[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Coatesville 10-10-1989 by Ord. No. 845-89 as Ch. 26 of the 1989 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
To protect the portions of the City of Coatesville which recall the architectural and cultural heritage of our city and state; to awaken in our people an interest in our historic past; and to promote the general welfare, education and culture of our city, there is hereby created a commission to be known and designated as the "Historical Commission of the City of Coatesville, Pennsylvania."
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- LANDMARK STRUCTURE
- Any structure designated by the Historical Commission, which has also been approved and registered on the Pennsylvania Register of Historic Places maintained by the Commonwealth Historical and Museum Commission and the National Register of Historic Places maintained by the United States Department of the Interior.
[Amended 9-9-1996 by Ord. No. 1033-96]
The Commission shall consist of seven (7) regular members appointed by the City Council. In addition, the Mayor may serve, ex officio, as a member of the Commission.
The term of office each of the seven (7) regular members shall be three (3) years. The initial terms of the first seven (7) members shall be as follows: Two (2) shall serve until the first Monday of January 1965; two (2) until the first Monday of January 1966; and three (3) until the first Monday of January 1967. Their successors shall serve for terms of three (3) years. An appointment to fill a vacancy in office shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term. Members shall serve without compensation.
No person shall be eligible to appointment who is not a citizen of the United States and of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. At least four (4) members of the Commission must reside within the city limits of Coatesville. Remaining members may reside within the greater Coatesville area. The position of any member of the Commission who thereafter moves his or her residence from the City of Coatesville or its surrounding area shall be automatically considered vacant.
The Commission shall hold meetings regularly, at least once in each month or as matters before the Commission may require, and shall designate the time and place thereof. The Commission may adopt and alter rules and regulations governing its own organization and procedure, consistent with the ordinances of the city and the laws of the commonwealth.
The Commission shall keep a record of its proceedings and shall make annual report of its transactions and activities to the City Council. All meetings, records and accounts of the Commission shall be public.
A majority of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Action taken at any meeting shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of the Commission.
[Added 4-22-2013 by Ord. No. 1404-2013]
Any member of the Historical Commission absent from three or more consecutive regular meetings of the Historical Commission without an approved leave of absence granted by the City Council after public hearing and prior written notice thereof shall be removed from the Historical Commission by the City Council of the City of Coatesville.
Any member of the Historical Commission absent from 20% or more of the regularly scheduled meetings of the Historical Commission within any one-year period shall be notified in writing by the City Manager acting on behalf of the City Council of the attendance requirements of this subsection. Any member of the Historical Commission who is absent from 20% or more of the regularly scheduled meetings within a one-year period shall thereafter be removed for cause from such position by the City Council with prior written notice after public hearing unless such member resigns in writing or waives the public hearing in writing.
Any member of the Historical Commission may be removed for cause as determined by the City Council after public hearing and prior written notice thereof.
The provisions of this subsection shall not preclude the removal of any member of the Historical Commission without cause by the City Council when authorized by state law, City Charter or City ordinance.
The functions of the Commission shall be to further the interest of the people in all matters relating to the history of the City of Coatesville and its environs. To that end, it may acquire and maintain appropriate exhibits, issue bulletins and other publications, cooperate in or sponsor commemorative, educational or research programs and serve in an advisory capacity to the City Council in all such matters.
The Commission may, with the approval of the City Council and in the name of the City of Coatesville, acquire, take and hold, by purchase, gift, devise, bequest or otherwise, such real and personal property as may be proper for carrying out the objects and functions for which it is established, and any property, real or personal, received in trust shall be held in the name of the city but in conformity with the terms of the trust.
The Commission may acquire, collect, own and exhibit, in the name of the City of Coatesville, articles of historical interest and other objects such as are usually incorporated in historical museums; but any such articles received on loan or in trust shall be held in conformity with such loan or trust agreement.
When designated by the City Council to do so, the Commission shall carry out and enforce the powers and duties provided for in the Coatesville Zoning Ordinance, § 224-39F.
[Added 9-9-1996 by Ord. No. 1033-96]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the renumbering of former Subsection D to Subsection E.
The Commission shall have such other powers as are herein prescribed or may be necessary hereunder for the proper discharge of its duties.
The preservation and continued utilization of districts, buildings or objects whose general character is important historically or uniquely valuable for design or location are hereby declared to be a public use, a form of municipal conservation, essential to the public interest. The Commission is therefore charged with the responsibility of developing and continuing an effective program of landmark recognition and preservation. The Commission shall survey and designate, in a suitable manner, areas, places, buildings, structures, monuments, works of art and other objects having special historical, architectural, community or aesthetic interest and value and worthy of preservation.
The Commission shall have the power of review and recommendation in any case involving the demolition of a landmark structure or alteration that would be in such manner as to change its essential character. The Commission shall have the opportunity to study and review all plans and proposals involving the reconstruction, alteration, restoration, demolition and razing of properly designated landmarks as herein provided.
The Building Inspector shall not issue a permit for any reconstruction, alteration, restoration, demolition or razing of a landmark structure until a copy of the application has been referred to the Commission for its review as hereinafter provided.
Upon receipt of an application for a building permit for work to be done involving or affecting a landmark structure, the Building Inspector shall act in accordance with the procedures presently being following in that office, except as those procedures are necessarily modified by the following requirements:
He or she shall forward to the office of the Commission a copy of the application for a building permit, together with a copy of the plot plan and the building plans and specifications filed by the applicant.
He or she shall maintain in his or her office a record of all such applications and of his or her handling of the same, which shall be in addition to and appropriately cross-referenced to his or her other records.
He or she shall require applicants to submit a sufficient number of additional copies of material required to be attached to an application for a building permit to ensure compliance with the foregoing.
Upon receipt by the Commission of a notice that an application for a building permit involving a landmark structure has been filed, a report on said review, together with any recommendations, shall be given to the City Council, in writing, within fifteen (15) days from the date of said referral. If the Commission shall fail to file such a report within the specified time and manner, it shall be conclusively presumed that the Commission has approved the proposed application.
In determining the counsel to be presented to the Council of the City of Coatesville concerning the issuing of a building permit for the erection, reconstruction, alteration, restoration, demolition or razing of all or a part of a landmark structure, the Commission shall consider and incorporate in its report the following matters:
The exact location of the area in which the work is to be done.
The exterior changes to be made or the exterior character of the structure to be erected (outlining general design, architectural features, arrangement, texture, material and color) and the relation of such factors to the original structure and to other structures in the area.
A list of the surrounding structures, with their general characteristics.
The opinion of the Commission (including any dissent) as to the appropriateness of the work proposed as it will preserve and enhance or damage and destroy the historic or architectural aspect and nature of the landmark structure in question.
The specific counsel of the Commission to the Council of the City of Coatesville as to the issuance of a building permit for the work as proposed.
Upon receipt of an unfavorable written report from the Commission, the Council of the City of Coatesville shall consider the application and make a final determination thereon.