Chapter 16.01


16.01.010    Purpose.

16.01.020    Definitions.

16.01.030    Historical designation criteria.

16.01.040    Nominations.

16.01.050    Designation procedure.

16.01.060    Incentives.

16.01.070    Alteration or demolition of historical structures.

16.01.080    Special assessed valuation.

16.01.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the designation, protection, marking and use of those historic buildings, structures or sites that satisfy the criteria set forth in MICC 16.01.030, including to foster civic pride in the beauty and accomplishments of the past; stabilize and improve the economic values and vitality of historical buildings, structures and sites; and assist, encourage and provide incentives to property owners for the preservation, restoration, redevelopment and use of outstanding historic buildings, structures and sites. (Ord. 05C-09 § 1; Ord. 02-16 § 1).

16.01.020 Definitions.

The following terms shall have the following meanings for purposes of this chapter:

“Building” means a structure having a roof and attached to real property, which may be partially or entirely enclosed by walls.

“Historical designation” means the designation of a building, structure or site by the Mercer Island city council consistent with this chapter.

“Site” means a location of a significant or historic occupation, activity or event, or a building or structure, whether standing, ruined, or vanished, where the location itself possesses historic, cultural, or archaeological value regardless of the value of such building or structure.

“Structure” means anything that is built or constructed, an edifice or building of any kind, or any piece of work artificially built up or composed of parts joined together in some definite manner. (Ord. 05C-09 § 1; Ord. 02-16 § 1).

16.01.030 Historical designation criteria.

A historic building, structure or site may qualify for a historical designation if it is more than 50 years old and satisfies one or more of the following criteria:

A. It is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to national, state or local history; or

B. It is associated with the lives of persons significant in national, state or local history; or

C. It embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, style or method of design, architecture or construction.

Cemeteries, birthplaces, or graves of historical figures, structures located on properties owned by religious institutions or used for religious purposes, structures that have been moved from the structure’s original location, reconstructed historical buildings, structures and sites that have achieved significance within the past 50 years shall not be considered eligible for historical designation. (Ord. 05C-09 § 1; Ord. 02-16 § 1).

16.01.040 Nominations.

Nominations for historic designation of buildings, structures or sites located on private property may only be made by the private property owner(s). The Mercer Island historical society may nominate a building, structure or site located on public property for historic designation. (Ord. 05C-09 § 1; Ord. 02-16 § 1).

16.01.050 Designation procedure.

Upon receipt of the nomination, city staff shall make a preliminary determination as to whether or not the nomination satisfies the criteria set forth in MICC 16.01.030. Staff will consult with the Mercer Island historical society in making this determination. Staff will then make a recommendation to the city council for historical designation. The city council may approve, deny or amend the proposed historic designation at a public meeting based upon the council’s determination as to whether or not the proposed building, structure or site meets the criteria set forth in MICC 16.01.030. All historic designations shall be made by city council resolution. (Ord. 05C-09 § 1; Ord. 02-16 § 1).

16.01.060 Incentives.

The city may enter into developer agreements pursuant to RCW 36.70B.170 through 36.70B.210 with any property owner, in form and content acceptable to the city attorney, in order to provide incentives to a property owner to nominate or preserve a building, structure or site that satisfies the criteria of MICC 16.01.030, including without limitation allowing development rights and privileges pursuant to a developer agreement even if inconsistent with the MICC, street vacations, beneficial placement of public improvements, public amenities, and/or rezoning. Any development agreements will be reviewed and either approved, amended or denied by the city council after a public hearing pursuant to RCW 36.70B.200. (Ord. 05C-09 § 1; Ord. 02-16 § 1).

16.01.070 Alteration or demolition of historical structures.

The city will not approve any development proposal or otherwise issue any permit to alter, demolish, or relocate any building or structure that has received a historical designation unless the applicant is in compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Structures, 36 CFR Section 67.7 (“Standards for Rehabilitation”), as now existing or hereafter amended. A copy of the current Standards for Rehabilitation shall be maintained on file with the city clerk. (Ord. 02-16 § 1).

16.01.080 Special assessed valuation.

The city council shall be considered the “local review board” for purposes of RCW 84.26.020. In the event a building, structure or site receives a historical designation under this chapter, the owner of such building, structure or site may seek to have the property’s assessed value adjusted in compliance with all provisions of Chapter 84.26 RCW. All costs associated with processing a request for special assessed valuation through the local review board shall be borne by the applicant. (Ord. 05C-09 § 1; Ord. 02-16 § 1).