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City of Easton, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
In determining the recommendations to be made to the Easton City Council concerning the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness, the HDC shall consider only those matters that are pertinent to the preservation of the historical and/or architectural aspect and nature of the building, site, area or district certified to have historical significance, including the following:
Broad historical values representing the cultural, political, economic or social history of the City of Easton.
The relationship of the building or structure to historic personages or events.
Significant architectural types representative of a certain historical period and a style or method of construction.
The effect of the proposed change upon the general historical and architectural nature of the district.
The appropriateness of the exterior architectural features that can be seen from a public street or way.
The general design, arrangement, texture and material of a building or structure and the relation of such factors to similar features of buildings or structures in the district. Consideration shall be given but not limited to the following:
Proportion of building's front facades. Preserving the relationship between the width of the front of the building and the height of the front of the building.
Proportion of openings within the building. Preserving the relationship of width to height of windows and doors.
Rhythms of solid to voids in the front facade. Preserving the relationship between a recurrent alteration of strong and weak architectural elements thereby maintaining a rhythm of solids to voids.
Rhythms of spacing of buildings on streets. Preserving the existing rhythm of recurrent or repeated building masses to spaces between each building.
Rhythms of entrance and/or porch projections. Preserving the existing rhythm of entrances or porch projections to maintain a pedestrian scale.
Relationship of materials. Preserving the predominant materials of the district, such as brick, stone, stucco, wood siding, or other material.
Relationship of textures. Preserving the predominant textures of the district, which may be smooth, such as stucco, or rough, such as brick with tooled joints, or horizontal wood siding or other textures.
Relationship of architectural details. Preserving character-defining features of buildings such as architectural details, including, but not limited to, cornices, lintels, arches, quoins, balustrades and ironwork, chimneys, etc.
Relationship of roof shapes. Preserving compatible roof shapes, such as gable, mansard, hip, flat, gambrel, and/or other kinds of roof shapes.
Walls of continuity. Preserving physical elements which comprise streetscapes, such as brick walls, wrought iron fences, building facades or combinations of these which form visual continuity and cohesiveness along the street.
Directional expression of front elevation. Preserving the orientation of structural shapes, plan of openings and architectural detail that reflect a predominantly vertical or horizontal character to the building's facade.
Scale. Preserving the scale of the built environment created by the size of units of construction and architectural detail that relate to the size of persons. In addition, preserving building mass in its relation to open space.
Variations. The HDC shall grant variations in a manner that will be in harmony with the character of other buildings or structures on the street and/or districts.
The height of any new building or structure shall be in harmony and scale with the surrounding built environment. This requirement shall also apply to any proposed modifications to existing buildings or structures.
In such rare cases where the HDC recommends and the Easton City Council approves demolition of a historic building or structure, a good faith effort shall be made by the City of Easton and the owner(s) to move said building or structure to a proximate site. If moving a building or structure slated to be demolished is economically or practically infeasible, the owner is encouraged to salvage architectural features of said building or structure for use within the City of Easton.
In all cases, the Code Administrator shall have the authority to issue an emergency demolition order to maintain the public health and safety.
In addition to the above, Chapter 595, Zoning, shall be so amended as to be compatible with the purpose and objectives of this chapter.[1]
Editor's Note: See § 595-224, Historic District Overlay, which contains context-sensitive design standards.
All other City of Easton laws and ordinances shall be complied with, including the Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances.
Financial feasibility.
The HDC shall consider the financial feasibility of its recommendations in response to a request for a certificate of appropriateness or building permit for the erection, reconstruction, alteration and restoration of a building or structure. Financial feasibility shall be determined on the basis of an unreasonable cost for repair or replacement in-kind of the whole or part of a building or structure. The HDC will assist the property owner to find and recommend cost-effective and appropriate materials.
The applicant shall submit a minimum of three estimates from bona fide contractors and vendors substantiating his or her claim that the financial feasibility or repair in-kind is unreasonable. The Board shall determine as to the conditions of said architectural feature based on its inspection, photographs or report from the Code Administrator or preservation staff or consultant. No substitute material shall be approved which is inappropriate, incompatible or is destructive or has the potential to be destructive to the original fabric of the building or structure.
[Amended 2-11-2009 by Ord. No. 5167]
No new vinyl or aluminum siding, imitation brick face, imitation stone face or other material shall be allowed on the exterior of any masonry wall of a building or structure. The repainting and repair of masonry is strongly encouraged, and the painting of previously unpainted masonry shall be discouraged. No capping with aluminum or vinyl or other material shall be allowed on the exterior of character-defining features of a building or structure.
All signs in the Local Historic District are subject to the City of Easton Planning and Zoning Code, Chapter 595, Article XXXIII, Sign Regulations. In conjunction with this, no sign or advertising display of any kind or for any purpose shall be erected or altered, notwithstanding zoning approval, until an application for permit to make such erection or alteration has been reviewed by the HDC.
Historical markers may be authorized by the HDC, subject to the provisions stipulated, and such markers shall not be considered as signs but are to be erected in accordance with the requirements established for historical markers by the HDC.