Chapter 2.96
SNOHOMISH COUNTY HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION

Sections:

2.96.010    Creation and purpose.

2.96.015    Definitions.

2.96.020    Membership.

2.96.030    Powers and duties.

2.96.040    Notice of commission meeting.

2.96.050    Compensation.

2.96.060    Rules.

2.96.070    Officers.

2.96.080    Staff.

2.96.010 Creation and purpose.

The Snohomish County Historic Preservation Commission is established to perform the following tasks:

(1) Identify, evaluate, and designate historic resources in accordance with chapter 30.32D SCC;

(2) Protect archaeological and historic resources;

(3) Provide historic preservation information services;

(4) Establish one or more classes of historic property eligible for special valuation pursuant to chapter 84.26 RCW and chapter 4.31 SCC; and

(5) Foster civic pride in the beauty and accomplishments of the past, and a sense of identity with county history.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-038, December 13, 2006, Eff date Jan. 5, 2007)

2.96.015 Definitions.

The following terms have special meaning in this chapter:

(1) "Commission" means the Snohomish County Historic Preservation Commission as created in this chapter.

(2) "Historic district" means historic property consisting of multiple buildings, structures, sites or objects located in proximity to one another and related in historic period or theme.

(3) "Historic property" means real property together with any improvements, except property listed in a register primarily for objects buried below ground, which is listed in the local register, certified by the United States Secretary of the Interior as provided in 16 U.S.C. 470, or listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

(4) "Local register" or "county register" means the Snohomish County Register of Historic Places created by chapter 30.32D SCC.

(5) "Local review board" as referenced in chapter 84.26 RCW and chapter 254-20 WAC for the special valuation of historic properties refers to the Snohomish County Historic Preservation Commission created in chapter 2.96 SCC.

(6) "National register" or "National Register of Historic Places" means the register maintained by the United States Secretary of the Interior composed of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects significant in American history, architectural history, archaeology, engineering, and culture.

(7) "Snohomish County Historic Resources Inventory" means the comprehensive inventory of historic resources within the boundaries of Snohomish County, including properties listed on the local, state and national registers of historic places and those not yet listed but worthy of evaluation by the commission for future listing on the local, state or national registers.

(8) "State register" means the Washington Heritage Register, which is maintained by the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation composed of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects significant in Washington State history, architectural history, engineering, and culture.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-038, December 13, 2006, Eff date Jan. 5, 2007)

2.96.020 Membership.

(1) The commission shall consist of nine regular members and an unspecified number of special members selected as follows:

(a) The nine regular members shall be recommended by the county executive and appointed by the county council pursuant to chapter 2.03 SCC. At least one regular member shall be from each council district. Names for membership consideration may be submitted to the county executive from any source. The county executive shall notify Snohomish County heritage and development-related organizations of vacancies so that names of interested and qualified individuals may be submitted by such organizations for consideration;

(b) Where possible at least two members shall have professional experience in identifying, evaluating, and protecting historic resources and be selected from among the disciplines of history, architecture, architectural history, historic preservation, planning, cultural anthropology, archaeology, cultural geography, American studies, law or real estate.

(c) Members shall be residents of Snohomish County except as approved by the county executive and Snohomish County Council, provided that exception to the residency requirement for commission members may be granted in order to obtain representatives from the disciplines of history, architecture, architectural history, historic preservation, planning, cultural anthropology, archaeology, cultural geography, American studies, law or real estate

(d) Regular members of the commission shall have a demonstrated interest and competence in historic preservation and heritage issues and possess qualities of impartiality and broad judgment.

(e) Regular members shall be selected without respect to political affiliations.

(f) One special member shall be appointed from each municipality within Snohomish County that executes an interlocal agreement with the county to provide the municipality with the services designated in SCC 2.96.030(1)-(5).

(i) The appointment of special members shall be made pursuant to the enabling ordinance adopted by each municipality.

(ii) Special members shall be appointed to a three year term.

(iii) A special member of the commission shall be a voting member solely on matters before the commission involving the designation of historic properties within the municipality from which the special member was appointed.

(2) Term of service for regular members.

(a) The original appointment of members to the commission shall be as follows: three for two years, three for three years, and three for four years. Appointments thereafter shall be made for three year terms.

(b) Vacancies for any unexpired term shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term.

(3) Commission action that would otherwise be valid shall not be rendered invalid by the temporary vacancy of one or more positions as long as a quorum of a majority of the regular members of the commission is present. A special member shall count as part of a quorum for the vote on any matter involving the designation of historic properties within the municipality from which the special member was appointed.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-038, December 13, 2006, Eff date Jan. 5, 2007)

2.96.030 Powers and duties.

The commission shall have the following powers and duties:

(1) Survey historic resources and maintain, publicize and periodically update a comprehensive inventory of those resources within the boundaries of Snohomish County to be known as the Snohomish County Historic Resources Inventory.

(2) Solicit, review, and evaluate nominations to the local register and National Register of Historic Places as provided in chapter 30.32D SCC and in the National Historic Preservation Act, 16 U.S.C. 470. Designate to the local register, with owner consent, such buildings, sites, structures, objects, and districts identified by the commission as having historic significance worthy of recognition by Snohomish County according to the criteria listed in SCC 30.32D.040.

(3) Review proposals to modify, remodel, move, demolish, or significantly affect properties or districts on the register as provided in chapter 30.32D SCC, and issue certificates of appropriateness or waivers of certificates of appropriateness.

(4) Review and make recommendations to staff and/or county council regarding applications for approvals, permits, environmental assessments or impact statements and other similar documents pertaining to identified local, state and national registered sites.

(5) Conduct and participate in public information, educational, interpretive, and recognition-of-excellence programs pertaining to archaeological sites and historic properties.

(6) Exercise the powers and duties contained in SCC 2.96.030(1)-(5) for incorporated cities that have executed interlocal agreements with Snohomish County for historic preservation services.

(7) Serve as the local review board for special valuation pursuant to chapter 84.26 RCW, WAC 254-20-060, and WAC 254-20-070 as follows:

(a) Make determinations concerning the eligibility of individual properties for special valuation.

(b) Verify that improvements are consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings, referred to in WAC 254-20-100 and used by the Washington State Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and by the commission.

(c) Enter into agreements pursuant to WAC 254-20-070(2).

(d) Approve or deny applications for special valuation.

(e) Monitor property for continued compliance with agreements entered into under SCC 2.96.030(7)(c) and statutory eligibility requirements.

(f) Following receipt of an application for special valuation from the county assessor, the commission shall, consistent with its adopted administrative rules, determine if the property meets the criteria for special valuation as set forth in SCC 4.31.050, and has not been altered in any way that adversely affects those elements that qualify it as historically significant.

(g) If the commission finds that the property satisfies the criteria set forth in SCC 2.96.030(7)(f), it shall, on behalf of Snohomish County, enter into an agreement with the owner that, at a minimum, includes the provisions set forth in WAC 254-20-120. Upon execution of said agreement between the owner and the commission, the commission shall approve the application for special valuation.

(h) If the commission determines that the property does not meet all of the requirements for special valuation, then it shall deny the application.

(i) An application for special valuation submitted pursuant to SCC 4.31.060 shall be approved or denied by the commission before December 31 of the calendar year in which the application is made. The commission shall certify its decision in writing and state the facts upon which the approval or denial is based. The commission shall file a copy of the certification with the county assessor within ten days of issuing a decision.

(j) If the application is approved, the commission shall forward a copy of the agreement, the application, and supporting documentation as required by WAC 254-20-090(4) to the county assessor for recording and shall notify the state review board that the property has been approved for special valuation.

(k) Once an application for special valuation has been approved, the commission shall determine, according to its bylaws and rules of procedure, whether the property has become disqualified, either because of the owner’s failure to comply with the terms of the agreement, or because of a loss of historic value resulting from physical changes to the building or site. In the event that the commission concludes that a property is no longer qualified for special valuation, it shall notify the owner, the county assessor, and the state review board in writing and state the facts supporting its findings.

(8) Make recommendations to the county council for use of funds available for historic preservation or historical programs under RCW 36.22.170 following an application process to be developed by the commission and approved by the council. In addition to other elements determined appropriate by the commission, the application process shall include:

(a) provision for technical assistance by county economic development program staff, if any;

(b) a means of comparing and evaluating applications, and making recommendations on a competitive basis;

(c) a procedure for prioritizing projects and stating priorities in commission recommendations; and

(d) one or more application deadlines, with recommendations to be submitted to the council on an annual basis; provided that the council may exempt specific projects from application deadlines or commission review.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-038, December 13, 2006, Eff date Jan. 5, 2007; Amended by Ord. 08-153, Mar 4, 2009, Eff date Mar 19, 2009)

2.96.040 Notice of commission meeting.

Notice of a public meeting shall be given to the public and the owners and lessees of any property to be affected by commission action at least 10 days before the meeting. Such notice shall include a letter to the property owner and lessee, publication in the official county newspaper, and publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the local area of any properties to be affected by commission action. The notice shall include the date, time and place of the public meeting and the street address of properties to be reviewed.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-038, December 13, 2006, Eff date Jan. 5, 2007)

2.96.050 Compensation.

All members shall serve without compensation.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-038, December 13, 2006, Eff date Jan. 5, 2007)

2.96.060 Rules.

The commission shall adopt bylaws and/or administrative rules governing:

(1) Compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act (chapter 42.30 RCW);

(2) Rules of parliamentary procedure using Robert’s Rules of Order;

(3) Order and conduct of business; and

(4) Frequency of meetings.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-038, December 13, 2006, Eff date Jan. 5, 2007)

2.96.070 Officers.

The commission shall select from among its regular members a chairperson and such other officers as may be necessary to conduct the commission’s business.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-038, December 13, 2006, Eff date Jan. 5, 2007)

2.96.080 Staff.

Staff assistance shall be provided for the commission by the county executive subject to annual or biennial budget review and appropriation by the county council.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-038, December 13, 2006, Eff date Jan. 5, 2007; Amended Ord. 07-015, March 21, 2007, Eff date April 7, 2007; Amended by Ord. 08-153, Mar 4, 2009, Eff date Mar 19, 2009)