[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Johnson City 5-3-2011 by L.L. No. 4-2011. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose and intent of this chapter is to:
Safeguard the heritage of the Village of Johnson City by preserving and promoting, for the education, pleasure and welfare of its residents, districts, areas and landmarks which reflect periods of its cultural, social, economic, political, artistic and architectural history.
Promote the education and cultural, economic and general welfare of the public through the protection, enhancement and perpetuation of landmarks and districts of historic and cultural significance.
Stabilize and improve property values.
Foster civic pride in the legacy of physical, social and artistic achievements of the past.
Protect and enhance the Village's attraction to tourists and visitors and provide a stimulus to new business.
Contribute to the effectiveness and value of the overall Urban Cultural Park Program of the State of New York.
For purposes of this chapter, certain words and terms are defined herein. Except where specifically defined herein, all words used in this chapter shall carry their customary meanings.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CERTIFICATE OF HISTORIC REVIEW
- A certificate issued by the Historic Review Board which indicates that the Board has reviewed and approved or approved with modifications any proposal to make any alteration to the appearance of a landmark or structure, memorial, statue or site within an Historic District or area as may be delineated on the Zoning Map described herein.
- CHANGE OF APPEARANCE
- One or more of the following actions:
- (1) Change or reconstruction or alteration of the size or external appearance of a structure or memorial, including siding and repainting.
- (2) Demolition of a structure or memorial.
- (3) Commencement of or change in the location of advertising on the external part of any structure or land in an Historic District or area.
- HISTORIC DISTRICT OR AREA
- An area which contains improvements which:
- (1) Have special character or special or aesthetic interest or value;
- (2) Represent one or more periods or styles of architecture, typical of one or more eras in the history of the Village of Johnson City; and
- (3) Cause such an area, by reason of such factors, to be a visibly perceptible and definable section of the Village.
- One or more structures, memorials or sites, including the adjacent areas necessary for the appreciation of the landmark, deemed worthy of preservation by virtue of its value to the Village as:
- (1) An outstanding example of a structure or memorial representative of its era;
- (2) One of the few remaining examples of a past architectural style or combination of styles;
- (3) A place where an historical event of significance to the Village, region, state or nation or representative activity of the past era took place; or
- (4) A structure, memorial or site which has a special character, special aesthetic interest and value as part of the development, heritage and cultural characteristic of the Village of Johnson City.
The Planning Board of the Village of Johnson City shall act as the Historic Review Board for the purposes of this chapter. In making its review and determination, the Review Board must consult with an advisory committee appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the Mayor. The advisory committee will review and make a recommendation on all certificate of historic review applications to the Review Board. Such advisory committee should include an architect or engineer, landscape architect and historian if such professionals are available in the Village.
Identification of districts. The Review Board may identify and define landmarks and areas of historic and cultural significance in the Village in accordance with the following procedure:
Background information providing historical or cultural justification for the landmark or historic area and its boundaries shall be gathered as specified in § 164-2, definitions of "historic district or area" and "landmark." This may include comments from the State Historic Preservation Officer and the director of the Susquehanna Urban Cultural Park as to the significance of the proposed district.
A duly advertised public hearing shall be held by the Review Board. All owners of property within the proposed historic area shall be notified, in writing, at least five working days in advance of the time, place and purpose of the hearing.
Within 30 days of the public hearing, the Review Board shall submit a report and recommendation on the proposed landmark or historic area to the Village Board.
Within 30 days from receipt of such report and recommendation from the Review Board, the Village Board shall approve or disapprove the proposal or refer it back to the Review Board for additional consideration.
Alteration or construction. After the date of Village Board approval of a designated landmark or historical area, no material change in the exterior appearance or location of any public or private landmark, structure, memorial, statue or site within the designated area shall be permitted until a certificate of historic review has been obtained from the Code Enforcement Officer. No building permit will be issued unless a certificate of historic review has first been issued by the Historic Review Board.
Demolition. Demolition of structures or landmarks located within a designated historic area shall not be permitted until such demolition proposal has been reviewed by the Review Board and a report of the architectural or historic significance of the structure or landmark to be demolished has been made by the advisory committee. The Review Board shall have 30 days to review the report, at the end of which thirty-day period the Board shall make a determination of approval/disapproval of demolition.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance and repair of any exterior architectural feature in the district which does not involve a change in design, material, color or the outward appearance thereof. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the construction, reconstruction, alteration or demolition of any exterior architectural feature which the Building Inspector shall determine (certify) is required by public safety because of dangerous or unsafe conditions.
Notwithstanding any inconsistent local law, code or regulation concerning the issuance of building permits, no action which would result in a change in any exterior architectural facade or feature in a designated historic area, as established by § 164-4A of this chapter, shall be commenced nor shall any building permit for such change be issued until a certificate of historic review has been issued by the Historic Review Board. The certificate of historic review required by this section may not be substituted for the normal building or use permit required by any other Chapter, code or regulation of the Village of Johnson City.
Application for an certificate of historic review shall be made in writing on forms available from the Code Enforcement Officer and shall contain the following information:
The name, address and telephone number of the applicant.
The location of the building, structure or site which is to have its exterior facade or architectural features changed.
Elevation sketches of proposed changes.
Samples of colors and materials to be used.
Where the proposed change includes a sign or lettering, a scale drawing showing lettering type, colors and sign dimensions and location and any illumination proposed.
Any other graphic material that will explain the proposal.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall receive an application for a certificate of historic review and immediately transmit such application to the Chairpersons of the Historic Review Board and advisory committee along with all supporting information.
The Review Board shall, at its next regular meeting, review and discuss the application and report of the advisory committee with the applicant or a representative. A special meeting of the Board may be called, if necessary, to expedite the review process.
In its discussion with the applicant, the Review Board shall consider the appropriateness of the proposal including the architectural style, general design, arrangement, texture, material and color of the facade or exterior architectural feature involved and the relationship thereof to the facades or exterior architectural features of other structures in the immediate neighborhood. The Review Board shall be guided by the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation.
Within 20 working days from the meeting date at which such application is discussed or some later date if mutually agreed upon, the Review Board shall prepare a report and determination of approval/disapproval on such application. If the application is approved, the Board shall issue a certificate of historic review.
Upon receipt of the certificate of historic review from the Review Board, the Code Enforcement Officer shall file such certificate and issue a building permit, if all other applicable chapters, codes and regulations have also been complied with. If no certificate of historic review is issued, no building permit may be issued.
An applicant whose application for a certificate of historic review has been denied may apply for relief from landmark designation on the grounds that designation is working a hardship upon the applicant. In order to prove the existence of hardship, the applicant shall establish that:
The property is incapable of earning a reasonable return, regardless of whether that return represents the most profitable return possible;
The property cannot be adapted for any other use, whether by the current owner or by a purchaser, which would result in a reasonable return; and
Efforts to find a purchaser interested in acquiring the property and preserving it have failed.
After receiving written notification from the Review Board of the denial of a certificate of historic review, an applicant may commence the hardship process. No building permit or demolition permit shall be issued unless the Board makes a finding that a hardship exists.
The Review Board must hold a public hearing on the hardship application at which an opportunity will be provided for proponents and opponents of the application to present their views.
The applicant shall consult in good faith with the Review Board, advisory committee groups and interested parties in a diligent effort to seek an alternative that will result in preservation of the property.
All decisions of the Board must be in writing. A copy must be sent to the applicant by registered mail and a copy filed with the Village Clerk's office for public inspection. The Board's decision shall state the reasons for granting or denying the hardship application.