[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Cranbury 2-27-2006 by Ord. No. 01-06-02. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby created a Historic Preservation Commission, which is created pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-107 et seq., and which is intended to perform all of the functions of a historic preservation commission pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-109.
The Historic Preservation Commission shall have the following duties and responsibilities:
Identify, record and maintain a system for survey and inventory of all buildings, sites, places, landmarks and structures of historical or architectural significance that is based on the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Archaeology and Historic Preservation (Standards and Guidelines for Identification) and that is compatible and coordinated with the State Historic Preservation Office (HPO) state-wide inventory; and to aid the public in understanding their worth, methods of preservation, techniques of gathering documentation and related matters.
Make recommendations to the Planning Board regarding the historic preservation plan element of the Master Plan and the impact of each component and element of said Master Plan on the preservation of historic sites and districts. The Commission may provide information to the Planning Board indicating the location and significance of historic sites and districts and may assist in identifying or applying the standards used to assess their worthiness for historic site or district identification.
Advise the Planning Board on the inclusion of historic sites and landmarks in the recommended capital improvement program.
Advise the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment on applications for development pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-110 and 111.
Establish administrative procedures and/or regulations to carry out the purposes of Chapter 93 of this Code.
Carry out such other advisory, educational and informational functions as will promote historic preservation in the Township.
Positions on the Historic Preservation Commission shall be filled by people interested in, and qualified to contribute to, the preservation of the historic resources of the Township. The membership of the former Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, which was established by former Chapter 93 (now repealed), is hereby continued pursuant to N.J.S.A.40:55D-107 et seq. On expiration of the existing terms, the Mayor shall appoint new members, who may include members of the former Historic Preservation Advisory Committee.
The Commission shall consist of five regular members and two alternate members, all of whom shall have a demonstrated interest, competence, or knowledge in historic preservation. Members shall serve without compensation, except that they shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expense incurred in the performance of official business within the guidelines of the budget established for the Commission by the Township Committee. All appointments shall be made by the Mayor.
At the time of appointment, at least one member shall be designated from each of the following classes:
Class A: A person who is knowledgeable in building design and construction or architectural history and who may reside outside the municipality;
Class B: A person who is knowledgeable, or with a demonstrated interest, in local history and who may reside outside the municipality;
Class C: Citizens of the municipality who shall hold no other municipal office, position or employment except for membership on the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Alternate members shall meet the qualifications of Class C members. At the time of appointment, alternate members shall be designated as "Alternate No. 1" and "Alternate No. 2." Of the regular members, one shall be from Class A, one from Class B, and three from Class C.
Alternates. The alternate members may participate in discussions of the proceedings but may not vote except in the absence or disqualification of a regular member. A vote shall not be delayed in order that a regular member may vote instead of an alternate member. In the event that a choice must be made as to which alternate member is to vote, Alternate No. 1 shall vote.
Committee liaison. The Township Committee shall designate one of its members to act as a liaison between the Historic Preservation Commission and the Township Committee.
Members of the Historic Preservation Commission who have been appointed under former Chapter 93 (now repealed and replaced with new Chapter 93) shall continue in office until the expiration of their respective terms. Thereafter, the term of a regular member shall be four years; the term of an alternate member shall be two years.
Notwithstanding any other provision herein, the term of any member common to the Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Board shall be for the term of membership on the Planning Board; and the term of any member common to the Historic Preservation Commission and the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall be for the term of membership on the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Vacancies shall be filled within 60 days. A vacancy occurring otherwise than by expiration of term shall be filled for the unexpired term only.
Officers. Annually, the Commission shall elect a Chair and Vice Chair from its members and select a Recording Secretary who may or may not be a member of the Commission.
The Township Committee shall make provision in its budget and appropriate funds for the expenses of the Historic Preservation Commission. The Commission may employ, contract for and fix the compensation of experts and other staff and services as it shall deem necessary. The Commission shall obtain its legal counsel from the Township Attorney at the rate of compensation determined by the Township Committee, unless the Township Committee by appropriation provides for separate legal counsel for the Commission. Expenditures pursuant to this subsection shall not exceed, exclusive of gifts or grants, the amount appropriated by the Township Committee for the Commission's use. In the event that the Commission receives gifts or grants, they will be placed in a dedicated fund for the exclusive use of the Commission.
The Township Committee shall establish by ordinance reasonable fees necessary to cover the expenses of administration and professional services to aid the Commission in its review of development applications and applications for certificates of approval. These fees are in addition to any other fees required under any portion of this or any other applicable Township ordinance.
The Historic Preservation Commission shall prepare an annual report to the Township Committee that shall be available to the public and placed on file in Town Hall. The report shall detail all activities of the Commission, including problem solving and advisory support.
The Commission shall adopt written rules for the transaction of its business. Such rules shall not be inconsistent with the Municipal Land Use Law and the provisions of new Chapter 93 of this Code and shall include, but not be limited to, rules pertaining to all notices and hearings required herein and rules prohibiting conflicts of interest. Copies of the Commission's bylaws or rules shall be made available to the public for inspection and copying.
In order to make information available to the public that is useful to the preservation and protection of historic districts and sites and to provide the basis for consistency of policy, the Commission shall maintain complete files and records. The Commission's files shall include, but not be limited to, data used in the classification of buildings, places and structures, minutes of Commission meetings, applications for certificates of approval and related data, decisions and appeals, and information, materials and references submitted to the public related to historic preservation. A record of Commission proceedings shall be kept and made available, but a formal verbatim record shall not be required.
The Commission Secretary shall keep minutes and records of all meetings and proceedings, including voting records, attendance, resolutions, findings, determinations, decisions and applications. All meetings shall be noticed and conducted in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act. Copies of all minutes shall be maintained in the office of the Commission and shall be delivered promptly to the Township Clerk.
Copies of records shall be made available to municipal bodies, agencies, and officials for their use. When the Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Adjustment refers an application to the Historic Preservation Commission, the referring Board shall receive a copy of the Commission's report.
No member of the Commission shall be permitted to act on any matter in which he or she has, either directly or indirectly, any personal or financial interest. Unless a member resides or owns property within 200 feet of property that is the subject of an application, mere ownership or residence in a designated historic district and/or ownership of a designated historic site or a nondesignated site shall not be deemed a personal or financial interest.
A member of the Commission may be removed by the Township Committee for cause, provided that, if the Commission member so requests, the Township Committee shall be required to hold a public hearing first.
The Historic Preservation Commission shall establish and post in the municipal building a schedule of regular meetings and shall hold a minimum of one meeting per month. Regular meetings shall be held as scheduled unless canceled for lack of applications to process, provided that in no event shall the Commission hold fewer than four meetings per year. Special meetings may be called by the Chair or, in the absence of the Chair, the Vice Chair or, on the request of any two Commission members, when the regular meetings are inadequate to meet the needs of its business, to handle emergencies or to meet time constraints imposed by law.
A quorum for the transaction of business shall be three members. A majority vote of those present and voting shall prevail and shall be sufficient to grant or deny a certificate of approval. When acting to grant or change a historic site or historic district designation or to approve a demolition or relocation application, a majority of the full authorized membership shall be required.
A member absent from the meeting(s) at which an application or matter was heard shall be eligible to vote on the application or matter, notwithstanding his or her absence from the meeting(s), provided that the member has available a transcript or recording of all the meeting(s) from which the member was absent and certifies in writing to the Commission that he or she has read such transcript or has listened to such recording.
The Historic Preservation Commission shall hold public hearings to review all applications for certificates of approval, referrals of development applications and other business of the Commission.
Failure on the part of a Commission member to attend three or more consecutive meetings without the specific permission of the Chair shall result in that member's removal from the Commission.