[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Mendham 5-7-2001 by Ord. No. 4-01. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby established an Historic Preservation Commission for the protection, enhancement and preservation of districts, sites, buildings and structures of historic, cultural or architectural value and interest within the Borough of Mendham.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall mean and include:
- The Historic Preservation Commission.
- HISTORIC DISTRICT
- Any area which has been designated as an historic district pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 215, Zoning.
- HISTORIC LANDMARK
- Any improvement, any part of which has a special character or special historic or aesthetic interest or value as part of the development, heritage or cultural characteristics of the borough, state or nation and which has been designated as an historic or landmark site pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 215, Zoning.
The Commission shall consist of five members and two alternate members who shall be appointed by the Mayor; provided, however, that Class A and Class B members, as defined in § 27-5 herein, may be compensated as provided by the Borough Council.
The initial terms of office of the first Commission members shall be for one, two or three years to be designated by the Mayor in making such appointments in the following manner: two of such members shall be appointed for terms of one year, one of such members shall be appointed for a term of two years and two of such members shall be appointed to terms of three years. The terms of each such member shall expire on December 31 of the last year of each such member's terms and upon the appointment and qualification of such member's successor. The terms of appointment of succeeding Commission members shall be for four years each, to expire on December 31 of the last year of each such succeeding member's term and upon the appointment and qualification of such member's successor. The initial term of the first alternate member shall be for two years and of the second alternate member for one year and, thereafter, the term of an alternate member shall be two years. A vacancy occurring otherwise than by expiration of term shall be filled for the unexpired term only.
The Commission shall include in designating the category of appointment one member of 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 borough.
Class B. A person who is knowledgeable or with a demonstrated interest in local history and who may reside outside the borough, however, preference for Class B members shall be given first to residents or property owners within the Historic District Overlay Zone and then to residents of the borough.
Those regular members who are not designated as Class A or B shall be designated as Class C. Class C members shall be residents of the borough and preference shall be given to residents or property owners within the Historic District Overlay Zone. Class C members shall hold no other municipal office, position or employment except for membership on the Planning Board or Board of Adjustment. The Class C membership shall include not more than one Planning Board or Board of Adjustment member.
Alternative members shall meet the qualifications of Class C members.
Notwithstanding any other provision herein, the term of any member common to the 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 Commission and the Board of Adjustment shall be for the term of membership on the Board of Adjustment.
The Commission shall elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman from its members and select a Secretary who may or may not be a member of the Commission or a municipal employee.
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.
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.
A member or alternate member of the Commission may, after public hearing if he or she requests it, be removed by the Borough Council for cause.
The Borough Council shall make provision in its budget and appropriate funds for the expenses of the 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 Borough Attorney at the rate of compensation determined by the Borough Council, unless the Borough Council, 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 Borough Council for the Commission's use.
The Commission shall have the responsibility to:
Prepare a survey of historic sites of the borough pursuant to the criteria identified in the survey report.
Make recommendations to the Planning Board on the Historic Preservation Plan Element of the Master Plan and on the implications for preservation of historic sites of any other Master Plan elements.
Advise the Planning Board on the inclusion of historic sites in the recommended capital improvement program.
Advise the Planning Board and Board of Adjustment on applications for development as provided herein.
Carry out such other advisory, educational and informational functions as will promote historic preservation in the borough.
Hold hearings and take testimony on any application as it deems necessary.
The Planning Board and Board of Adjustment shall refer to the Commission every application for development in historic zoning districts or on historic sites designated on the Zoning or Official Map or identified in any component element of the Master Plan. This referral shall be made when the application for development is deemed complete or is scheduled for a hearing, whichever occurs first. Failure to refer the application as required shall not invalidate any hearing or proceeding. The Commission may provide its advice in written or oral form, which shall be conveyed through the delegation of one of its members or staff to testify orally at the hearing on the application and/or to explain any written report which may have been submitted.
If the zoning ordinance designates and regulates historic sites or districts pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL), the administrative officer shall refer applications for issuance of permits pertaining to historic sites or property in historic districts to the Commission for a written report on the application of the Zoning Ordinance provisions concerning historic preservation to any of those aspects of the change proposed which were not determined by an approval granted by the Planning Board or Board of Adjustment. The Commission shall submit its report to the administrative officer.
In the case of a referral by the administrative officer of a minor application for the issuance of a permit pertaining to historic sites or property in historic districts, as defined in the Zoning Ordinance, the Chairman of the Commission may act in the place of the full commission for purposes of this section.
The Commission shall report to the referring Board or to the administrative officer within 45 days of referral of the application for development or permit application, as the case may be, to the Historic Preservation Commission.
In the case of a permit application only, if within the forty-five-day period the Commission recommends to the administrative officer against the issuance of a permit or recommends conditions to the permit to be issued, the Administrative Officer shall deny issuance of the permit or include the conditions in the permit, as the case may be. Appeal from a denial of a permit shall be taken pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70a.
Failure of the Commission to report within the forty-five-day period shall be deemed to constitute a report in favor of issuance of the permit and without the recommendation of conditions to the permit.
All meetings of the Historic Preservation Commission shall comply with the Open Public Meetings Act (N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq.).