Chapter 18.136


18.136.010    Historic buildings and sites protection.

18.136.010 Historic buildings and sites protection.

(1) Alteration/Demolition Permits. A permit is required for alteration or demolition of any structure listed in the county’s plan inventory of historic resources as a “significant” historic resource.

(a) Alteration means any addition to, removal of, or change in the exterior part of a structure, and shall include modification of the surface texture, material, or architectural detail of the exterior part of the structure, but shall not include paint color.

(b) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance or repair of any exterior architectural feature on any property covered herein that does not involve a change in design, material, or external appearance thereof.

(c) Nor does this subsection prevent the construction, reconstruction, alteration, restoration, demolition, or removal of any such feature when a building official determines that such emergency action is required for public safety due to an unsafe or dangerous condition.

(2) Review Procedure.

(a) Application. A property owner or his authorized agent may initiate a request for a permit for alteration or demolition of an historic structure by filing an application with both the appropriate building official and the county’s designated planning official.

(b) Public Review Process. The county’s designated planning official shall initiate a public review process on the subject permit request within 10 days of receipt thereof as follows:

(i) Provide individual written notice of such application to the following:

(A) Property owners within 250 feet.

(B) Planning commission members.

(C) County historical review committee and/or county historical society as such may be applicable.

(D) State Historic Preservation Office.

(E) Other identifiable potentially affected person or parties.

(ii) Such notice shall provide for a minimum of 10, but not more than 20 days for all persons or parties to respond relative to the subject application.

(iii) If no objection is received within said response period, the county’s planning official may take action on the subject application for approval, approval with amendments or conditions, denial, or referral to the county planning commission or county historical review committee as applicable for public hearing.

(iv) If one or more objections are received, referral for public hearing shall be mandatory.

(c) Decision. If not referred for public hearing, the county’s planning official shall render a decision on an application within 10 days of closure of the public response period. A copy of such decision shall be mailed to the applicant, the owners of the affected property, the county planning commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, and other persons specifically requesting such notification. Said mailing shall be within five working days following the date of the decision.

(d) Planning Official Action.

(i) Alteration. In the case of an application for alteration of an historic structure, the planning official shall:

(A) Approve the request as submitted;

(B) Approve the request with modifications or conditions; or

(C) Deny the request;

(D) As may be applicable, the planning official shall refer the application to the county historical review committee or county historical society, or both, and to the State Historical Preservation Office for review and written recommendation prior to taking action thereon.

(ii) Demolition. In the case of an application for demolition of an historic structure, the planning official shall authorize either:

(A) Immediate issuance of the permit; or

(B) Delay issuance of the permit for a period up to 90 days. During this period, the planning official, in conjunction with the county court, the county historical committee, the county historical society and SHPO, shall attempt to determine if public or private acquisition and preservation is feasible or if other alternatives are possible which could be carried out to prevent demolition of the structure;

(C) The planning official shall authorize immediate issuance of a demolition permit if it is found that all of the following is evident:

1. Structure cannot be economically rehabilitated;

2. A program or project does not exist which may reasonably result in preservation of the structure;

3. Delay of the permit would result in unnecessary and substantial hardship to the applicant and/or property owner; and

4. Issuance will not act to the substantial detriment of the public interest and welfare considering the significance of the structure and the economic, cultural and energy consequences of demolition.

(iii) Criteria – Exterior Alteration. The county planning official shall approve an application for exterior alteration if the proposed alteration is determined to be harmonious and compatible with the appearance and character of the historical building and shall disapprove any application if found detrimental as being unsightly, grotesque, or adversely affecting the architectural significance, the integrity or historical appearance, the educational or historical value of the building. The following guidelines apply to exterior alterations to historical buildings:

(A) Retention of original construction so far as practicable, and the preservation of original exterior materials and details.

(B) Height. Additional stories may be added to historical buildings; provided, that:

1. Zoning height limitations are met.

2. Does not exceed that which was traditional for the style of the building.

3. Added height does not alter the traditional scale and proportions of the building style.

4. Added height is visually compatible with adjacent historic buildings.

(C) Bulk. Horizontal additions may be added to historical buildings; provided, that:

1. The bulk of the addition does not exceed that which was traditional for the building style.

2. The addition maintains the traditional scale and proportion of the building style.

3. The addition is visually compatible with adjacent historic buildings.

4. Visual Integrity of Structure. The lines of columns, piers, spandrels, and other primary structural elements shall be maintained so far as practicable.

5. Scale and Proportion. The scale and proportion of altered or added building elements, the relationships of voids to solids (windows to walls) shall be visually compatible with the traditional architectural character of the historic buildings in the area.

6. Materials, Color and Texture. The materials, colors and textures used in the alteration or addition shall be visually compatible with the traditional architectural character of the historic buildings of the area.

7. Signs, Lighting and Other Appurtenances. Signs, exterior lighting, and other appurtenances such as walls, fences, awnings and landscaping shall be visually compatible with the traditional architectural character of the historic buildings of the area. (Ord. 18 § 4.200, 2003)