Article I. In General.

26.101 Title; findings.

This chapter shall be known as the "Cultural Heritage Preservation Code."

The city council finds that historic, archeological and cultural objects and sites are being destroyed, substantially altered or threatened as Central Solano County is being developed, and finds that it is in the public interest to preserve some of these sites and objects and to provide a method for their preservation. The city council finds that the general welfare of the inhabitants of Central Solano County is promoted through the preservation and protection of historic, archeological or cultural monuments, sites, objects, structures, buildings or other areas so designated, and also finds that such buildings, sites, monuments and structures constitute an educational benefit to the young people of the community and the young people visiting the community in that it provides some link and relationship with the past. (Ord. No. 76-7. § 1.)

26.102 Cooperation between political entities.

The city council intends to establish the cultural heritage commission of Central Solano County as a cooperative effort with the County of Solano and Suisun City. Each of these political entities, by separate ordinance, shall empower the commission. The City of Fairfield will cooperate with the County of Solano and Suisun City in ensuring that there is compliance with the intent of this chapter. (Ord. No. 76-7, § 1.)

Article II. Commission.

26.201 Creation; composition.

There is hereby created in Central Solano County, an area defined as being included within the boundaries of the Fairfield Suisun and Travis Unified School Districts, a cultural heritage commission composed of nine members.

The membership of the commission shall be three members residing in the unincorporated areas of Central Solano County, three members residing in the City of Fairfield, and three members residing in Suisun City appointed by the legislative bodies having jurisdiction therein; provided, that each legislative body may, if necessary, appoint members having a particular expertise in cultural heritage preservation from an area to include Solano, Yolo and Napa Counties. (Ord. No. 76-7, § 1.)

26.202 Term of service, appointment and removal of members; vacancies.

Members of the cultural heritage commission shall serve for a period of two years, but may be reappointed in the same manner as they were appointed. Members shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority and may be removed by the appointing authority without cause. All vacancies shall be filled by appointment for the remainder of that term. (Ord. No. 76-7, § 1.)

26.203 Powers and duties.

The cultural heritage commission shall serve in an advisory capacity to the local legislative bodies and shall have the following powers and duties:

(a)    Inspections. The inspection and investigation of any site, building, structure or area in the Central Solano County area which it has reason to believe is or will in the near future be a historic, archeological or cultural monument. Such inspections and investigations on private property shall only proceed with the owner’s permission.

(b)    Preservation list. The research, preparation, maintenance and recommendation for adoption of a current cultural heritage preservation list for Central Solano County of all such sites, buildings, structures, or natural features which it had determined from such inspection and investigation to be historical, archeological, or cultural monuments. Such lists shall contain a brief description of the site, building, or structure and the reasons for its inclusion in the lists. The commission shall make its recommendation for the adoption of the list by the local legislative bodies having jurisdiction. (Ord. No. 80-10, § 2.)

(c)    Publication of lists, etc. The publication and transmission of all interested parties of such lists, including the dissemination of any public information concerning the list or any site, building or structure contained therein.

(d)    Protection of monuments. Take all steps necessary to preserve such monuments that are not in conflict with the public health and safety and general welfare, or the powers and duties of the County of Solano, the City of Fairfield or Suisun City, or their officers, or departments. Such steps may include the creation of volunteer committees; the establishment of a private fund for the recommended acquisition or restoration of such monuments; the recommendation that such monuments be acquired by a governmental agency where private acquisition is not feasible; and the recommendation that protective zoning be established by the legislative bodies having jurisdiction.

(e)    Plan. Prepare a cultural heritage preservation plan for Central Solano County showing the cultural, archeological and historic monuments to be preserved, including priorities and policies and regulations directed toward such preservation to be recommended for adoption in independent actions by the board of supervisors and the city councils of Suisun City and Fairfield.

(f)    Recommendations. Make any recommendation to the board of supervisors and the city councils in connection with the exercise of its powers and duties which it determines is necessary. The board of supervisors and the city councils shall take action thereupon as each determines will implement or carry out the spirit and intent of this chapter. (Ord. No. 76-7, § 1.)

26.204 “Historical or cultural monument” defined.

For the purposes of this chapter, a “historical, archeological or cultural monument” is any site, including significant trees or other natural features, buildings, structure or area of particular historic, archeological or cultural significance for the Central Solano County area, such as historic or archeological structures or sites in which the broad cultural, political, economic or social history of the nation, state or community is reflected or exemplified; or which are identified with historic personages or with important events in the main trends of national, state or local history; or which embody the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural type specimen, inherently valuable for a study of a period style or method of construction; or a notable work of a master builder, designer or architect who’s individual genius influenced his age. (Ord. 76-7, § 1.)

26.204.5 Definitions.

(a)    “Historical property” means any building or part thereof, object, structure, monument, or collection thereof deemed of importance to the history, architecture, or culture of an area as determined by an appropriate governmental agency. An appropriate governmental agency is the local cultural heritage commission, or the legislative body of the appropriate local agency. "Historical property" includes objects, buildings, structures, monuments, or collections thereof on existing national, state, or local historical registers or official inventories, such as the National Register of Historic Places and State Historical Landmarks.

(b)    “Legislative body” means either the City Council of Fairfield or Suisun City, or the Board of Supervisors of Solano County.

(c)    “Owner” means the person, persons, or entities whose names appear on the latest equalized assessment role of the County of Solano.

(d)    “Substantial” as used in the phrase “Substantial alteration,” shall mean any alteration or change to the historical structure which will directly affect those features which have caused the structure to be placed on the historical preservation list. (Ord. No. 80-10, § 1.)

26.205 Responsibility of commission to provide notice.

The cultural heritage commission shall transmit to and maintain with the respective county and city departments of planning, building, recreation and parks, community services, public works, the urban renewal agency, and the various school districts, current copies of the cultural heritage preservation list. The commission shall contact the owner of each building, structure or site, in writing, to ask if he or she wishes their property to be included on the list and shall give such person at least ten (10) days written notice of any intended action which it plans to take with respect to such property. Such notice shall be mailed to the address shown on the assessment roll within ten (10) days after the property is included in the list. The owner may appeal any such action taken by the cultural heritage commission to the cultural heritage commission or the city council, or board of supervisors having jurisdiction, at public hearings and no property shall be included in said list over the objections of the owner of said property. (Ord. No. 80-10, §3; Ord. No. 2008-02, § 6.)

26.206 Hearings for adoption of preservation lists or plans.

The cultural heritage commission shall develop a tentative cultural heritage preservation list and the hold at least one public hearing to affirm, modify and rescind its recommendations concerning cultural heritage preservation lists or plans. The commission shall give notice thereof by at least one publication of such notice of public hearing in a newspaper of general circulation within the area, as defined in section 26.201, at least ten days prior to the public hearing, and shall give the property owner the notice set forth in section 26.205. The commission shall forward its recommendations following the above public hearing to the legislative bodies having jurisdiction. The legislative bodies shall give notice to affected property owners and hold at least one public hearing to consider such recommendations. (Ord. No. 76-7, § 1.)

26.207 Demolition, alteration, etc., of property on preservation list - Generally.

No permit for the demolition, substantial alteration, or removal of any building, structure, or site contained in such list shall be issued, and no such site, building or structure shall be demolished, substantially altered or removed by the cities or county, without first referring the matter to the cultural heritage commission, except where the county or city agencies having jurisdiction determine that the demolition, removal or substantial alteration of any such building, structure or site is immediately necessary in the interest of public health, safety, or general welfare. (Ord. No. 76-7, § 1.)

26.208 Same - Time limit for objection by commission.

Where such matters are referred to such commission, the commission shall have twenty days from the date of such notification within which to object to the proposed demolition, major alteration or removal. If no such objection is filed with the appropriate agency within the twenty days, all such objections shall be deemed to have been waived by the commission. (Ord. No. 76-7, § 1.)

26.209 Right of commission to file objections; time limits.

If the cultural heritage commission objects to the proposed demolition, major alteration or removal, it shall, after having given notice, file its objections with the appropriate county or city department or board. The filing of such objections shall suspend the issuance of such permit, the demolition or major alteration of such building or structure, or the removal of such site for a period of forty days during which time the cultural heritage commission shall, within the scope of its powers and duties, determine the steps necessary for the preservation of the site, building or structure to be demolished, altered, or removed. At the end of the forty days, said commission shall report its findings to the board of supervisors or city council having jurisdiction, which will, upon review of the report and following a public hearing, withdraw and cancel the objection, or affirm or modify the findings of the commission, and promptly notify the department or board concerned of its action. Upon receipt of such notification, the permit may be issued and the building, structure or site may be demolished, altered or removed as the case may be. (Ord. No. 80-10, § 4; Ord. No. 2008-02, § 7.)

26.210 Repealed by Ord. No. 80-10, § 5.

26.211 Limitation of powers and rights.

The cultural heritage commission shall have no power or right to acquire any property, nor acquire or hold any money for or on behalf of itself or the city. (Ord. No. 76-7, § 1.)

26.212 Enforcement of chapter.

The commission may make such plans, rules, regulations, policies and criteria as necessary to carry out the purpose and intent of this chapter. (Ord. No. 76-7, § 1.)

26.213 Selection of chairman; quorum; majority actions.

The committee shall select a chairman from its membership annually. Five members shall constitute a quorum. The commission shall act by a majority vote of its members present. (Ord. No. 76-7, § 1.)

26.214 Responsibilities of other commissions.

All commissions, departments and officers of the city shall cooperate with the commission in carrying out the spirit and intent of this chapter. (Ord. 76-7, § 1.)

26.215 Funding and staff assistance.

The city council shall work with the county and Suisun City to provide funds and personnel that the commission may require to perform its functions. (Ord. No. 76-7, § 1.)