City of Coldwater, MI
Branch County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 749, passed 11-22-2010]
This chapter shall be known as the "Historic District Ordinance of the City of Coldwater."
[Ord. No. 749, passed 11-22-2010]
Historic preservation is hereby declared to be a public purpose. The City Council of the City of Coldwater may hereby regulate the construction, addition, alteration, repair, moving, excavation, and demolition of resources in historic districts within the City limits. The purpose of this chapter is to:
(a) 
Safeguard the heritage of the City of Coldwater by preserving districts which reflect elements of its history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, or culture.
(b) 
Stabilize and improve property values in each district and surrounding areas.
(c) 
Foster civic beauty.
(d) 
Strengthen the local economy.
(e) 
Promote the use of historic districts for the education, pleasure, and welfare of the citizens of the City of Coldwater and of the State of Michigan.
[Ord. No. 749, passed 11-22-2010]
As used in this chapter:
(a) 
ALTERATION — Means work that changes the detail of a resource but does not change its basic size or shape.
(b) 
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS — Means the written approval of a permit application for work that is appropriate and does not adversely affect a resource.
(c) 
COMMISSION — Means the Historic Commission of the City of Coldwater.
(d) 
DEMOLITION — Means the razing or destruction, whether entirely or in part, of a resource and includes, but is not limited to, demolition by neglect.
(e) 
DEMOLITION BY NEGLECT — Means neglect in maintaining, repairing, or securing a resource that results in deterioration of an exterior feature of the resource or the loss of structural integrity of the resource.
(f) 
DENIAL — Means the written rejection of a permit application for work that is inappropriate and that adversely affects a resource.
(g) 
FIRE ALARM SYSTEM — Means a system designed to detect and annunciate the presence of fire or by-products of fire. "Fire alarm system" includes smoke alarms.
(h) 
HISTORIC DISTRICT — Means an area, or group of areas, not necessarily having contiguous boundaries, that contains one resource or a group of resources that are related by history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, or culture.
(i) 
HISTORIC PRESERVATION — Means the identification, evaluation, establishment, and protection of resources significant in history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, or culture.
(j) 
HISTORIC RESOURCE — Means a publicly or privately owned building, structure, site, object, feature or open space that is significant in the history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, or culture of the City of Coldwater, State of Michigan, or the United States.
(k) 
NOTICE TO PROCEED — Means the written permission to issue a permit for work that is inappropriate and that adversely affects a resource, pursuant to a finding under Section 5(6) of Public Act 169 of 1970, as amended, being MCL 399.205(6).
(l) 
OPEN SPACE — Means undeveloped land, a naturally landscaped area, or a formal or man-made landscaped area that provides a connective link or buffer between other resources.
(m) 
ORDINARY MAINTENANCE — Means keeping a resource unimpaired and in good condition through ongoing minor intervention, undertaken from time to time, in its exterior, condition. "Ordinary maintenance" does not change the external appearance of the resource except through the elimination of the usual and expected effects of weathering. "Ordinary maintenance" does not constitute work for the purposes of this chapter.
(n) 
PROPOSED HISTORIC DISTRICT — Means an area, or group of areas not necessarily having contiguous boundaries, that has delineated boundaries and that is under review by a committee or a standing committee for the purpose of making a recommendation as to whether it should be established as a historic district or added to an established historic district.
(o) 
REPAIR — Means to restore a decayed or damaged resource to good or sound condition by any process. A "repair" that changes the external appearance of a resource constitutes work for the purposes of this chapter.
(p) 
RESOURCE — Means one or more publicly or privately owned historic or non-historic buildings, structures, sites, objects, features, or open spaces located within a historic district.
(q) 
SMOKE ALARM — Means a single-station or multiple-station alarm responsive to smoke and not connected to a system. As used in this division, "single-station alarm" means an assembly incorporating a detector, the control equipment, and the alarm sounding device into a single unit, operated from a power supply either in the unit or obtained at the point of installation. "Multiple-station alarm" means two or more single-station alarms that are capable of interconnection such that actuation of one alarm causes all integrated separate audible alarms to operate.
(r) 
WORK — Means construction, addition, alteration, repair, moving, excavation, or demolition.
[Ord. No. 749, passed 11-22-2010]
There is hereby created the City of Coldwater Historic District Commission., to consist of seven members, each of whom shall be appointed by the City Council. Each member of the Commission shall reside in the City of Coldwater. A majority of the members shall have a clearly demonstrated interest in or knowledge of historic preservation. Members shall be appointed for a term of three years, except the initial appointments to the Commission shall be three members for a term of three years, two members for a term of two years, and two members for a term of one year. All subsequent appointments shall be for three-year terms. Members shall be eligible for reappointment. The first members of the Commission shall be appointed within six months of the adoption of this chapter. In the event of a vacancy on the Commission, interim appointments shall be made by the City Council within 60 calendar days to complete the unexpired term of such position. At all times, one member serving shall be appointed from a list submitted by duly organized local historic preservation organization. If such a person is available for appointment, one member shall be an architect who has two years of architectural experience or who is duly registered as an architect in the State of Michigan.
[Ord. No. 749, passed 11-22-2010]
(a) 
The Historic District Commission shall meet at least quarterly, or more frequently, at the call of the Commission.
(b) 
All meetings of the Commission shall be held in compliance with the Open Meetings Act, Public Act 267 of 1976, as amended. Public notice of the date, time, and place of the meeting shall be given in the manner required by Public Act 267. A meeting agenda shall be part of the notice and shall include a listing of each permit application to be reviewed or considered by the Commission.
(c) 
The Commission shall keep a record of its resolutions, proceedings and actions. A writing prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by the Commission in the performance of an official function shall be made available to the public in compliance with the Freedom of Information, Public Act 442 of 1976, as amended.
(d) 
The Commission shall adopt its own rules of procedure, consistent with this chapter and shall adopt design review standards and guidelines to carry out its duties under this act.
[Ord. No. 749, passed 11-22-2010]
The Commission may delegate to its staff, or to a department of the City of Coldwater authority to issue certificates of appropriateness for specified minor classes of work. The Commission shall provide to its delegated authority specific written standards for issuing certificates of appropriateness under this section. The Commission shall review the certificates of appropriateness issued by the delegate at least quarterly to determine whether or not the delegated responsibilities should be continued.
[Ord. No. 749, passed 11-22-2010]
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent ordinary maintenance or repair of a resource within a historic district or to prevent work on any resource under a permit issued by the inspector of buildings or other duly delegated authority before this chapter was enacted.
[Ord. No. 749, passed 11-22-2010]
The Commission shall review and act upon only exterior features of a resource and shall not review and act upon interior arrangements unless specifically authorized to do so by the City Councilor unless interior work will cause visible change to the exterior of the resource. The Commission may disapprove an application only for reasons consistent with those specified in Section 5(3) of Public Act 169 of 1970, as amended, being MCL 399.205(3).
[Ord. No. 749, passed 11-22-2010]
(a) 
In reviewing plans, the Commission shall follow the U.S. Secretary of Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and guidelines for rehabilitating historic buildings as set forth in 36 C.F.R. part 67. Design review standards and guidelines that address special design characteristics of historic districts administered by the Commission may be followed if they are equivalent in guidance to the Secretary of Interior's Standards and guidelines and are established or approved by the State Historic Preservation Office of the Michigan Historical Center.
(b) 
In reviewing plans, the Commission shall also consider all of the following:
(1) 
The historic or architectural value and significance of the resource and its relationship to the historic value of the surrounding area.
(2) 
The relationship of any architectural features of the resource to the rest of the resource and to the surrounding area.
(3) 
The general compatibility of the design, arrangement, texture, and materials proposed to be used.
(4) 
Other factors, such as aesthetic value, that the Commission finds relevant.
(5) 
Whether the applicant has certified in the application that the property where the work will be undertaken has, or will have before the proposed project completion date, a fire alarm system or a smoke alarm complying with the requirements of the Stille-DeRossett-Hale Single State Construction Code Act, 1972 PA 230, MCL 125.1501 to 125.1531.
[Ord. No. 749, passed 11-22-2010]
(a) 
A permit shall be obtained before any work affecting the exterior appearance of a resource is performed within a historic district. The person, individual, partnership, firm, corporation, organization, institution, or agency of government proposing to do that work shall file an application for a permit with the inspector of buildings. Upon receipt of a complete application, the Inspector of Buildings shall immediately refer the application, along with all required supporting materials that make the application complete to the Commission. A permit shall not be issued and proposed work shall not proceed until the Commission has acted on the application by issuing a certificate of appropriateness or a notice to proceed as prescribed in this chapter. The Commission shall not issue a certificate of appropriateness unless the applicant certifies in the application that the property where work will be undertaken has, or will have before the proposed project completion date, a fire alarm system or a smoke alarm complying with the requirements of the Stille-DeRossett-Hale Single State Construction Code Act, 1972 PA 230, MCL 125.1501 to 125.1531.
(b) 
The Commission shall file certificates of appropriateness, notices to proceed, and denials of applications for permits with the Inspector of Buildings. A permit shall not be issued until the Commission has acted as prescribed by this chapter.
(c) 
If an application is for work that will adversely affect the exterior of a resource the Commission considers valuable to the City of Coldwater, the State of Michigan, or the nation, and the Commission determines that the alteration or loss of that resource will adversely affect the public purpose of the City, state, or nation, the Commission shall attempt to establish with the owner of the resource an economically feasible plan for the preservation of the resource.
(d) 
The failure of the Commission to act on an application within 60 calendar days after the date a complete application is filed with the Commission, unless an extension is agreed upon in writing by the applicant and the Commission, shall be considered to constitute approval.
(e) 
The Commission may charge a reasonable fee to process a permit application.
[Ord. No. 749, passed 11-22-2010]
If a permit application is denied, the decision shall be binding on the inspector or other authority. A denial shall be accompanied by a written explanation by the Commission of the reasons for denial and, if appropriate, a notice that an application may be re-submitted for Commission review when the suggested changes have been made. The Denial shall also include the notification of the applicant's right to appeal to the State Historic Preservation Review Board and to the circuit court.
[Ord. No. 749, passed 11-22-2010]
Work within a historic district shall be permitted through the issuance of a notice to proceed by the Commission if any of the following conditions prevail and if the proposed work can be demonstrated by a finding of the Commission to be necessary to substantially improve or correct any of the following conditions:
(a) 
The resource constitutes a hazard to the safety of the public or to the structure's occupants.
(b) 
The resource is a deterrent to a major improvement program that will be of substantial benefit to the community and the applicant proposing the work has obtained all necessary planning and zoning approvals, financing, and environmental clearances.
(c) 
Retaining the resource will cause undue financial hardship to the owner when a governmental action, an act of God, or other events beyond the owner's control created the hardship, and all feasible alternatives to eliminate the financial hardship, which may include offering the resource for sale at its fair market value or moving the resource to a vacant site within the historic district, have been attempted and exhausted by the owner.
(d) 
Retaining the resource is not in the interest of the majority of the community.
[Ord. No. 749, passed 11-22-2010]
(a) 
An applicant aggrieved by a decision of the Commission concerning a permit application may file an appeal with the State Historic Preservation Review Board. The appeal shall be filed within 60 calendar days after the decision is furnished to the applicant. The appellant may submit all or part of the appellant's evidence and arguments in written form. The State Historic Preservation Review Board shall consider an appeal at its first regularly scheduled meeting after receiving the appeal. A permit applicant aggrieved by the decision of the State Historic Preservation Review Board may appeal the decision to the Branch County Circuit, in accord with MCL 399.211.
(b) 
Any citizen or duly organized historic preservation organization in the City of Coldwater, as well as resource property owners, jointly or severally aggrieved by a decision of the Commission may appeal the decision to the Branch County Circuit Court, except that a permit applicant aggrieved by a decision rendered under this chapter may not appeal to the court without first exhausting the right to appeal to the State Historic Preservation Review Board.
[Ord. No. 749, passed 11-22-2010]
When work has been done upon a resource without a permit, and the Commission finds that the work does not qualify for a certificate of appropriateness, the Commission may require an owner to restore the resource to the condition that the resource was in before the inappropriate work or to modify the work so that it qualifies for a certificate of appropriateness. If the owner does not comply with the restoration or modification requirement within a reasonable time, the Commission may seek an order from the circuit court to require the owner to restore the resource to its former condition or to modify the work so that it qualifies for a certificate of appropriateness. If the owner does not comply or cannot comply with the order of the court, the Commission or its agents may enter the property and conduct work necessary to restore the resource to its former condition or modify the work so that it qualifies for a certificate of appropriateness, in accordance with the court's order. The costs of the work done shall be charged to the owner, and may be levied by the City of Coldwater as a special assessment against the property. When acting pursuant to an order of the circuit court, the Commission or its agents may enter a property for purposes of this section.
[Ord. No. 749, passed 11-22-2010]
Upon a finding by the Commission that a historic resource within a historic district or a proposed historic district subject to its review and approval is threatened with demolition by neglect, the Commission may do either of the following:
(a) 
Require the owner of the resource to repair all conditions contributing to demolition by neglect.
(b) 
If the owner does not make repairs within a reasonable time, the Commission or its agents may enter the property and make such repairs as necessary to prevent demolition by neglect. The costs of the work shall be charged to the owner, and may be levied by the City of Coldwater as a special assessment against the property. The Commission or its agents may enter the property for purposes of this section upon obtaining an order from the circuit court.
[Ord. No. 749, passed 11-22-2010]
Upon receipt of substantial evidence showing the presence of historic, architectural, archaeological, engineering, or cultural significance of a proposed historic district, the City Council may, at its discretion, adopt a resolution requiring that all applications for permits within the proposed historic district be referred to the Historic District Commission as prescribed in Section 1490.16. The Historic District Commission shall review permit applications with the same powers that would apply if the proposed historic district was an established historic district. The review may continue in the proposed historic district for not more than one year, or until such time as the City Council approves or rejects the establishment of the historic district by ordinance, whichever occurs first.
[Ord. No. 749, passed 11-22-2010]
If the City Council determines that pending work will cause irreparable harm to resources located within an established or proposed historic district, the City Council may by resolution declare an emergency moratorium on all such work for a period not to exceed six months. The City Council may extend the emergency moratorium for an additional period not to exceed six months, upon finding that the threat of irreparable harm to resources is still present. Any pending permit application concerning a resource subject to an emergency moratorium may be summarily denied.
[Ord. No. 749, passed 11-22-2010]
The City Council may accept state or federal grants for historic preservation purposes, may participate in state and federal programs that benefit historic preservation, and may accept public or private gifts for historic preservation purposes. The City Council may appoint the Historic District Commission to accept and administer grants, gifts, and program responsibilities.
[Ord. No. 749, passed 11-22-2010]
If all efforts by the Commission to preserve a resource fail, or if it is determined by the City Council that public ownership is most suitable, the City Council, if considered to be the public interest, may acquire the resource using public funds, public or private gifts, grants or proceeds from the issuance of revenue bonds. The acquisition shall be based upon the recommendation of the Commission. The Commission is responsible for maintaining publicly owned resources using its own funds, if not specifically designated for other purposes, or public funds committed for that use by the City Council. Upon recommendation of the Commission, the City may sell resources acquired under this section with protective easements included in the property transfer documents, if appropriate.
[Ord. No. 749, passed 11-22-2010]
The boundaries of the Coldwater Historical District are as follows:
Land in the City of Coldwater, Branch County, Michigan:
Beginning at the intersection of the West line of South Hudson Street and the North line of East Washington Street and running thence northwesterly, along the North line of East Washington Street, to the West line of Division Street; thence northeasterly, along the West line of Division Street, to the North line of West Pearl Street; thence northwesterly, along the North line of West Pearl Street, to the West line of South Clay Street; thence northerly, along the West line of South Clay Street, to the Southeast corner of Tax Parcel #304-000-000-331-00; thence northwesterly to the Southwest corner of Tax Parcel #304-000-000-331-00; thence northeasterly to the Northwest corner of Tax Parcel #304-000-000-330-00; thence southeasterly to the Northeast corner of Tax Parcel #304-000-000-330-00; thence northerly, along the West line of South Clay Street, to the South line of West Chicago Street; thence northeasterly to the intersection of the East line of North Clay Street and the North line of West Chicago Street; thence northerly, along the East line of North Clay Street, to the Southwest corner of Tax Parcel #303-000-000-858-00; thence East to the Southeast corner of Tax Parcel #303-000-000-858-00; thence North to the Northeast corner of Tax Parcel #303-000-000-858-00; thence West to the Southeast corner of Tax Parcel #303-000-000-851-00; thence northeasterly to the intersection of the East line of Tax Parcel #303-000-000-851-00 and the South line of Tax Parcel #303-000-000-838-00; thence southeasterly to the Southeast corner of Tax Parcel #303-000-000-840-00; thence southwesterly to the Southwest corner of Tax Parcel #303-000-000-844-01; thence southeasterly, along the South line of Tax Parcel #303-000-000-844-01 and its easterly extension, to the East line of North Hanchett Street; thence northeasterly, along the East line of North Hanchett Street, to the Southwest corner of Tax Parcel #303-000-000-881-00; thence southeasterly to the Southeast corner of Tax Parcel #303-000-000-881-00; thence southerly to the Southwest corner of Tax Parcel #303-000-000-865-00; thence easterly to the southeast corner of Tax Parcel #303-000-000-865-00 on the West line of North Monroe Street; thence southeasterly to the northwest corner of Tax Parcel #303-000-000-892-01 on the East line of North Monroe Street; thence easterly, along the South line of the City Hall property, to the West line of Grand Street; thence northeasterly to the intersection of the East line of Grand Street and the West line of Marshall Street; thence northeasterly to the Northwest corner of Tax Parcel #302-000-000-635-00; thence East, South and southeasterly, along the North lines of Tax Parcel #302-000-000-635-00, to the Northeast corner of Tax Parcel #302-000-000-635-00; thence southwesterly to the Southwest corner of Tax Parcel #302-000-000-634-00; thence southeasterly, along the North line of Church Street, to the Southeast corner of Tax Parcel #302-000-000-634-00; thence southeasterly to the intersection of the South line of Church Street and the West line of North Hudson Street; thence southwesterly, along the West line of North Hudson Street to the Northeast corner of tax parcel #302-000-000-642-00; thence northwesterly to the Northwest corner of Tax Parcel #302-000-000-642-00; thence southwesterly to the Southwest corner of Tax Parcel #302-000-000-643-00; thence southeasterly to the Northwest corner of Tax Parcel #303-000-000-644-00; thence southwesterly to the Southwest corner of Tax Parcel #303-000-000-644-00; thence southeasterly to the Northwest corner of Tax Parcel #302-000-000-644-01; thence southwesterly to the Southwest corner of Tax Parcel #302-000-000-644-01; thence southeasterly to the Southeast corner of Tax Parcel #302-000-000-644-01; thence southwesterly, along the West line of North and South Hudson Streets, to the point of beginning.
[Ord. No. 749, passed 11-22-2010]
(a) 
Any person, individual, partnership, firm, corporation, organization, institution, or agency of government that violates this chapter may be charged with the commission of a civil infraction, as provided in Chapter 211 of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Coldwater and, upon a finding of responsibility may be assessed a civil infraction penalty not to exceed $500, plus costs.
(b) 
A person, individual, partnership, firm, corporation, organization, institution, or agency of government that violates this chapter may be ordered by the court to pay the costs to restore or replicate a resource unlawfully constructed, added to, altered, repaired, moved, excavated or demolished, as provided in MCL 399.215.