Chapter 18.270
NEIGHBORHOOD CONSERVATION DISTRICTS

Sections:

18.270.010    Purpose.

18.270.020    Designation.

18.270.030    Criteria for designation.

18.270.040    Boundaries.

18.270.050    Design standards.

18.270.060    Procedure.

18.270.070    Dissolution.

18.270.080    Administration.

18.270.090    Penalty.

18.270.100    Severability.

Adopted Neighborhood Conservation District design standards:

Westboro Neighborhood Conservation District

Elmhurst Neighborhood Conservation District

18.270.010 Purpose.

The governing body recognizes that there are several unique and distinctive older residential neighborhoods which contribute significantly to the overall character and identity of the city, and are worthy of preservation, appropriate maintenance, and protection. As a matter of public policy, the city, in partnership with its distinctive neighborhood organizations, aims to preserve, protect, enhance, and sustain the value of these residential neighborhoods through the establishment of neighborhood conservation districts (NCD). The purpose of an NCD is to promote compatible new construction, alterations, and demolitions within the district’s built environment in order to strengthen and build upon those desirable physical features already existing. (Ord. 19815 § 1, 5-7-13.)

18.270.020 Designation.

The governing body may designate certain residential neighborhoods, or portions thereof, as neighborhood conservation districts. Neighborhood conservation districts shall be overlays to existing zoning districts. Property within an NCD must also be designated as being within one of the existing zoning district classifications. Such property shall comply with all applicable use restrictions unless further restricted by the NCD. Separate ordinances shall designate each NCD which shall be distinguished as separate zoning districts. Ordinances designating each NCD shall identify the designated district boundaries, and specify the individual purposes and design standards for that district. Where any conflict exists between zoning districts, the provisions of the NCD shall control. (Ord. 19815 § 2, 5-7-13.)

    Cross References: City council – mayor, Chapter 2.15 TMC.

18.270.030 Criteria for designation.

(a) Each NCD shall meet all of the following criteria:

(1) The area must contain at least one block face, and be primarily residential;

(2) A minimum of 75 percent of the area must be presently developed;

(3) The area must possess a unique and distinctive physical character/form that predominates from the time of its original or earliest development;

(4) The area must have a distinctive atmosphere or character that can be effectively protected by preserving or enhancing its architectural or physical attributes;

(5) The area must be predominately platted for a minimum of 40 years prior to the adoption of the district.

(b) In determining whether to establish an NCD, the planning commission and governing body shall also consider the following factors:

(1) Conformity with the city’s comprehensive plan and planning policies;

(2) Zoning and use of nearby property;

(3) Physical character of the area; and

(4) The extent to which designation of the NCD will either improve or detrimentally affect nearby properties.

(c) Any designated historic landmark overlay district, or any district listed on the Register of Historic Kansas Places, or the National Register of Historic Places, or their environs, shall be deemed to satisfy the criteria in subsection (a) of this section. (Ord. 19815 § 3, 5-7-13.)

    Cross References: City council – mayor, Chapter 2.15 TMC; planning commission, Chapter 2.135 TMC.

18.270.040 Boundaries.

The boundaries of each NCD shall be drawn so as to include all platted lots petitioned for inclusion in the district, and shall apply to all buildings, structures, sites, objects or land areas within these established boundaries. (Ord. 19815 § 4, 5-7-13.)

18.270.050 Design standards.

(a) An ordinance establishing an NCD shall incorporate by reference the design standards applicable to the district.

(b) Design standards shall apply at a minimum to any new construction, alteration, or demolition of structures but shall not apply to those activities which constitute ordinary repair and maintenance, including using the same material and design.

(c) Design standards for each NCD shall include at least five of the following elements governing the physical characteristics and features of property within the proposed district:

(1) Primary buildings.

(2) Accessory buildings.

(3) Building height.

(4) Building size/massing.

(5) Building architectural style and details.

(6) Building setbacks.

(7) Building orientation and site planning.

(8) Lot size.

(9) Lot coverage.

(10) Off-street parking requirements.

(11) Roof line and pitch.

(12) Paving, impervious, or hardscape coverage.

(13) Window openings.

(14) Fences and walls.

(15) Driveways, curb cuts, alleys, and sidewalks.

(16) Tree preservation.

(17) Private and public utility structures.

(18) Public art. (Ord. 19815 § 5, 5-7-13.)

18.270.060 Procedure.

(a) Application. Upon approval by a neighborhood improvement association or other neighborhood association demonstrating broad representation and membership, the governing body or planning commission may initiate an application for establishment of an NCD. Alternatively, owners of at least 51 percent of the property within the proposed district may initiate an application. The application shall be submitted to the planning director who shall determine whether the application meets the requirements of this section.

(1) Statement of the neighborhood’s goals and an explanation of how design overlay district designation will meet these goals.

(2) A sample inventory of the neighborhood’s unique characteristics including architectural styles, building materials, distinct or significant details unique to the overall neighborhood character, color photographs documenting these characteristics, any demonstrable vulnerability to deterioration, dates of construction, types of land uses, and property address to be included within the proposed NCD.

(3) A map showing the proposed NCD boundaries, and an explanation of why the boundaries are appropriate.

(4) A list of the names and mailing addresses of all property owners in the proposed district as of the date of application.

(5) A list of all neighborhood associations, homeowners’ associations, or other organizations representing the interests of property owners in the proposed district. Each list shall include the officers’ names, mailing addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers.

(6) A draft of specific design standards for the proposed NCD detailing how the standards relate to the inventory characteristics.

(7) Evidence that all property owners within the proposed district have been notified, in writing, of at least two public information meetings concerning creation of the NCD that have been conducted within six months prior to the date of the application. Notifications shall be mailed to the property owners of record. Written minutes of each meeting summarizing the testimony of attendees shall be submitted with the application.

(8) Any additional information that the planning director determines is necessary.

(9) Any city-adopted neighborhood plan that contains the criteria set forth in this subsection (a) shall be deemed to meet the requirements of this section.

(b) Planning Commission. Upon a determination that the application meets the requirements of this section, the planning director shall submit the application, including the design standards, to the planning commission for its consideration and recommendation to the governing body.

(c) Notification/Public Hearing. The planning commission shall conduct a public hearing. Notice of the hearing shall be published at least once in the official city newspaper at least 20 days prior to the hearing. Such notice shall fix the time and place for the hearing and shall describe the NCD in general terms, including the proposed boundaries. In addition to the publication notice, written notice shall be mailed at least 20 days before the hearing to all owners of record within the proposed district. All notices shall contain a statement that the application is available for inspection, including the proposed design standards. When the notice has been properly addressed and deposited in the mail, failure of a party to receive such notice shall not invalidate any subsequent action taken by the planning commission or governing body.

(d) Planning Commission Recommendation. A majority of the members of the planning commission present and voting at the hearing may take any of the following actions: (1) recommend approval of the proposed district, including a zoning overlay to the existing zoning district; (2) recommend approval with amendments to the proposed district; (3) request additional information from the planning department or the applicant; or (4) disapprove the application. If the planning commission fails to make any recommendation, such failure shall be deemed a recommendation of disapproval.

(e) Governing Body. The governing body may take any of the following actions: (1) adopt the recommendation by ordinance; (2) amend or reject the recommendation by a two-thirds majority vote of the membership of the governing body; or (3) return the recommendation to the planning commission with a statement specifying the basis for the governing body’s failure to approve or disapprove.

(f) Return of Recommendation to Planning Commission. If the governing body returns the recommendation, the planning commission, after considering the same, may resubmit its original recommendation giving the reasons therefor or submit a new or amended recommendation.

(g) Reconsideration by the Governing Body. Upon the receipt of the recommendation in subsection (f) of this section, the governing body, by a simple majority vote, may adopt the recommendation or amend and adopt the recommendation. If the planning commission fails to deliver its recommendation to the governing body following the planning commission’s next regular meeting after receipt of the governing body’s report, the governing body shall consider such course of action as a resubmission of the original recommendation and proceed accordingly.

(h) Changes to Design Standards. Minor changes to the design standards of an NCD may be approved at the discretion of the planning director if the following requirements are satisfied: (1) the change is intended to clarify an adopted design standard by including specific text or graphics to better illustrate the standard; and (2) the change does not add another element identified in TMC 18.270.050(c). Any change to the standards that are not minor as determined by the planning director shall require a new application and compliance with this section. (Ord. 19815 § 6, 5-7-13.)

    Cross References: City council – mayor, Chapter 2.15 TMC; planning department, TMC 2.25.090; planning commission, Chapter 2.135 TMC.

18.270.070 Dissolution.

(a) The governing body, upon recommendation of the planning commission, may initiate the dissolution of an NCD and remove the overlay zoning. Alternatively, owners of at least 51 percent of the property within the proposed district may request the dissolution of such district.

(b) The planning commission shall conduct a public hearing. Notice of the hearing shall be published at least once in the official city newspaper at least 20 days prior to the hearing. Such notice shall fix the time and place for the hearing. In addition to the publication notice, written notice shall be mailed at least 20 days before the hearing to all owners of record within the district. When the notice has been properly addressed and deposited in the mail, failure of a party to receive such notice shall not invalidate any subsequent action taken by the planning commission or governing body.

(c) A majority of the members of the planning commission present and voting may take any of the following actions: (1) recommend dissolution of the district, including removal of the zoning overlay to the existing zoning district; (2) request additional information from the planning department; or (3) deny the dissolution. If the planning commission fails to make any recommendation, such failure shall be deemed a recommendation that the district not be dissolved.

(d) The governing body may take any of the following actions: (1) adopt the recommendation by ordinance; (2) amend or reject the recommendation by a two-thirds majority vote of the membership of the governing body; or (3) return the recommendation to the planning commission with a statement specifying the basis for the governing body’s failure to approve or disapprove.

(e) Return of Recommendation to Planning Commission. If the governing body returns the recommendation, the planning commission, after considering the same, may resubmit its original recommendation giving the reasons therefor or submit a new or amended recommendation.

(f) Reconsideration by the Governing Body. Upon the receipt of the recommendation in subsection (e) of this section, the governing body, by a simple majority vote, may adopt the recommendation or amend and adopt the recommendation. If the planning commission fails to deliver its recommendation to the governing body following the planning commission’s next regular meeting after receipt of the governing body’s report, the governing body shall consider such course of action as a resubmission of the original recommendation and proceed accordingly. (Ord. 19815 § 7, 5-7-13.)

    Cross References: City council – mayor, Chapter 2.15 TMC; planning department, TMC 2.25.090; planning commission, Chapter 2.135 TMC.

18.270.080 Administration.

(a) All new construction or alterations within the NCD shall comply with adopted design standards for that district. No building permit shall be issued within an NCD without the submission and approval of design plans and the issuance of a zoning compliance permit by the planning department.

(b) The planning director shall establish such administrative rules and regulations as necessary to govern the procedure, submission requirements, and contents necessary to determine compliance with the design standards of an NCD. The planning director, or designee, shall review the design plans to determine compliance with the design standards adopted for the district.

(c) If the planning director determines that the work and/or design plans are in conformance with the design standards adopted for the district, the planning director shall issue a zoning compliance permit and the department of development services may issue a building permit, consistent with all other requisite ordinances and requirements.

(d) If the planning director determines that the design plans are not in conformance with the design standards adopted for the district, the planning department shall not approve the plans, and, furthermore, shall identify the specific design standards violated.

(e) The applicant may appeal the planning director’s determination to the board of zoning appeals as provided in Chapter 2.120 TMC. (Ord. 19815 § 8, 5-7-13.)

    Cross References: Planning and development department, TMC 2.25.090; public works department, TMC 2.25.110.

18.270.090 Penalty.

It is unlawful to construct, reconstruct, structurally alter, demolish, deface, or move any buildings, structures, sites, objects or land areas within an established NCD unless such action complies with the design standards for the district. (Ord. 19815 § 9, 5-7-13.)

18.270.100 Severability.

If any part or parts of this chapter shall be held unconstitutional, invalid, or otherwise unenforceable by any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 19815 § 10, 5-7-13.)