Village of East Aurora, NY
Erie County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of East Aurora 5-26-1987 by L.L. No. 9-1987 (Ch. 15 of the 1972 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Planning Commission — See Ch. 58.
Historic property tax exemption — See Ch. 235, Art. V.
Zoning — See Ch. 285.
It is hereby declared as a matter of public policy that the protection, enhancement and perpetration of landmarks and historic districts is necessary to promote the economic, cultural, educational, and general welfare of the public. Inasmuch as the identity of a people is founded on its past, and inasmuch as East Aurora has many significant historic, architectural and cultural resources which constitutes its heritage, this chapter is intended to:
A. 
Protect and enhance the landmarks and historic districts which represent distinctive elements of East Aurora's historic, architectural and cultural heritage;
B. 
Foster civic pride in the accomplishments of the past;
C. 
Protect and enhance East Aurora's attractiveness to visitors and support and stimulus to the economy thereby provided; and
D. 
Insure the harmonious, orderly, and efficient growth and development of the Village of East Aurora.
[Amended 5-17-2004 by L.L. No. 4-2004]
There is hereby created a commission to be known as the "East Aurora Historic Preservation Commission."
A. 
The Commission shall consist of nine members to be appointed, to the extent available in the community, by the Mayor as follows: at least one shall be an architect; at least one shall be a historian; at least one shall be an attorney; at least one shall be a resident of a historic district; and the remaining members shall have demonstrated significant interest in and commitment to the field of historic preservation evidenced either by involvement in a local historic preservation group, employment of volunteer activity in the field of historic preservation, or other serious interest in the field; and all members shall have a known interest in historic preservation and architectural development within the Village of East Aurora.
[Amended 10-15-2007 by L.L. No. 7-2007]
B. 
Commission members shall serve for terms of four years.
[Amended 3-14-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
C. 
The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Commission shall be elected by and from among the members of the Commission.
D. 
The powers of the Commission shall include:
(1) 
Promulgation of rules and regulations as necessary for the conduct of its business.
(2) 
Adoption of criteria for the identification of significant historic, architectural, and cultural landmarks and for the delineation of historic districts.
(3) 
Conduct of surveys of significant historic, architectural, and cultural landmarks and historic districts within the Village.
(4) 
Designation of identified structures or resources as landmarks and historic districts.
(5) 
Acceptance on behalf of the Village of the donation of facade easements and development rights; the making of recommendations to the Village Board of Trustees concerning the acquisition of facade easements or other interests in real property as necessary to carry out the purposes of this act.
(6) 
Increasing public awareness of the value of historic, cultural and architectural preservation by developing and participating in public education programs.
(7) 
Making recommendations to the Village Board of Trustees concerning the utilization of state, federal or private funds to promote the preservation of landmarks and historic districts within the Village of East Aurora.
(8) 
Recommending acquisition of a landmark structure by the Village of East Aurora where its preservation is essential to the purposes of this act and where private preservation is not feasible.
(9) 
Approval or disapproval of applications for certificates of appropriateness pursuant to this act.
E. 
The Commission shall meet as least monthly, but meetings may be held at any time on the written request of any two of the Commission members or on the call of the Chairman or the Mayor.
F. 
A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of four of the Commission's members, but not less than a majority of the full authorized membership may grant or deny a certificate of appropriateness.
A. 
The Commission may, subject to the approval of the Village Board of Trustees, designate an individual property as a landmark, if it:
(1) 
Possesses special character or historic or aesthetic interest or value as part of the cultural, political, economic or social history of the locality, region, state or nation;
(2) 
Is identified with historic personages;
(3) 
Embodies the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style;
(4) 
Is the work of a designer whose work has significantly influenced an age; or
(5) 
Because of unique location or singular physical characteristic, represents an established and familiar visual feature of the neighborhood.
B. 
Designation of historic districts.
(1) 
The Commission may, subject to the approval of the Village Board of Trustees, designate a group of properties as an historic district if it:
(a) 
Contains properties which meet one or more of the criteria for designation as a landmark; and
(b) 
By reason of possessing such qualities, it constitutes a district section of the Village.
(2) 
The boundaries of each historic district designated henceforth shall be specified in detail and shall be filed, in writing, in the Village Clerk's Office for public inspection.
C. 
Notice of a proposed designation shall be sent by registered mail to the owner of the property proposed for designation, describing the property proposed and announcing a public hearing by the Commission to consider the designation. Once the Commission has issued notice of a proposed designation, no building permits shall be issued by the Code Enforcement Officer until the Commission has made its decision. Such decision shall be made within 30 days from permit application.
D. 
The Commission shall hold a public hearing prior to the designation of any landmark or historic district. The Commission, owners and any interested parties may present testimony or documentary evidence at the hearing which will become part of the record regarding the historic, architectural, or cultural importance of the proposed landmark or historic district. The record may also contain staff reports, public comments, or other evidence offered outside of the hearing.
E. 
The Commission shall forward notice of each property designated as a landmark and of the boundaries of each designated historic district to the office of the Erie County Clerk for recordation.
No person shall carry out any exterior alteration, restoration, reconstruction, demolition, new construction or moving of a landmark or property within an historic district, nor shall any person make any material change in the appearance of such a property, its light fixtures, signs, sidewalks, fences, steps, paving or other exterior elements visible from a public street or alley which affects the appearance and cohesiveness of the historic district, without first obtaining a certificate of appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Commission.
A. 
In passing upon an application for a certificate of appropriateness, the Historic Preservation Commission shall not consider changes to interior spaces, unless they are open to the public, or to architectural features that are not visible from a public street or alley. The Commission's decisions shall be based upon the following principles:
(1) 
Properties which contribute to the character of the historic district shall be retained, with their historic features altered as little as possible;
(2) 
Any alteration of existing properties shall be compatible with its historic character, as well as with the surrounding district; and
(3) 
New construction shall be compatible with the district in which it is located.
B. 
In applying the principles of compatibility, the Commission shall consider the following factors:
(1) 
The general design, character and appropriateness to the property of the proposed alteration or new construction.
(2) 
The scale of the proposed alteration or new construction in relation to the property itself, surrounding properties, and the neighborhood.
(3) 
Texture, materials, and color and their relation to similar features of other properties in the neighborhood.
(4) 
Visual compatibility with surrounding properties, including proportion of the property's front facade, proportion and arrangement of windows and other openings within the facade, roof shape, and the rhythm of spacing of properties on streets, including setback.
(5) 
The importance of historic, architectural or other features to the significance of the property.
A. 
Prior to the commencement of any work requiring a certificate of appropriateness, the owner shall file an application for such a certificate with the Historic Preservation Commission. The application shall contain:
(1) 
Name, address and telephone number of applicant;
(2) 
Location and photographs of property;
(3) 
Elevation drawings of proposed changes, if available;
(4) 
Perspective drawings, including relationship to adjacent properties, if available;
(5) 
Samples of color or materials to be used;
(6) 
Where the proposal includes signs or lettering, a scale drawing showing the type of lettering to be used, all dimensions and colors, a description of materials to be used, method of illumination and a plan showing the sign's location on the property;
(7) 
Any other customary and reasonable information which the Commission may deem necessary in order to visualize the proposed work.
B. 
No building permit shall be issued for such proposed work until a certificate of appropriateness has first been issued by the Historic Preservation Commission. The certificate of appropriateness required by this chapter shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any building permit that may be required by any other law of the Village of East Aurora.
C. 
The Commission may approve, deny, or approve the permit with modifications within 15 days from receipt of the completed application. The Commission may hold a public hearing on the application at which an opportunity will be provided for proponents and opponents of the application to present their views.
D. 
All decisions of the Commission shall be in writing. A copy shall be sent to the applicant by registered mail and a copy filed with the Village Clerk's office for public inspection. The Commission's decision shall state the reasons for denying or modifying any application.
A. 
An applicant whose certificate of appropriateness for a proposed demolition has been denied may apply for relief on the ground of hardship. In order to prove the existence of hardship, the applicant shall establish that:
(1) 
The property is incapable of earning a reasonable return, regardless of whether that return represents the most profitable return possible;
(2) 
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
(3) 
Efforts to find a purchaser interested in acquiring the property and preserving it have failed.
B. 
An applicant whose certificate of appropriateness for a proposed alteration has been denied may apply for relief on the ground of hardship. In order to prove the existence of hardship, the applicant shall establish that:
(1) 
The property is incapable of earning a reasonable return, regardless of whether that return represents the most profitable return possible;
(2) 
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
(3) 
Efforts to find a purchaser interested in acquiring the property and preserving it have failed.
A. 
After receiving written notification from the Commission of the denial of a certificate of appropriateness, an applicant may commence the hardship process. No building permit or demolition permit shall be issued unless the Commission makes a finding that a hardship exists. Such decision shall be made within 30 days from receipt of the hardship application.
B. 
The Commission may 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.
C. 
The applicant shall consult in good faith with the Commission, local preservation groups and interested parties in a diligent effort to seek an alternative that will result in preservation of the property.
D. 
All decisions of the Commission shall be in writing. A copy shall be sent to the applicant by registered mail and a copy filed with the Village Clerk's office for public inspection. The Commission's decision shall state the reasons for granting or denying the hardship application.
All work performed pursuant to a certificate of appropriateness issued under this chapter shall conform to any requirements included therein. It shall be the duty of the Code Enforcement Officer to inspect periodically any such work to assure compliance. In the event work is found that is not being performed in accordance with the certificate of appropriateness, or upon notification of such fact by the Historic Preservation Commission, the Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a stop work order and all work shall immediately cease. No further work shall be undertaken on the project as long as a stop work order is in effect.
A. 
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance and repair of any exterior architectural feature of a landmark or property within an historic district which does not involve a change in design, material, color or outward appearance.
B. 
No owner or person with an interest in real property designated as a landmark or included in an historic district shall permit the property to fall into a serious state of disrepair so as to result in the deterioration of any exterior architectural feature which would, in the judgment of the Historic Preservation Commission, produce a detrimental effect upon the character of the historic district as a whole or the life and character of the property itself.
A. 
Violations of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or by imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both. Each day's continuance of a violation after notice shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation and shall be punishable accordingly.
[Amended 3-14-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
B. 
Any person who demolishes, alters, constructs or permits a designated property to fall into a serious state of disrepair in violation of this ordinance shall be required to restore the property and its site to its appearance prior to the violation. Any action to enforce this subsection shall be brought by the Village Attorney. This civil remedy shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any criminal prosecution and penalty.
Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Historic Preservation Commission relating to hardship or a certificate of appropriateness may, within 15 days of the decision, file a written application with the Village Board of Trustees for review of the decision.