Chapter 20.146


20.146.010    Purpose.

20.146.020    Application and review criteria.

20.146.030    Permitted uses.

20.146.040    Demolition of historic structures.

20.146.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish a means by which the beauty and authenticity of Walla Walla’s historic structures may be conserved as reminders of the community’s heritage. Properties listed on the Walla Walla local historic register are subject to the requirements set forth in the city of Walla Walla historic commission bylaws, rules and procedures for design review, and special valuation. Structures forty-five years old or older are subject to review under this chapter, regardless of register status. (Ord. 2019-38 § 14 (part), 2019: Ord. 2018-53 § 21(part), 2018: Ord. 2004-17 § 6, 2004).

20.146.020 Application and review criteria.

A. Structures in any residential district may be converted to nonresidential uses provided in this chapter.

1. Conversion of historic structures requires a Level III conditional use permit as specified in Chapter 20.216.

2. The site plan review committee shall review the proposal, and any comments solicited from the historical preservation commission, and provide a report to the hearing examiner prior to the public hearing on the application.

3. The hearing examiner shall make findings (related to the proposed use) which support each of the following criteria:

a. The subject structure possesses sufficient community-wide historic and architectural significance that it warrants special treatment under the Zoning Code.

b. Conversion of the structure is an effective means of preserving these values and features.

4. The hearing examiner shall make findings related to the proposed use which support each of the following criteria:

a. The proposed use is compatible with the historic and architectural values of the structure;

b. The use is generally compatible with the neighborhood as regards traffic flow, hours of operation, noise and light;

c. Off-street parking is provided which is generally but not necessarily fully in compliance with the standards prescribed for that use in Chapter 20.127, Table of Off-Street Parking Standards;

d. Parking and traffic maneuvering areas shall be effectively buffered from adjacent residential uses by fences, hedges, retaining walls, or other sight-obscuring structures. All such buffers shall be architecturally and aesthetically compatible with the adjacent properties.

5. A condition of approval shall be the requirement that the owner of property with historic structures apply for and receive designation on the local historic register as described in Section 2.27.050. (Ord. 2019-38 § 14 (part), 2019: Ord. 2000-6 § 2(part), 2000: Ord. 97-14 § 60, 1997: Ord. 95-5 § 1(part), 1995).

20.146.030 Permitted uses.

A. Uses to which historic structures may be converted are as follows:

1. Restaurant;

2. Tea or coffee house;

3. Professional offices, including doctors, lawyers, accountants, architects, real estate, insurance companies, and such other like uses as may be determined by the Hearing Examiner;

4. Art gallery;

5. Other uses similar to those above which capitalize on and enhance the historic and architectural values of the structure. (Ord. 2000-6 § 2(part), 2000: Ord. 97-14 § 70, 1997).

20.146.040 Demolition of historic structures.

A. A request for review of any proposed demolition shall be submitted for all structures forty-five years old or older prior to the submittal of a demolition permit application. A ten-day holding period shall be observed, following notification to the local newspaper, Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, the historic preservation commission, and local interest groups having on file a request for notification of such applications. Comments from the notified parties and the public related to the possible historic or architectural significance of the structure or place to the community will be reviewed by staff.

B. If, based on comments received as per subsection A of this section, staff determines that the subject structure or place possesses sufficient community-wide historic or architectural significance that further public input is warranted, the proposal will be subject to the following:

1. A sixty-day staff level stay during which the director may consult with local and/or state organizations concerned with historic or architectural values. This consultation may include a meeting of the demolition request initiator with the historic preservation commission. Mitigation options such as allowing the structure to be moved, salvage of historic and/or reusable building materials and documentation and interpretation of the structure may be required as conditions of approval for a demolition permit. If the structure or place is found to be significant and the mitigation measures above are insufficient, staff or the concerned group(s) or agency(s) may petition the hearing examiner for a public hearing to consider significance of the structure or place and options available to preserve the public interest.

2. Based on input received at the public hearing, the hearing examiner may:

a. Authorize issuance of a demolition permit; or

b. Issue a continuance of the stay for no longer than one year to provide opportunity for acquisition, easement, or other preservation mechanism to be negotiated; or

c. Take other action as required by state statutes or administrative code as advised by authorized representatives of the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. (Ord. 2019-38 § 14 (part), 2019: Ord. 2018-53 § 21(part), 2018: Ord. 2000-6 § 2(part), 2000: Ord. 97-14 § 71, 1997: Ord. 95-5 § 1(part), 1995).