Chapter 2.72


2.72.010    Created.

2.72.020    Composition, terms of office and rules.

2.72.030    Repealed.

2.72.040    Repealed.

2.72.045    Repealed.

2.72.050    Repealed.

2.72.060    Authority and functions.

2.72.065    Register of historic places.

2.72.070    Eligible property for special tax valuation.

2.72.010 Created.

There is established a Port Townsend historic preservation committee, hereinafter referred to as “the committee” and “HPC.” (Ord. 2770 § 2, 2001; Ord. 2760 § 4, 2001; Ord. 2522 § 1, 1996; Ord. 2035 § 1, 1986).

2.72.020 Composition, terms of office and rules.

Composition, terms of office, rules and other scope of work assigned by the city council shall be as provided by council resolution with the following additional provisions:

A. The members of the HPC shall include but not be limited to members of history or preservation-related organizations such as historical societies, museums, heritage groups, neighborhood organizations, interested citizens, and members of civic groups involved in historical and architectural development of the city, as well as members of professional bodies such as architects, historians, attorneys, realtors, and financiers.

B. All members of the committee must have demonstrated interest in and/or knowledge of the historical or architectural development of the city.

C. The city council will strive to have a minimum of two members of the committee who are business or property owners in the uptown area of the National Historic Landmark District. (Ord. 3013 § 4, 2009; Ord. 2770 § 2, 2001; Ord. 2760 § 4, 2001; Ord. 2573 § 1, 1997; Ord. 2522 § 1, 1996; Ord. 2035 § 2(a) and (b), 1986).

2.72.030 Terms of office.

Repealed by Ord. 2760. (Ord. 2522 § 1, 1996; Ord. 2035 § 2(c), 1986).

2.72.040 Rules and officers.

Repealed by Ord. 2760. (Ord. 2522 § 1, 1996; Ord. 2035 § 2(d), 1986).

2.72.045 Conflict of interest.

Repealed by Ord. 2760. (Ord. 2522 § 1, 1996; Ord. 2195 § 15, 1990).

2.72.050 Meetings.

Repealed by Ord. 2760. (Ord. 2522 § 1, 1996; Ord. 2035 § 2(e), 1986).

2.72.060 Authority and functions.

A. Authority. The HPC is authorized to:

1. Serve as the local review board to exercise the functions and duties as defined and authorized pursuant to Chapter 84.26 RCW and Chapter 25-12 WAC, as now or hereafter amended;

2. Serve as the design review board to exercise the functions and duties defined and authorized pursuant to this chapter;

3. The HPC serves as a citizen advisory committee and not as a quasi-judicial decision-making body to review proposals to develop, demolish or change development within the historic district pursuant to Chapter 17.80 PTMC, and provide recommendations to the planning and community development department (PCD) to assist in city review of such projects. PCD staff and the planning commission shall consider all HPC comments and recommendations in reviewing permit applications. HPC’s role in the development process is further specified in PTMC 20.01.110(C);

4. Prepare and propose revisions to design review guidelines for evaluating development proposals. Such proposed revisions shall be forwarded to PCD for review and recommendation to the planning commission and the city council. Design guidelines and any revisions forming the bases of HPC review and recommendations must be formally adopted by the city council;

5. Initiate recommendations for listing on the Port Townsend register of historic places. This official register shall be compiled of buildings, structures, sites, objects, and districts identified by the committee as having historic significance worthy of recognition by the city and encouragement of efforts by owners to maintain, rehabilitate, and preserve properties;

6. Review nominations to the Port Townsend register of historic places according to criteria in PTMC 2.72.065 and adopt standards in its rules to be used to guide this review;

7. Submit nominations to the State and National Register of Historic Places.

B. Functions. In addition to the authority prescribed above, the HPC may to the extent possible and at its discretion perform the following functions:

1. Provide information to the public on incentives for preservation of historic resources;

2. Within the historic district, review and comment upon the conduct and regulation of land use, housing, development, municipal improvements and other types of planning efforts undertaken by any agency of the city, Jefferson County, the state, or federal government as they relate to historic resources of the city;

3. Make recommendations to the mayor and city council upon request on matters of city history and historic preservation;

4. Recommend design guidelines and recommend resources upon request of an owner of property within the historic district, and provide review and advice, upon the request of the director of PCD (or designee), of applications for permits, variances, environmental assessments or impact statements, and other similar approvals pertaining to identified historic resources or adjacent properties;

5. Participate in, promote and conduct public information, educational and interpretive programs pertaining to historic resources;

6. Provide information to the public and city council on methods of maintaining and rehabilitating historic properties, including the use of various federal, state, local, or private funding sources available to promote historic preservation in the city. This may take the form of pamphlets, newsletters, workshops or similar activities;

7. Establish liaison support, communication and cooperation with federal, state and other local government entities which will further historic preservation objectives, including public education, within the city area;

8. As they relate to historic resources within the historic district, review and comment to the planning commission and city council on land use, housing, redevelopment, municipal improvement and other types of planning and programs undertaken by any agency of the city, other neighboring communities, the county, the state or federal governments;

9. Officially recognize excellence in the rehabilitation of historic buildings, structures, sites and districts, and new construction in historic areas, and encourage appropriate measures for such recognition;

10. Such other functions as directed by the mayor or city council. (Ord. 3287 § 5, 2022; Ord. 2892 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2770 § 2, 2001; Ord. 2760 § 4, 2001; Ord. 2522 § 1, 1996; Ord. 2195 § 14, 1990; Ord. 2035 § 3, 1986).

2.72.065 Register of historic places.

A. Criteria for Determining Designation in the Register. Any building, structure, site, object may be designated for inclusion in the Port Townsend register if it is significantly associated with the history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, or cultural heritage of the community, has historical integrity, is at least 50 years old, or is of a lesser age and has exceptional importance, and if it falls in at least one of the following categories:

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

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

3. Is an outstanding work of a designer, builder, or architect who has made a substantial contribution to the art;

4. Exemplifies or reflects special elements of the city’s cultural, special, economic, political, aesthetic, engineering, or architectural history;

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

6. Has yielded, or may be likely to yield, important archaeological information;

7. Is a building or structure removed from its original location but which is significant primarily for architectural value, or which is the only surviving structure significantly associated with a historic person or event;

8. Is a birthplace or grave of a historical figure of outstanding importance and is the only surviving structure or site associated with that person;

9. Is a cemetery which derives its primary significance from age, from distinctive design features, or from association with historic events, or cultural patterns;

10. Is a reconstructed building that has been executed in an historically accurate manner on the original site;

11. Is a creative and unique example of folk architecture and design created by persons not formally trained in the architectural or design professions, and which does not fit into formal architectural or historical categories.

B. Process for Designating Properties to the Register.

1. Any person may nominate a building, structure, site, or object for inclusion in the Port Townsend register. Members of the historic preservation committee or the committee as a whole may generate nominations. In its designation decision, the committee shall consider the Port Townsend historic inventory and the city comprehensive plan. All nominations must be accompanied by a written statement of consent, signed by the property owner, stating their willingness to have their property listed in the Port Townsend, State, and/or National Register;

2. In the case of individual properties, the designation shall include all features which contribute to its designation;

3. The historic preservation committee shall consider the merits of the nomination, according to the criteria of subsection A of this section. The public, property owner(s) and the authors of the nomination, if different, and lessees, if any, shall be notified of the potential listing by posting of the property 10 calendar days prior to HPC review of the nomination;

4. Properties listed on the Port Townsend register of historic places shall be depicted on the official zoning records with an “HR” (for historic register) designation. This designation shall not change or modify the underlying zone designation.

C. Removal of Properties from the Register. In the event that any property is no longer deemed appropriate for designation to the Port Townsend register of historic places, the HPC or property owner may initiate removal of such designation by the same procedure as provided for in establishing the designation, subsection B of this section.

D. Effects of Listing on the Register.

1. Listing on the Port Townsend register of historic places is an honorary designation denoting significant association with the historic, archaeological, engineering, or cultural heritage of the community;

2. Design review by HPC of local register properties shall be limited to the scope established in Chapters 17.30 and 17.80 PTMC.

E. Maintenance of the Local Register. The list of properties on the local register of historic places shall be maintained by PCD. (Ord. 3287 § 5, 2022; Ord. 2892 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2770 § 2, 2001).

2.72.070 Eligible property for special tax valuation.

For the purposes of historic property tax valuation authorized as a duty of the committee under PTMC 2.72.060(A), the class of eligible property is:

A. Property within the city’s C-III zoning district; and

B. Property listed on the Local Register of Historic Places. (Ord. 2972 § 1, 2008; Ord. 2773 § 2, 2001; Ord. 2770 § 2, 2001; Ord. 2760 § 4, 2001; Ord. 2522 § 1, 1996; Ord. 2035 § 4, 1986).