Creation of an historic preservation commission.

18.85.040    Recommendation and designation of historic districts.

18.85.050    Application to commission for certificate of appropriateness.

18.85.060    Maintenance and zoning code provisions.

18.85.010 Purpose.

The intent of this chapter is to promote and protect the health, safety, comfort, recreation, prosperity, and general welfare of the community through the identification, preservation, and enhancement of buildings, structures, sites, neighborhoods, landscapes, places and areas which have special historical, cultural, artistic, architectural or archaeological significance as provided by Section 15.1-503.2 of the Code of Virginia, as amended.

It is hereby recognized that the deterioration, destruction or alteration of such buildings, structures, sites, neighborhoods, landscapes, places, and areas may cause the permanent loss of unique resources which are of great value to the people of the city of Staunton, the state of Virginia and the nation, and that the special controls and incentives are warranted to ensure that such losses are avoided when possible.

The purposes for establishing this chapter are:

(1) To preserve and improve the quality of life for residents of the city by protecting familiar and reassuring visual elements in the area.

(2) To promote tourism investment and business growth by protecting historical and cultural resources attractive to visitors and thereby supporting local business and industry.

(3) To stabilize and improve property values by providing incentives for the upkeep and rehabilitation of older structures and by encouraging desirable uses and forms of economic development.

(4) To educate residents on the local cultural and historic heritage as embodied in the historic districts and properties and to foster a sense of pride in this heritage.

(5) To promote local historic preservation efforts and to encourage the identification and nomination of qualified historic properties and districts to the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register.

(6) To prevent the encroachment of additions or new buildings and structures which are architecturally incongruous with their environs within areas of architectural harmony and historic character.

(7) To recognize and develop the historic areas as integral parts of the city so that succeeding generations may build with the quality and sensitivity of past generations. (Zoning ordinance Art. 4, § 14).

18.85.020 Definitions.

The following definitions apply to this chapter:

(1) “Alteration” means any change, modification, or addition to a part of or all of the exterior of any building or structure.

(2) “Building” means any enclosed or open structure which is a combination of materials to form a construction for occupancy or use.

(3) “Building official” means that person appointed by the city manager as the individual who issues the permit for the construction, alteration, reconstruction, or demolition of all or part of any building.

(4) “Building permit” means an approval statement signed by the building official authorizing the construction, alteration, reconstruction, or demolition of all or part of any building.

(5) “Contributing properties” means properties so designated on the inventory map of historic districts and properties which is adopted as a part of this chapter, being generally those properties which by reason of form, materials, architectural details and relation to surrounding properties contribute favorably to the general character of the part of the historic district in which they are located.

(6) “Certificate of appropriateness” means the approval statement signed by the chairman of the historic preservation commission which certifies the appropriateness of a particular request for the construction, alteration, reconstruction, repair, restoration, or demolition of all or a part of any building within an historic district, subject to the issuance of all other regional permits needed for the matter sought to be accomplished.

(7) “Demolition” means the dismantling or tearing down of all or part of any building and all operations incidental thereto.

(8) “Exterior architectural features” means the architectural style, general design and general arrangement of the exterior of a building, structure or object, including, but not limited to, the kind or texture of the building material and the type and style of all windows, doors, signs, and other appurtenant architectural fixtures, details, features, or elements.

(9) “Exterior environmental features” means all those aspects of the landscape or the development of a site which affect the historical character of the property including trees, shrubbery, plantings, walks, fences, walls, signs, lights, and other appurtenances and elements.

(10) “Historic district” means a geographically definable area consisting of public and/or private property within the city, possessing a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of sites, buildings, structures, or objects united by past events or aesthetically by plan or physical development. A district may also comprise individual elements separated geographically but linked by association or history. An historic district shall further mean an area designated by the city council as an historic district pursuant to the criteria established in SCC 18.85.040(2) and (3).

(11) “Historic property” means an individual building, structure, site, or object including the adjacent area necessary for the proper appreciation thereof designated by the city council as an historic property pursuant to the criteria established in SCC 18.85.040(2) and (3).

(12) “Material change in appearance” means a change that will affect either the exterior architectural or environmental features of an historic property or any contributing or noncontributing building, structure, site, object, or landscape feature within an historic district, such as:

(a) Reconstruction or alteration of the size, shape, or facade of an historic building, including relocation of any doors or windows or removal or alteration of any architectural features, details, or elements.

(b) Demolition or relocation of an historic structure.

(c) Commencement of excavation for construction purposes.

(d) Change in the location of advertising visible from the public right-of-way.

(e) The erection, alteration, restoration or removal of any building or other structure within an historic property or district, including walls, fences, steps, and pavements, or other appurtenant features.

(f) New construction within an historic district.

(13) “New construction” means any construction within an historic district which is independent and exclusive of an existing building or structure or part thereof in the historic district.

(14) “Noncontributing properties” means properties so designated on the inventory map of historic districts and properties which is adopted as a part of this chapter, being generally those properties which by reason of age, condition, amount of alterations, form, materials, architectural details and relation to surrounding properties do not contribute favorably to the general character of the part of the historic district in which they are located.

(15) Object. An “object” is a material thing of functional, aesthetic, cultural, historical or scientific value that may be, by nature or design, movable yet related to a specific setting or environment.

(16) “Reconstruction” means any or all work needed to remake or rebuild all or a part of any building to a sound condition, but not necessarily of original materials.

(17) “Repairs” means any work or all work involving the replacement of existing material with equivalent material for the purpose of maintenance, but not including any addition, change or modification in construction.

(18) “Restoration” means any or all work connected with the returning to or restoring of a building, or part of any building, to its original condition through the use of original or nearly original materials.

(19) “Site” means the location of a significant event, a prehistoric or historical occupation or activity, or a building or structure, whether standing, ruined, or vanished, where the location itself maintains historical or archaeological value regardless of the value of any existing structure.

(20) “Structure” means anything manmade that is a work made up of interdependent and inter-related parts in a definite pattern of organization. (Zoning ordinance Art. 4, § 14).

18.85.030 Creation of an historic preservation commission.

(1) Creation of the Commission. There is hereby created a commission whose title shall be city of Staunton historic preservation commission (hereinafter “commission”).

(2) Commission Members – Number. The commission shall consist of five voting members appointed by the city council and shall be persons who have demonstrated special interest, experience or education in history, architecture or the preservation of historic resources. All members shall be residents of the city of Staunton.

(3) Commission Members – Qualifications. To the extent available in the city of Staunton, at least two members shall be appointed from among professionals in the disciplines of architecture, history, architectural history, planning, archaeology or related professions and at least one member shall be appointed from among professionals in the disciplines of building construction or real estate or the general business community.

(4) Commission Members – Terms. Members shall serve three-year terms. Members may be reappointed for consecutive terms. In order to achieve staggered terms, initial appointments shall be: one member for one year; two members for two years; and two members for three years. The term of any member who is also a member of the planning commission shall be concurrent with his/her appointment to the planning commission. A new appointment shall be made by the city council for any unexpired term within 60 days after it becomes vacant.

(5) Commission Members – Conflict of Interests. No member shall participate in the selection, award, or administration of a contract, vote, participate or otherwise engage in any other conduct or action which would violate the terms of the applicable provisions of the Virginia State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act, Sections 2.2-3100 through 2.2-3127 of the Code of Virginia.

(6) Commission Members – Removal. Any appointed member of the commission may be removed from office by the city council for inefficiency, neglect of duties, or malfeasance. An appointment to fill a vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term on the vacancy.

(7) Statement of the Commission’s Powers and Responsibilities. The commission shall have the following powers:

(a) To issue or deny certificates of appropriateness for any material change in appearance including construction, reconstruction, exterior alteration, demolition, or relocation of contributing or noncontributing properties within the historic districts and for individually designated historic properties with the exceptions of ordinary maintenance and repair items listed in SCC 18.85.060;

(b) To assist and advise the city council, the planning commission, and other city departments, agencies, and property owners in matters involving historically significant sites and buildings or other properties in historic districts. Upon request of the commission and with approval of the city manager, the departments, agencies, boards, commissions, and other offices of city government shall furnish to the commission such available information and render it such service as may be required for the exercise of the powers and performance of the duties and functions of the commission. All city departments and agencies responsible for individually designated historic properties or for properties within an historic district shall make application to the commission for review and recommendation for any project related to construction, reconstruction, substantial exterior alteration, demolition, or relocation;

(c) To continuously evaluate and recommend to the planning commission and the city council specific places, areas, neighborhoods, landscapes, sites, buildings, structures, or objects to be designated by ordinance as historic properties or historic districts;

(d) Adopt standards or guidelines for review and approval by the city council to supplement the standards set forth in this chapter;

(e) Conduct educational programs on historic properties and districts located within the city of Staunton and on general historic preservation activities;

(f) Prepare and submit an annual budget to the city council and seek out local, state, federal, or private funds for historic preservation with consent of the city council, and make recommendations to the city council concerning the most appropriate uses of any funds acquired;

(g) Receive donations, grants, funds, or gifts of historic property and acquire and sell historic properties. The commission shall not obligate the city of Staunton without prior consent and the commission shall ensure that these funds do not displace any appropriated governmental funds;

(h) Employ qualified persons, if necessary, to advise and assist the commission within the limits of funds that may be made available to the commission for the performance of its work;

(i) Review and make comments to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources concerning the nomination of districts and properties within its jurisdiction to the National Register of Historic Places and to the Virginia Landmarks Register with consent of the city council;

(j) Participate in private, state and federal historic preservation programs and with the consent of the city council enter into agreements to do the same; and

(k) Perform other historic preservation activities as the official agency of the city of Staunton’s historic preservation program.

(8) Commission’s Power to Adopt Rules and Standards. The commission shall adopt rules and standards for the transaction of its business such as bylaws and design guidelines and criteria without amendment to this chapter as approved by city council. The commission shall provide for the time and place of regular meetings and a method for the calling of special meetings. The commission shall select such officers as it deems appropriate from among its members. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the members.

(9) Records of Commission Meetings and Annual Report. A public record shall be kept of the commission’s resolutions, proceedings, and actions and the commission shall make an annual report with recommendations to the planning commission and the city council concerning the operation of the commission and the status of historic preservation within the city. (Ord. 2005-30. Zoning ordinance Art. 4, § 14).

18.85.040 Recommendation and designation of historic districts.

(1) Preliminary Research by Commission.

(a) Inventory Map of Local Historical Resources Established. The commission shall prepare and recommend for adoption as a part of this chapter an inventory map covering the areas to be considered for inclusion as historic districts and/or historic properties and based upon the criteria set forth in this chapter. This map, hereinafter called the inventory map, when adopted shall be as much a part of this chapter as if fully described herein and shall be filed as a part of this chapter. All structures shall be considered as contributing or noncontributing structures for the purposes of this chapter. Structures or sites designated as properties which contribute to the historic character of the city shall be known as contributing properties for the purpose of this chapter. Structures or sites not designated as contributing properties shall be known as noncontributing properties. The inventory map may be amended from time to time in the same manner as the zoning district map. The commission shall compile and collect such information and conduct surveys of historic resources within the city of Staunton with the assistance of Historic Staunton Foundation.

(b) Commission’s Power to Recommend Districts and Buildings to the City Council. The commission shall present to the city council recommendations for historic districts and historic properties.

(c) Commission’s Documentation of Proposed Designation. Prior to the commission’s recommendation of an historic district or historic property to the city council for designation, the commission shall prepare a report for nomination consisting of a completed National Register of Historic Places nomination or:

(i) A physical description;

(ii) A statement of the historical, cultural, architectural and/or aesthetic significance;

(iii) A map showing historic district boundaries and classification (i.e., contributing, noncontributing) of individual properties therein, or showing boundaries of individual historic properties;

(iv) A statement justifying district or individual property boundaries; and

(v) Representative photographs.

(2) Designation of an Historic District or Historic Property.

(a) Criteria for Selection of Historic District. An historic district is a geographically definable area, which contains buildings, structures, sites, objects, and landscape features or a combination thereof, which:

(i) Have special character or special historic/aesthetic value or interest;

(ii) Represent one or more periods, styles, or types of architecture typical of one or more eras in the history of the city, state, or region; and

(iii) Cause such area, by reason of such factors, to constitute a visibly perceptible section of the city.

(b) Criteria for Selection of an Historic Property. An historic property is a building, structure, site, or object, including the adjacent area necessary for the proper appreciation or use thereof, deemed worthy of preservation by reason of value to the city, state, or region, for one of the following reasons:

(i) It is an outstanding example of a structure representative of its era;

(ii) It is one of the few remaining examples of a past architectural style;

(iii) It is a place or structure associated with an event or persons of historic or cultural significance to the city, state, or the region; or

(iv) It is a site of natural or aesthetic interest that is continuing to contribute to the cultural or historical development and heritage of the city, state, or region.

(c) Boundaries of an Historic District or Historic Property. Boundaries of an historic district or an historic property shall be included in the separate ordinances designating such districts and properties and shall be shown on the official zoning map of the city of Staunton.

(3) Requirements for Adopting an Ordinance for the Designation of Historic Districts and Historic Properties.

(a) Application for Designation of Historic Districts or Property. Designations may be proposed by the city council, the planning commission, the commission, Historic Staunton Foundation, neighborhood associations, group of property owners, or individual property owners.

(b) Required Components of a Designation Ordinance. Any ordinance designating any property or district as historic shall:

(i) List each property in a proposed historic district or describe the proposed individual historic property;

(ii) Set forth the name(s) of the owner(s) of the designated property or properties;

(iii) Require that the property or district be shown on the official zoning map of the city of Staunton, Virginia, and kept as a public record to provide notice of such designation.

(c) Required Public Hearings for Designation. Requests for the designation of historic districts or historic properties or for the termination of any district or property designation previously created shall be made in the same manner provided in this title for the amendment, supplementation or changing zoning designations, and the procedure for such amendments or designations and the establishment of such district shall be in accordance with the provisions of Article 8 (Section 15.1-486 et seq.), Chapter 11 of Title 15.1 of the Code of Virginia, as amended. Virginia Code Section 15.1-493 contains the procedures for amending a local zoning code. It sets forth six basic steps for zoning amendments:

(i) The planning commission prepares the proposed amendment after consultation and a recommendation from the historic preservation commission;

(ii) The planning commission, after providing notice in accordance with Section 15.2-2204 of the Code of Virginia, holds a public hearing on the proposal;

(iii) The planning commission presents the proposal to the city council, with its recommendations;

(iv) The city council, after providing notice in accordance with Section 15.2-2204 of the Code of Virginia, holds a public hearing on the proposal;

(v) If the amendment is adopted, it must be enacted in the same manner as all other ordinances; and

(vi) Any person, firm, or corporation aggrieved by the decision may file an action contesting the city council’s adoption or failure to adopt a proposed zoning amendment within 30 days of the decision in the circuit court which has jurisdiction of the land affected by the decision.

(d) Recording Requirement for Historic Districts or Historic Properties. Following the creation of each historic district or historic property, a copy of the resolution creating such district or property, and a boundary description of such district, shall be filed by the senior planner with the clerk of circuit court for the city of Staunton.

(e) Notification of Adoption of Ordinance for Designation. Within 30 days following the adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter for designation by the city council, the owners of each designated historic property, and the owners and occupants of each building, structure, site, or object located within a designated historic district, shall be given written notification of such designation by the commission which notice shall apprise said owners and occupants of the necessity of obtaining a certificate of appropriateness prior to undertaking any material change in appearance of the historic property designated or within the historic district designated.

(f) Notification of Other Agencies Regarding Designation. The commission shall notify all necessary agencies within the city of Staunton of the ordinance for designation.

(g) Ordinance Relation to City Codes and Other Ordinances. Whenever the regulations of this chapter require more restrictive standards than are required in or under any other statute or ordinance, the requirements of this chapter shall govern. Whenever the provisions of any other statute or ordinance require more restrictive standards than are required by this chapter, the provisions of such statute or ordinance shall govern.

(4) Designation of Existing Historic Districts.

(a) Upon the effective date of the adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter, the following districts situated within the city of Staunton, Virginia, all of which are presently shown and registered with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and the National Register of Historic Places and all of which are shown on the “Map of Staunton’s National Register Historic Districts,” a copy of which is on file at the city of Staunton’s Department of Planning and Inspections, are hereby designated as historic districts, including:

(i) The Newtown Historic District;

(ii) The Stuart Addition Historic District;

(iii) The Beverley Historic District;

(iv) The Gospel Hill Historic District;

(v) The Wharf Historic District.

(b) Upon the effective date of the adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter, the districts hereby created, as their boundaries are now shown on the “Map of Staunton’s National Register Historic Districts,” shall be overlaid onto the existing underlying zoning of such areas on the official zoning map of the city of Staunton. (Ord. 2017-03. Zoning ordinance Art. 4, § 14).

18.85.050 Application to commission for certificate of appropriateness.

(1) Approval of Material Change in Appearance in Historic Districts or Involving Historic Properties. After the designation by ordinance of an historic property or of an historic district, no material change including construction, reconstruction, exterior alteration, demolition, or relocation that affects the appearance of such historic property, or of a contributing or noncontributing building, structure, site or object within such historic district, shall be made or be permitted to be made by the owner or occupant thereof, unless or until the application for a certificate of appropriateness has been submitted to and approved by the commission. A certificate of appropriateness shall be required whether or not a building permit is required. Ordinary maintenance and repair items such as those listed in SCC 18.85.060 are exempt from review.

(2) Pre-Application Conference with Staff. Prior to the formal submission of a proposed plan of erection, demolition, alteration, or removal of buildings controlled by this chapter, the applicant or his or her representative is encouraged to meet with the designated staff of the commission concerning the proposed plan of action and submit unofficial preliminary studies, a written description, drawings, photographs, and plans of the concept of the proposed action for tentative review, comments, and recommendations.

(3) Submission of Plans to Commission. An application for a certificate of appropriateness shall be accompanied by a written description, drawings, photographs, plans, and documentation as required by the commission and as further set forth on the application for the certificate of appropriateness. Upon the filing of a complete application and the payment of the application fee no later than the first Tuesday of the month, the application shall be considered at that month’s commission meeting. An application filed or application fee paid after such first Tuesday shall cause such application to be considered at the following month’s commission meeting.

(4) Interior Alterations. In its review of applications for certificate of appropriateness, the commission shall not consider interior arrangement or use having no effect on exterior architectural features.

(5) Technical Advice. The commission shall have the power to seek technical advice from outside its members on any application subject to funds being available for such purposes.

(6) Public Meetings on Applications for Certificate of Appropriateness, Notices, and Right to be Heard. The commission shall hold a public meeting at which each proposed certificate of appropriateness is discussed. Notice of the meeting shall be mailed by the commission to all owners and occupants of the proposed property. The commission shall give the property owner and/or applicant and any other interested party an opportunity to be heard at the meeting.

(7) Commission Options. The commission may approve the certificate of appropriateness as proposed, approve the certificate of appropriateness with any modifications it deems necessary, or reject it.

The commission shall approve the application and issue a certificate of appropriateness if it finds that the proposed material change(s) in the appearance would not have a substantial adverse effect on the aesthetic, cultural, historic, or architectural significance and value of the historic property or the historic district. In making this determination, the commission shall consider, in addition to any other pertinent factors, the following criteria for each of the following acts:

(a) Reconstruction, Alteration, New Construction, or Renovation. The commission shall issue certificates of appropriateness for the above proposed actions if those actions conform in design, scale, building material, setback and landscaping and to the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings, a copy of which is attached hereto as an appendix and hereby incorporated by reference.

(b) Relocation Criteria. A decision by the commission approving or denying a certificate of appropriateness for the relocation of a building, structure, or object shall be guided by:

(i) The historic, scenic, cultural, aesthetic or architectural significance of the building, structure, site, or object.

(ii) The importance of the building, structure, site, or object to the ambiance of a district.

(iii) Whether there are definite plans for the property to be vacated and what the effect of those plans on the character of the surrounding area will be.

(iv) Whether the building, structure, or object can be moved without significant damage to its physical integrity.

(v) Whether the proposed relocation area is compatible with the scenic, cultural, aesthetic, historical, and architectural character of the building, structure, site, or object.

(c) Demolition Criteria. A decision by the commission approving or denying a certificate of appropriateness for the demolition of buildings, structures, sites, or objects shall be guided by:

(i) The historic, scenic, cultural, aesthetic or architectural significance of the building, structure, site, or object.

(ii) The importance of the building, structure, site, or object to the ambiance of a district.

(iii) The difficulty or the impossibility of reproducing such a building, structure, site, or object because of its design, texture, material, detail, or unique location.

(iv) Whether the building, structure, site, or object is one of the last remaining examples of its kind in the neighborhood or the city.

(v) Whether there are definite plans for reuse of the property if the proposed demolition is carried out, and what the effect of those plans on the character of the surrounding area would be.

(vi) Whether reasonable measures can be taken to save the building, structure, site, or object from collapse.

(vii) Whether the building, structure, site, or object is capable of earning reasonable economic return on its value.

(d) Applications for Demolition. In the case of an application for demolition, if preservation is found by the commission to be physically or economically unfeasible, the commission shall issue the certificate of appropriateness. If preservation is found to be both physically and economically feasible, the commission shall take or promote the taking of whatever public or private action that seems likely to lead to such preservation, either on the site on which the structure is located or on another site to which it might appropriately be moved. Where preservation is feasible but the applicant still seeks demolition, the following provisions of subsection (7)(a)(v), Right to Demolish, from the Code of Virginia may be undertaken while alternatives for preservation are sought.

(e) Right to Demolish. The owner of an historic property or the owner of a building, structure, site, or object in any historic district, shall, as a matter of right, be entitled to raze or demolish such building, or structure; provided, that:

(i) The owner has applied to the commission for such right. If the demolition request is denied by the commission, the owner may appeal this decision to the city council;

(ii) The owner has, for the period of time set forth in the same schedule hereinafter contained and at a price reasonably related to its fair market value, made a bona fide offer to sell such building, structure, site, or object, and the land pertaining therein to such city or municipality or to any person, firm, corporation, government, or agency thereof, or political subdivision or agency thereof, which gives reasonable assurance that it is willing to preserve and restore the building, structure, site or object, and the land pertaining thereto;

(iii) No bona fide contract, binding upon all parties thereto, shall have been executed for the sale of any such building, or structure, and the land pertaining thereto, prior to the expiration of the applicable time period set forth in the time schedule hereinafter contained. Any appeal which may be taken to the court from the decision of the city council, whether instituted by the owner or by any other proper party, notwithstanding the provisions heretofore stated relating to a stay of the decision appealed from, shall not affect the right of the owner to make the bona fide offer to sell referred to above;

(iv) No offer to sell shall be made more than one year after a final decision by the city council, but thereafter the owner may renew his request to the commission to approve the demolition of the historic landmark, building, or structure. The time schedule for offers to sell shall be as follows: three months when the offering price is less than $25,000; four months when the offering price is $25,000 or more but less than $40,000; five months when the offering price is $40,000 or more but less than $55,000; six months when the offering price is $55,000 or more but less than $75,000; seven months when the offering price is $75,000 or more but less than $90,000; and 12 months when the offering price is $90,000 or more.

(f) Undue Hardship. The commission shall have the power to reduce or suspend any of the requirements of this chapter, if the property presents special circumstances whereby the strict compliance of this chapter will produce an undue hardship or if the spirit of the chapter has been met and deviation has been deemed to be in the best interest of the city.

(g) Approval or Rejection of Application for Certificate of Appropriateness. The commission shall approve or reject an application for a certificate of appropriateness at the meeting when the item is heard as prescribed in subsection (3) of this section. Failure of the commission to act shall constitute approval, and the certificate of appropriateness shall be issued, unless the applicant agrees to an extension of time in writing. Evidence of approval shall be by a certificate of appropriateness issued by the commission. Notice of the issuance of approval or denial of a certificate of appropriateness shall be sent by the United States mail to the applicant and all other persons who have requested such notice in writing filed with the commission within 15 calendar days of the date of the decision.

(h) Necessary Action to be Taken by the Commission upon Rejection of Application for Certificate of Appropriateness.

(i) In the event the commission rejects an application, it shall state its reasons for doing so, and shall transmit a record of such actions and reasons, in writing, to the applicant. The commission may suggest alternative courses of action it thinks proper if it disapproves of the application submitted. The applicant, if he or she so desires, may make modifications to the plans and may resubmit the application at any time after doing so.

(ii) In cases where the application covers a material change in the appearance of a structure which would require the issuance of a building permit, the rejection of the application for a certificate of appropriateness by the commission shall be binding upon the building official or other administrative officer charged with issuing building permits and, in such a case, no building permit shall be issued.

(i) Requirement of Conformance with Certificate of Appropriateness. All work performed pursuant to an issued certificate of appropriateness shall conform to the requirements of such certificate. When a certificate of appropriateness has been issued, the building official may from time to time inspect the alteration or construction approved by such certificate and shall give prompt notice to the applicant of any work not in accordance with such certificate or violating any ordinances of the city. The building official may revoke the certificate or the building permit if violations are not corrected by the applicant in a timely manner.

(j) Certificate of Appropriateness Time Constraints.

(i) Certificates of appropriateness shall be issued for a period of 12 months. On written request from an applicant, the commission may grant a single extension of its approval for a period of up to one additional year if, based upon submissions from the applicant, the commission finds that conditions on the site and in the area of the proposed project are essentially the same as when approval originally was granted.

(ii) Any certificate of appropriateness shall also expire and become null and void if such authorized work is suspended or abandoned for a period of 12 months after being commenced. Any period or periods of time during which the right to use any such certificate or permit is stayed pursuant to this chapter shall be excluded from the computation of the 12 months.

(k) Recording of Applications for Certificate of Appropriateness. The commission shall keep a public record of all applications for certificates of appropriateness, and of all the commission’s proceedings in connection with said application.

(l) Acquisition of Property. The commission may, where such action is authorized by the city council and is reasonably necessary or appropriate for the preservation of a unique historic property, enter into negotiations with the owner for the acquisition by gift, purchase, exchange, or otherwise, to the property or any interest therein.

(m) Appeals.

(i) An appeal from a decision of the commission may be taken to the city council by the owner of the property in question or by any person, firm, or corporation aggrieved by said decision. This appeal must be filed within 30 days of the commission’s decision and the city council will hear such appeal at its next regularly scheduled meeting to be held at least 14 days after the appeal is filed. In exercising its powers, the city council may, in conformity with the provisions of this chapter, reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify, any order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from and make such order, requirement, decision or determination as ought to be made and to that end shall have all the powers of the commission.

(ii) If the city council fails to approve the application, an appeal may be filed by the property owner or any aggrieved person, firm, or corporation with the Staunton Circuit Court within 30 days of the city council decision.

(n) Notwithstanding the foregoing, however, a certificate of appropriateness may be granted for signs by the director of planning without submission to the commission as a whole unless, in the discretion of the director, the application should be reviewed by the whole commission. Appeals from the decision of the director hereunder shall be processed as set forth in subsection (7)(m) of this section. (Ord. 2005-32; Ord. 1-8-98. Zoning ordinance Art. 4, § 14).

18.85.060 Maintenance and zoning code provisions.

(1) Ordinary Maintenance or Repair. Ordinary maintenance or repair of any exterior architectural or environmental feature in or on an historic property or a building, structure, site or object within an historic district to correct deterioration, decay or damage, or to sustain the existing form, and that does not involve a material change in design, material or outer appearance thereof, does not require a certificate of appropriateness.

Such actions shall include the following and any similar actions which in the opinion of the commission or its designated staff will have no more effect on the character of the district than those listed:

(a) Repainting resulting in the same or in a different color. (Original painting of masonry surfaces is not exempted from review.)

(b) Replacing broken window panes, missing roof shingles, or missing features with matching in-kind materials.

(c) Addition or deletion of storm windows and doors, window-box gardens, awnings, temporary canopies, window air conditioners, or similar appurtenances.

(d) Addition or deletion of television or radio antennas, skylights or solar collectors in locations not visible from a public street.

(e) Planting of grass, trees and shrubs, but not including landscape treatment which substantially alters the contour of a site or involves landscaping or construction of parking areas, fences, walls, walkways, pools, fountains and the like which materially affect the appearance of a site and which is visible from a public street.

(f) Any changes to a structure which are not visible from a public street.

Provided, however, that the commission or designated staff shall have authority to order that work be stopped and that an appropriate application be filed for review in any case where in his/her opinion the action may produce the loss or irreparable changes to character-defining features of the building or arresting and spectacular effects, violent contrasts of materials or colors and intense and lurid colors or patterns, or a multiplicity of incongruous details clearly inconsistent with the character of the present structures or with the prevailing character of the surroundings and the historic district.

(2) Failure to Provide Ordinary Maintenance or Repair. Property owners of historic properties or properties within historic districts shall not allow their buildings to deteriorate by failing to provide ordinary maintenance or repair. The commission shall be charged with the following responsibilities regarding deterioration by neglect:

(a) The commission shall monitor the condition of historic properties and existing buildings, structures, sites, and objects in historic districts to determine if they are being allowed to deteriorate by neglect.

Examples of such decay, deterioration or defects which, in the opinion of the commission, may result in the irreparable deterioration of any exterior appurtenance or architectural feature or produce a detrimental effect upon the character of the district as a whole or upon the life and character of the structure itself, include but are not limited to:

(i) The deterioration of exterior walls or other vertical supports;

(ii) The deterioration of roofs or other horizontal members;

(iii) The deterioration of exterior chimneys;

(iv) The deterioration or crumbling of exterior plaster or mortar;

(v) The ineffective waterproofing of exterior walls, roofs, and foundations, including broken windows or doors;

(vi) The peeling of paint, rotting, holes and other forms of decay;

(vii) The lack of maintenance of surrounding environment, e.g., fences, gates, sidewalks, steps, signs, accessory structures, and landscaping;

(viii) The deterioration of any feature so as to create or permit the creation of any hazardous or unsafe condition or conditions; or

(ix) Signs that are not in good condition may be removed by the building official if not repaired by the owner within six months of a written request.

(b) In the event the commission determines a failure to provide ordinary maintenance or repair, the commission will notify the owner of the property and set forth the steps which need to be taken to remedy the situation. The owner of such property will have 30 days in which to begin corrective action of the situation and completion shall be done in a timely manner. Thereafter, each day during which there exists any violation of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punishable as provided in Division IV of this title.

(c) In addition to the remedies set forth above and, at the direction of the city council, the commission may request that staff after due notice to the owner, to enter the property and make or cause to be made such maintenance or repair as is necessary to prevent deterioration by neglect. The owner of the property shall be liable for the cost of such maintenance and repair performed by the commission and staff. If these costs are not paid by the owner within 60 days, a lien shall be placed against the property.

(3) Affirmation of Existing Building and Zoning Codes. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as to exempt property owners from complying with existing city building and zoning codes, nor to prevent any property owner from making any use of his property not prohibited by other statutes, ordinances or regulations. (Zoning ordinance Art. 4, § 14).