Chapter 18.20
PROTECTION AND PRESERVATION OF LANDMARKS,
LANDMARK SITES AND DISTRICTS

Sections:

18.20.010    Definitions.

18.20.020    Designation criteria.

18.20.030    Nomination procedure.

18.20.040    Designation procedure.

18.20.050    Certificate of Appropriateness procedure.

18.20.060    Evaluation of economic impact.

18.20.070    Appeal procedure.

18.20.080    Penalty for violation of IMC 18.20.050, Certificate of Appropriateness procedure.

18.20.090    Incentives for landmark owners.

18.20.100    Historic resources – Review process.

18.20.010 Definitions.

The following words and terms shall, when used in this chapter, be defined as follows unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:

A.    “Alteration” is any construction, demolition, removal, modification, excavation, restoration or remodeling of a landmark.

B.    “Building” is a structure created to shelter any form of human activity, such as a house, barn, church, hotel, or similar structure. “Building” may refer to an historically related complex, such as a courthouse and jail or a house and barn.

C.    “Certificate of Appropriateness” is written authorization issued by the Commission or its designee permitting an alteration to a significant feature of a designated landmark.

D.    “Commission” is the Landmarks and Heritage Commission created by King County Protection and Preservation of Landmarks, Landmark Sites and Districts, Chapter 20.62, Section 20.62.030, Landmarks and Heritage Commission created – Membership and organization.

E.    “Council” is the Issaquah City Council.

F.    “Designation” is the act of the Commission determining that an historic resource meets the criteria established by this chapter.

G.    “Designation report” is a report issued by the Commission after a public hearing setting forth its determination to designate a landmark and specifying the significant feature or features thereof.

H.    “Director” is the Planning Director/Manager or his or her designee.

I.    “District” is a geographically definable area, urban or rural, possessing a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of sites, buildings, structures, or objects united by past events or esthetically by plan or physical development. A district may also comprise individual elements separated geographically but linked by association or history.

J.    “Heritage” is a discipline relating to history, ethnic history, traditional cultures, folklore, archaeology and historic preservation.

K.    “Historic Preservation Officer” is the King County Historic Preservation Officer or his or her designee.

L.    “Historic resource” is a district, site, building, structure or object significant in national, state or local history, architecture, archaeology, and culture.

M.    “Historic Resource Inventory” is an organized compilation of information on historic resources considered to be significant according to the criteria listed in IMC 18.20.020, Designation criteria. The Historic Resource Inventory is kept on file by the Historic Preservation Officer and is updated from time to time to include newly eligible resources and to reflect changes to resources.

N.    “Incentives” are such compensation, rights or privileges or combination thereof, which the Council, or other local, state or federal public body or agency, by virtue of applicable present or future legislation, may be authorized to grant to or obtain for the owner(s) of designated landmarks. Examples of incentives include but are not limited to tax relief, rezoning, street vacation, planned unit development, transfer of development rights, facade easements, gifts, preferential leasing policies, private or public grants-in-aid, beneficial placement of public improvements, or amenities, or the like.

O.    “Interested person of record” is any individual, corporation, partnership or association which notifies the Commission or the Council in writing of its interest in any matter before the Commission.

P.    “Landmark” is an historic resource designated as a landmark pursuant to IMC 18.20.020, Designation criteria.

Q.    “Nomination” is a proposal that an historic resource be designated a landmark.

R.    “Object” is a material thing of functional, aesthetic, cultural, historical, or scientific value that may be, by nature or design, movable yet related to a specific setting or environment.

S.    “Owner” is a person having a fee simple interest, a substantial beneficial interest of record or a substantial beneficial interest known to the Commission in an historic resource. Where the owner is a public agency or government, that agency shall specify the person or persons to receive notices hereunder.

T.    “Person” is any individual, partnership, corporation, group or association.

U.    “Person in charge” is the person or persons in possession of a landmark including, but not limited to, mortgagee or vendee in possession, an assignee of rents, a receiver, executor, trustee, lessee, tenant, agent, or any other person directly or indirectly in control of the landmark, as designated by the owner/agent authorization.

V.    “Preliminary determination” is a decision of the Commission determining that an historic resource which has been nominated for designation is of significant value and is likely to satisfy the criteria for designation.

W.    “Significant feature” is any element of a landmark which the Commission has designated pursuant to this chapter as of importance to the historic, architectural or archaeological value of the landmark.

X.    “Site” is the location of a significant event, a prehistoric or historic occupation or activity, or a building or structure, whether standing, ruined, or vanished, where the location itself maintains an historical or archaeological value regardless of the value of any existing structures.

Y.    “Structure” is any functional construction made usually for purposes other than creating human shelter. (Ord. 2319 § 1, 2001).

18.20.020 Designation criteria.

A.    An historic resource may be designated as an Issaquah landmark if it is more than forty (40) years old or, in the case of a Landmark District, contains resources that are more than forty (40) years old, and possesses integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling and association (as defined by the National Park Service for use by the National Register of Historic Places), and:

1.    Is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of national, state or local history; or

2.    Is associated with the lives of persons significant in national, state or local history; or

3.    Embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, style or method of design or construction, or that represents a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or

4.    Has yielded or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history; or

5.    Is an outstanding work of a designer or builder who has made a substantial contribution to the art.

B.    Cemeteries, birthplaces, or graves of historical figures, properties owned by religious institutions or used for religious purposes, structures that have been moved from their original locations, reconstructed historic buildings, properties primarily commemorative in nature, and properties that have achieved significance within the past forty (40) years shall not be considered eligible for designation. However, such a property shall be eligible for designation if they are:

1.    An integral part of districts that meet the criteria set out in IMC 18.20.020, Designation criteria, or if it is:

2.    A religious property deriving primary significance from architectural or artistic distinction or historical importance; or

3.    A building or structure removed from its original location but which is significant primarily for its architectural value, or which is the surviving structure most importantly associated with an historic person or event; or

4.    A birthplace, grave or residence of an historical figure of outstanding importance if there is no other appropriate site or building directly associated with his or her productive life; or

5.    A cemetery that derives its primary significance from graves of persons of transcendent importance, from age, from distinctive design features, or from association with historic events; or

6.    A reconstructed building when accurately executed in a suitable environment and presented in a dignified manner or as part of a restoration master plan, and when no other building or structure with the same association has survived; or

7.    A property commemorative in intent if design, age, tradition, or symbolic value has invested it with its own historical significance; or

8.    A property achieving significance within the past forty (40) years if it is of exceptional importance. (Ord. 2319 § 1, 2001).

18.20.030 Nomination procedure.

A.    Any person, including the Historic Preservation Officer and any member of the Commission, may nominate an historic resource for designation as a landmark. The procedures set forth in this section and IMC 18.20.050, Certificate of Appropriateness procedure, may be used to amend existing designations or to terminate an existing designation based on changes which affect the applicability of the criteria for designation set forth in IMC 18.20.020, Designation criteria. The nomination or designation of an historic resource as a landmark shall constitute nomination or designation of the land which is occupied by the historic resource unless the nomination provides otherwise. Nominations shall be made on official nomination forms provided by the Historic Preservation Officer, shall be filed with the Historic Preservation Officer, and shall include all data required by the Commission.

B.    Upon receipt by the Historic Preservation Officer of any nomination for designation, the officer shall review the nomination, consult with the person or persons submitting the nomination, and the owner, and prepare any amendments to or additional information on the nomination deemed necessary by the officer. The Historic Preservation Officer may refuse to accept any nomination for which inadequate information is provided by the person or persons submitting the nomination. It is the responsibility of the person or persons submitting the nomination to perform such research as is necessary for consideration by the Commission. The Historic Preservation Officer may assume responsibility for gathering the required information or appoint an expert or experts to carry out this research in the interest of expediting the consideration.

C.    When the Historic Preservation Officer is satisfied that the nomination contains sufficient information and complies with the Commission’s regulations for nomination, the officer shall give notice in writing, certified mail/return receipt requested, to the owner of the property or object, to the person submitting the nomination and interested persons of record that a preliminary or a designation determination on the nomination will be made by the Commission. The notice shall include:

1.    The date, time, and place of hearing;

2.    The address and description of the historic resource and the boundaries of the nominated resource;

3.    A statement that, upon a designation or upon a preliminary determination of significance, the Certificate of Appropriateness procedure set out in IMC 18.20.050, Certificate of Appropriateness procedure, will apply;

4.    A statement that, upon a designation or a preliminary determination of significance, no significant feature may be changed without first obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Commission, whether or not a building or other permit is required. A copy of the provisions of IMC 18.20.050, Certificate of Appropriateness procedure, shall be included with the notice;

5.    A statement that all proceedings to review the action of the Commission at the hearing on a preliminary determination or a designation will be based on the record made at such hearing and that no further right to present evidence on the issue of preliminary determination or designation is afforded pursuant to this chapter.

D.    The Historic Preservation Officer shall, after mailing the notice required herein, refer the nomination and all supporting information to the Commission for consideration on the date specified in the notice. No nomination shall be considered by the Commission less than thirty (30) nor more than forty-five (45) calendar days after notice setting the hearing date has been mailed except where the Historic Preservation Officer or members of the Commission have reason to believe that immediate action is necessary to prevent destruction, demolition or defacing of an historic resource, in which case the notice setting the hearing shall so state. (Ord. 2319 § 1, 2001).

18.20.040 Designation procedure.

A.    The Commission may approve, deny, amend or terminate the designation of an historic resource as a landmark only after a public hearing. At the designation hearing the commission shall receive evidence and hear argument only on the issues of whether the historic resource meets the criteria for designation of landmarks as specified in IMC 18.20.020, Designation criteria, and merits designation as a landmark; and the significant features of the landmark. The hearing may be continued from time to time in the discretion of the Commission. In the event the hearing is continued, the commission may make a preliminary determination of significance if the commission determines, based on the record before it that the historic resource is of significant value and likely to satisfy the criteria for designation set out in IMC 18.20.020, Designation criteria. Such preliminary determination shall be effective as of the date of the public hearing at which it is made. Where the Commission makes a preliminary determination it shall specify the boundaries of the nominated resource, the significant features thereof, and such other description of the historic resource as it deems appropriate. Within five (5) working days after the Commission has made a preliminary determination, the Historic Preservation Officer shall file a written notice of such action with the manager and mail copies of the same, certified mail/return receipt requested, to the owner, the person submitting the nomination and interested persons of record. Such notice shall include:

1.    A copy of the Commission’s preliminary determination;

2.    A statement that while proceedings pursuant to this chapter are pending, or six (6) months from the date of the notice, whichever is shorter, and thereafter if the designation is approved by the Commission, the Certificate of Appropriateness procedures set out in IMC 18.20.050, Certificate of Appropriateness procedure, a copy of which shall be enclosed, shall apply to the described historic resource whether or not a Building Permit or other permit is required. The decision of the Commission shall be made after the close of the public hearing or at the next regularly scheduled public meeting of the Commission thereafter.

B.    Whenever the Commission approves the designation of an historic resource under consideration for designation as a landmark, it shall, within fourteen (14) calendar days of the public meeting at which the decision is made, issue a written designation report which shall include:

1.    The boundaries of the nominated resource and such other description of the resource sufficient to identify its ownership and location;

2.    The significant features and such other information concerning the historic resource as the Commission deems appropriate;

3.    Findings of fact and reasons supporting the designation with specific reference to the criteria for designation set forth in IMC 18.20.020, Designation criteria;

4.    A statement that no significant feature may be changed, whether or not a building or other permit is required, without first obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Commission pursuant to the provisions of IMC 18.20.050, Certificate of Appropriateness procedure, a copy of which shall be included in the designation report.

C.    Whenever the Commission rejects the nomination of an historic resource under consideration for designation as a landmark, it shall, within fourteen (14) calendar days of the public meeting at which the decision is made, issue a written decision including findings of fact and reasons supporting its determination that the criteria set forth in IMC 18.20.020, Designation criteria, have not been met. Nothing contained herein shall prevent renominating any historic resource rejected under this subsection as an Issaquah landmark at a future time.

D.    A copy of the Commission’s designation report or decision rejecting a nomination shall be delivered or mailed to the owner, to interested persons of record and the director within five (5) working days after it is issued. If the Commission rejects the nomination and it has made a preliminary determination of significance with respect to such nomination, it shall include in the notice to the Director a statement that the provisions of IMC 18.20.050, Certificate of Appropriateness procedure, no longer apply to the subject historic resources.

E.    If the Commission approves, or amends a landmark designation, the provisions of IMC 18.20.050, Certificate of Appropriateness procedure, shall apply as approved or amended. A copy of the Commission’s designation report or designation amendment shall be filed with the division of records and elections together with a legal description of the designated resource and notification that the provisions of IMC 18.20.050, Certificate of Appropriateness procedure, and IMC 18.20.080, Penalty for violation of IMC 18.20.050, Certificate of Appropriateness procedure. If the Commission terminates the designation of an historic resource, the provisions of IMC 18.20.050, Certificate of Appropriateness procedure, shall no longer apply to said historic resource. (Ord. 2319 § 1, 2001).

18.20.050 Certificate of Appropriateness procedure.

A.    At any time after a designation report and notice has been filed with the Director and for a period of six (6) months after notice of a preliminary determination of significance has been mailed to the owner and filed with the director, a Certificate of Appropriateness must be obtained from the Commission before any alterations may be made to the significant features of the landmark identified in the preliminary determination report or thereafter in the designation report. The designation report shall supersede the preliminary determination report. This requirement shall apply whether or not the proposed alteration also requires a Building Permit or other permit.

B.    Ordinary repairs and maintenance which do not alter the appearance of a significant feature and do not utilize substitute materials do not require a Certificate of Appropriateness. Repairs to or replacement of utility systems do not require a Certificate of Appropriateness; provided, that such work does not alter an exterior significant feature.

C.    There shall be three (3) types of certificates of appropriateness, as follows:

1.    Type I, for restorations and major repairs which utilize in-kind materials.

2.    Type II, for alterations in appearance, replacement of historic materials and new construction.

3.    Type III, for demolition and moving of buildings and structures, and excavation of archaeological sites.

a.    In addition, the Commission shall establish and adopt an appeals process concerning Type I decisions made by the Historic Preservation Officer with respect to the applications for Certificates of Appropriateness.

b.    The Historic Preservation Officer may approve Type I Certificates of Appropriateness administratively without public hearing, subject to procedures adopted by the Commission. Alternatively, the Historic Preservation Officer may refer applications for Type I Certificates of Appropriateness to the Commission for decision. The Commission shall adopt an appeals procedure concerning Type I decisions made by the Historic Preservation Officer. Type II and III Certificates of Appropriateness shall be decided by the Commission and the following general procedures shall apply to such Commission actions:

(1)    Application for a Certificate of Appropriateness shall be made by filing an application for such certificate with the Historic Preservation Officer on forms provided by the Commission, available at the City Permit Center.

(2)    If an application is made to the Director for a permit for any action which affects a landmark, the Director shall promptly refer such application to the Historic Preservation Officer, and such application shall be deemed an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness if accompanied by the additional information required to apply for such certificate. The Director may continue to process such permit application, but shall not issue any such permit until the time has expired for filing with the Director the notice of denial of a Certificate of Appropriateness or a Certificate of Appropriateness has been issued pursuant to this chapter.

(3)    After the Commission has commenced proceedings for the consideration of any application for a Certificate of Appropriateness by giving notice of a hearing pursuant to IMC 18.20.030(C), no other application for the same or a similar alteration may be made until such proceedings and all administrative appeals therefrom pursuant to this chapter have been concluded.

(4)    Within forty-five (45) calendar days after the filing of an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness with the Commission or the referral of an application to the Commission by the Director except those decided administratively by the Historic Preservation Officer pursuant to subsection (C)(3)(b) of this section, the Commission shall hold a public hearing thereon. The Historic Preservation Officer shall mail notice of the hearing to the owner, the applicant, if the applicant is not the owner, and parties of record at the designation proceedings, not less than ten (10) calendar days before the date of the hearing. No hearing shall be required if the Commission, the owner and the applicant, if the applicant is not the owner, agree in writing to a stipulated certificate approving the requested alterations thereof. This agreement shall be ratified by the Commission in a public meeting and reflected in the Commission meeting minutes. If the Commission grants a Certificate of Appropriateness, such certificate shall be issued forthwith and the Historic Preservation Officer shall promptly file a copy of such certificate with the Director.

(5)    If the Commission denies the application for a Certificate of Appropriateness, in whole or in part, it shall so notify the owner, the person submitting the application, the Director and interested persons of record setting forth the reasons why approval of the application is not warranted.

D.    The Commission shall adopt such other supplementary procedures consistent with Chapter 18.03 IMC, Administration, as it determines are required to carry out the intent of this section. (Ord. 2319 § 1, 2001).

18.20.060 Evaluation of economic impact.

A.    At the public hearing on any application for a Type II or Type III Certificate of Appropriateness, or Type I if referred to the Commission by the Historic Preservation Officer, the Commission shall, when requested by the property owner, consider evidence of the economic impact on the owner of the denial or partial denial of a certificate. In no case may a certificate be denied, in whole or in part, when it is established that the denial or partial denial will, when available incentives are utilized, deprive the owner of a reasonable economic use of the landmark and there is no viable and reasonable alternative which would have less impact on the features of significance specified in the preliminary determination report or the designation report.

B.    To prove the existence of a condition of unreasonable economic return, the applicant must establish and the Commission must find, both of the following:

1.    The landmark is incapable of earning a reasonable economic return without making the alterations proposed. This finding shall be made by considering and the applicant shall submit to the Commission evidence establishing each of the following factors:

a.    The current level of economic return on the landmark as considered in relation to the following:

(1)    The amount paid for the landmark, the date of purchase, and party from whom purchased, including a description of the relationship, if any, between the owner and the person from whom the landmark was purchased;

(2)    The annual gross and net income, if any, from the landmark for the previous five (5) years; itemized operating and maintenance expenses for the previous five (5) years; and depreciation deduction and annual cash flow before and after debt service, if any, during the same period;

(3)    The remaining balance on any mortgage or other financing secured by the landmark and annual debt service, if any, during the prior five (5) years;

(4)    Real estate taxes for the previous four (4) years and assessed value of the landmark according to the two (2) most recent assessed valuations;

(5)    All appraisals obtained within the previous three (3) years by the owner in connection with the purchase, financing or ownership of the landmark;

(6)    The fair market value of the landmark immediately prior to its designation and the fair market value of the landmark (in its protected status as a designated landmark) at the time the application is filed;

(7)    Form of ownership or operation of the landmark, whether sole proprietorship, for profit or not-for-profit corporation, limited partnership, joint venture, or both;

(8)    Any state or federal income tax returns on or relating to the landmark for the past two (2) years.

b.    The landmark is not marketable or able to be sold when listed for sale or lease. The sale price asked, and offers received, if any, within the previous two (2) years, including testimony and relevant documents shall be submitted by the property owner. The following also shall be considered:

(1)    Any real estate broker or firm engaged to sell or lease the landmark;

(2)    Reasonableness of the price or lease sought by the owner;

(3)    Any advertisements placed for the sale or lease of the landmark.

c.    The unfeasibility of alternative uses that can earn a reasonable economic return for the landmark as considered in relation to the following:

(1)    A report from a licensed engineer or architect with experience in historic restoration or rehabilitation as to the structural soundness of the landmark and its suitability for restoration or rehabilitation;

(2)    Estimates of the proposed cost of the proposed alteration and an estimate of any additional cost that would be incurred to comply with the recommendation and decision of the Commission concerning the appropriateness of the proposed alteration;

(3)    Estimated market value of the landmark in the current condition after completion of the proposed alteration; and, in the case of proposed demolition, after renovation of the landmark for continued use;

(4)    In the case of proposed demolition, the testimony of an architect, developer, real estate consultant, appraiser or other real estate professional experienced in historic restoration or rehabilitation as to the economic feasibility of rehabilitation or reuse of the existing landmark;

(5)    The unfeasibility of new construction around, above, or below the historic resource.

d.    Potential economic incentives and/or funding available to the owner through federal, state, county, city or private programs.

2.    The owner has the present intent and the secured financial ability, demonstrated by appropriate documentary evidence to complete the alteration.

C.    Notwithstanding the foregoing enumerated factors, the property owner may demonstrate other appropriate factors applicable to economic return.

D.    Upon reasonable notice to the owner, the Commission may appoint an expert or experts to provide advice and/or testimony concerning the value of the landmark, the availability of incentives and the economic impacts of approval, denial or partial denial of a Certificate of Appropriateness.

E.    Any adverse economic impact caused intentionally or by willful neglect shall not constitute a basis for granting a Certificate of Appropriateness. (Ord. 2319 § 1, 2001).

18.20.070 Appeal procedure.

Refer to IMC 18.04.255 for the appeal procedure for historic properties. (Ord. 2319 § 1, 2001).

18.20.080 Penalty for violation of IMC 18.20.050, Certificate of Appropriateness procedure.

Refer to IMC 1.06.040 for penalty for violation of IMC 18.20.050, Certificate of Appropriateness procedure. (Ord. 2319 § 1, 2001).

18.20.090 Incentives for landmark owners.

A.    There is hereby established and implemented a special valuation for historic properties as provided in Chapter 221, 1986 Laws of Washington and Chapter 84.26 RCW.

B.    The King County Landmarks and Heritage Commission is hereby designated as the “Local Review Board” for the purposes related to Chapter 221, 1986 Laws of Washington, and is authorized to perform all functions required by Chapter 221, 1986 Laws of Washington, Chapter 84.26 RCW, and Chapter 254-20 WAC.

C.    All Issaquah landmarks designated and protected under authority of this chapter shall be eligible for special valuation as set forth in Chapter 221, 1986 Laws of Washington and Chapter 84.26 RCW.

D.    Owners of landmarks which are designated under authority of this chapter shall be eligible to apply for low interest loans and grants administered by the King County Landmarks and Heritage Commission and for the Public Benefit Rating System Program administered by the King County Department of Natural Resources. The King County Landmarks and Heritage Commission shall act as the design review authority under authority of this chapter for the purposes of these incentive programs. (Ord. 2319 § 1, 2001).

18.20.100 Historic resources – Review process.

A.    Permit applications for changes to landmark properties shall not be considered complete unless accompanied by a Certificate of Appropriateness pursuant to IMC 18.20.050, Certificate of Appropriateness procedure.

B.    Upon receipt of an application for a development proposal that affects an Issaquah landmark or an historic resource that has received a preliminary determination of significance as defined by IMC 18.20.010, Definitions, the application circulated to the Historic Preservation Officer shall be deemed an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness pursuant to IMC 18.20.050, Certificate of Appropriateness procedure, if accompanied by the additional information required to apply for such certificate. (Ord. 2319 § 1, 2001).