Village of Osceola, WI
Polk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Osceola 12-12-1995 by Ord. No. 15-95. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 92.
Zoning — See Ch. 219.
A. 
It is hereby declared a matter of public policy that the protection, enhancement, perpetuation and use of improvements or sites of special character or special architectural, archaeological or historic interest or value is public necessity and is required in the interest of the health, prosperity, safety and welfare of the people.
B. 
The purpose of this chapter is to:
(1) 
Effect and accomplish the protection, enhancement and preservation of such improvements, sites and districts which represent or reflect elements of Osceola cultural, social, economic, political and architectural history.
(2) 
Safeguard Osceola's historic, prehistoric and cultural heritage, as embodied and reflected in such historic structures, sites and districts.
(3) 
Stabilize and improve property values and enhance the visual and aesthetic character of Osceola.
(4) 
Protect and enhance Osceola attractions to residents, tourists and visitors and serve as a support and stimulus to business and industry.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
The certificate issued by the Commission approving alteration, rehabilitation, construction, reconstruction or demolition of an historic structure, historic site or any improvement in an historic district.
COMMISSION
The Historic Preservation Commission created under this chapter.
HISTORIC DISTRICT
An area designated by the Village Board, on recommendation of the Commission, that contains two or more historic improvements or sites.
HISTORIC SITE
Any parcel of land of historic significance due to a substantial value in tracing the history or prehistory of man, or upon which an historic event has occurred, and which has been designated as an historic site under this chapter, or an improvement parcel, or part thereof, on which is situated an historic structure and any abutting improvement parcel, or part thereof, used as and constituting part of the premises on which the historic structure is situated.
HISTORIC STRUCTURE
Any improvement which has a special character or special historic interest or value as part of the development, heritage or cultural characteristics of Osceola, the state or nation and which has been designated as an historic structure pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
IMPROVEMENT
Any building, structure, place, work of art or other object constituting a physical betterment of real property or any part of such betterment, including streets, alleys, sidewalks, curbs, lighting fixtures, signs and the like.
A. 
Composition. An Historic Preservation Commission is hereby created, consisting of seven members. At least six of the members shall be residents of the village. Of the membership, if available in the community, one shall be a registered architect, one shall be an historian, one shall be a licensed real estate broker, one shall be a Village Trustee and three shall be citizen members. Each member shall have, to the highest extent practicable, a known interest in historic preservation. The Village President shall appoint the Commissioners subject to confirmation by the Village Board.
B. 
Terms of office.
(1) 
Initial appointment of Commissioners shall be as follows: A Village Trustee shall be appointed until May 1, 1997. Two Commissioners shall be appointed for terms expiring May 1, 1997, two Commissioners shall be appointed for terms expiring May 1, 1998, and two shall be appointed for terms expiring May 1, 1999.
(2) 
Appointments after the initial appointment shall be as follows: The Village Trustee appointment shall be made annually for a one-year term. All other Commission terms shall be for three years. Should anyone, for any reason, fail to complete a term a replacement will be appointed to serve out the remainder of the term.
C. 
The Commission shall hold its initial organizational meeting at a time set by the Village President. In May of 1997 and each May thereafter, at a date set at a prior meeting or set by the Chairman, the Commission shall elect officers.
D. 
Officers of the Commission shall be a Chair and a Secretary.
(1) 
Duties of the Chair. The Chair shall preside over all meetings and may call a special meeting at any time by giving proper legal notice.
(2) 
Duties of the Secretary. The Secretary shall keep minutes of the meetings and shall preside over meetings in the absence of the Chair.
A. 
For purposes of this chapter, an historic structure, historic site or historic district designation may be placed on any site, natural or improved, including any building improvement or structure located thereon, or any area of particular historic, architectural, archaeological or cultural significance to Osceola, such as historic structures, sites or districts which:
(1) 
Exemplify or reflect the broad cultural, political, economic or social history of the nation, state or community;
(2) 
Are identified with historic personages or with important events in national, state or local history;
(3) 
Embody the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural type or specimen inherently valuable for a study of a period, style, method of construction or of indigenous materials or craftsmanship;
(4) 
Are representative of the notable work of a master builder, designer or architect who influenced his or her age; or
(5) 
Have yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important to prehistory or history.
B. 
The Commission shall adopt specific operating guidelines for historic structure, historic site and historic district designation, provided that such are in conformance with the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
Signage criteria. Signage shall be designed to enhance and complement the historic character of buildings within the district. Prior to issuance of a sign permit for a new sign or the replacement of an existing sign, the applicant shall complete a design review application. The Historic Preservation Commission shall review said application and issue a certificate of appropriateness, provided that the following guidelines are met:
[Added 1-13-1998 by Ord. No. 1-98]
(1) 
Sign and placement. Signs shall be positioned so that they are an integral design feature of the architectural features of the building and shall be placed so that they do not destroy architectural details, such as, but not limited to, stone arches, glass transom panels or decorative brickwork. Signs may be placed only in the horizontal lintel sign space above the storefront windows or within window glass, attached to awnings or in areas where signs were historically attached. In addition to the maximum sign sizes and placement which are controlled by Chapter 219, Zoning, Article IV, Signs, the following rule shall be followed: Awning signs may be placed on the side panels, front drop or awning valance but shall not extend vertically or horizontally beyond the limits of an awning and shall not exceed 40% of the surface area of the side panel, front drop or valance of any awning.
(2) 
Colors. Sign colors shall blend with the building facade to which the sign is attached and be compatible with the property's use. No more than two colors shall be used for sign lettering.
(3) 
Message. The sign message shall be legible and relate to the nature of the use. These requirements may be accomplished through the use of words, pictures, names, symbols and/or logos.
(4) 
Lettering. Lettering styles shall be legible and relate to the character of the property's use. In addition, a sign shall contain no more than two lettering styles, lettering shall occupy no more than 60% of the sign's total area, and capital letters shall be no more than 75% of the height of the sign background.
(5) 
Illumination. External illumination of signs is permitted. Illumination may be incandescent or fluorescent but shall emit a continuous white light that prevents direct light from shining onto the street. Exposed neon lighted signs may be appropriate to the historic district, provided that they meet the other requirements of this section. The use of internally lit signs, such as but not limited to backlit signs, shall be allowed for the following: public service time and/or temperature signs and theater signage.
(6) 
Freestanding signs. All freestanding signs which comply with the requirements of Chapter 219, Zoning, Article IV, Signs, shall be located, sized and landscaped so that they do not obscure the view of historic properties.
(7) 
Portable signs. Portable signs are permitted in the Local Downtown and National Historic Districts subject to the following standards:
[Added 3-12-2013 by Ord. No. 13-01]
(a) 
An approved conditional obstruction permit is obtained per § 186-4C.
(b) 
Portable signs shall not be considered temporary signs.
(c) 
Limited to one sign per building. One additional sign per 30 feet of building frontage is permitted for multiple-tenant buildings with frontage wider than 100 feet. An additional sign is permitted for buildings on corner lots.
(d) 
Shall be freestanding, not attached by any means to a permanent structure, natural feature, or sidewalk, and designed to prevent overturning.
(e) 
The content is limited to businesses or advertised goods of the business immediately adjacent to the sign.
(f) 
Shall not contain dispensing pockets for materials such as, but not limited to, menus, sales flyers, advertising brochures, etc.
(g) 
Shall not have balloons, streamers, pennants, or similar adornment attached to them, except for grand openings for no more than three days.
(h) 
Shall be displayed only during hours of operation and must be stored indoors at all other times.
(i) 
Shall be located outside the vision clearance area, as described in § 219-35, and shall not obstruct the sidewalk, building entrances/exits, cross walks, loading zones, on-street parking spaces, easements, or interfere with snow removal.
(j) 
A minimum pedestrian clearance of five continuous feet from the front of the building to the sign, or to the inside edge of the curb if the sign is placed adjacent to the building, must be maintained for pedestrian movement.
(k) 
Shall be placed within 10 feet of the building entrance, but not placed in the street. If the building entrance is within the vision clearance area, the distance may be increased. Signs are prohibited on the sidewalk at street corners, in disabled access ramps/curbs and in or adjacent to designated disabled parking spaces, building exits or fire escapes and may not obstruct public benches or trash receptacles.
(l) 
Maximum height of 48 inches and a maximum of 12 square feet per side and a total of 24 square feet.
(m) 
Shall be painted and constructed of quality sign-grade wood or metal with historically appropriate colors that are compatible with and complimentary to the architecture of the historic buildings and character of the Local Downtown and National Historic Districts and the business. An appendix containing images of acceptable portable signs and colors is available upon request.
(n) 
Synthetic materials such as chalkboard and whiteboard are acceptable accent materials but are limited to 50% of the sign area on each side.
(o) 
Shall not be reflective, animated, fluorescent or illuminated.
(p) 
Owners of such signs shall assume all liability for damage resulting from their use and shall be responsible for assuring that sign remains in good condition.
(q) 
Any signs not in compliance with these standards may be removed by the Village.
A. 
Designation. The Commission shall have the power, subject to § 130-6, to designate historic structures and historic sites and to recommend designation of historic districts within the Osceola limits. Such designations shall be made based on § 130-4. Historic districts shall be approved by the Village Board. Once designated, such historic structures, sites and districts shall be subject to all the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Regulation of construction, reconstruction, alteration and demolition.
(1) 
No owner or person in charge of an historic structure, historic site or structure within an historic district shall reconstruct, alter or demolish all or any part of the exterior of such property or construct any improvement upon such designated property or properties or cause or permit any such work to be performed upon such property or demolish such property unless a certificate of appropriateness has been granted by the Historic Preservation Commission. Also, unless such certificate has been granted by the Commission, the Building Inspector shall not issue a permit for any such work.
(2) 
Upon filing of any application for a certificate of appropriateness with the Commission, the Commission shall approve the application unless:
(a) 
In the case of a designated historic structure or historic site, the proposed work would detrimentally change, destroy or adversely affect any exterior feature of the improvement or site upon which said work is to be done.
(b) 
In the case of the construction of a new improvement upon an historic site or within an historic district, the exterior of such improvement would adversely affect or not harmonize with the external appearance of other neighboring improvements on such site or within the district.
(c) 
In the case of any property located in an historic district, the proposed construction, reconstruction, exterior alteration or demolition does not conform to the purpose and intent of this chapter and to the objectives and design criteria of the historic preservation plan for said district.
(d) 
The building or structure is of such architectural or historical significance that its demolition would be detrimental to the public interest and contrary to the general welfare of the people of Osceola and Wisconsin.
(e) 
In the case of a request for the demolition of a deteriorated building or structure, any economic hardship or difficulty claimed by the owner is self-created or is the result of any failure to maintain the property in good repair.
(3) 
If the Commission determines that the application for a certificate of appropriateness and the proposed changes are consistent with the character and features of the property or district, it shall issue the certificate of appropriateness. The Commission shall make this decision within 45 days of the filing of the application.
(4) 
The issuance of a certificate of appropriateness shall not relieve the applicant from obtaining other permits and approvals required by Osceola. A building permit or other municipal permit shall be invalid if it is obtained without the presentation of the certificate of appropriateness required for the proposed work.
(5) 
Ordinary maintenance and repairs may be undertaken without a certificate of appropriateness, provided that the work involves repairs to existing features of an historic structure or site or the replacement of elements of a structure with pieces identical in appearance, and provided that the work does not change the exterior appearance of the structure or site and does not require the issuance of a building permit.
C. 
Appeals. Should the Commission fail to issue a certificate of appropriateness due to the failure of the proposal to conform to the guidelines, the applicant may appeal such decision to the Village Board within 90 days. In addition, if the Commission fails to issue a certificate of appropriateness, the Commission shall, with the cooperation of the applicant, work with the applicant in an attempt to obtain a certificate of appropriateness within the guidelines of this chapter.
D. 
Recognition of historic structures, sites and districts. At such time as an historic structure, site or district has been properly designated, the Commission, in cooperation with the property owner, may cause to be prepared and erected on such property a suitable plaque declaring that such property is an historic structure, site or district.
A. 
Designation of historic structures and historic sites.
(1) 
The Commission may, after notice and public hearing, designate historic structures and historic sites, or rescind such designation or recommendation, after application of the criteria in § 130-4 above. At least 10 days prior to such hearing, the Commission shall notify, by mail, the owners of record, as listed in the office of the Village Assessor, who are owners of property in whole or in part situated within 200 feet of the boundaries of the property affected.
(2) 
The Commission shall then conduct such public hearing and, in addition to the notified persons, may hear expert witnesses and shall have the power to subpoena such witnesses and records as it deems necessary. The Commission may conduct an independent investigation into the proposed designation or rescission. Within 10 days after the close of the public hearing, the Commission may designate the property as either an historic structure or an historic site or rescind the designation. After the designation or rescission has been made, notification shall be sent to the property owner or owners. Notification shall also be given to the Village Board. The Commission shall cause the designation or rescission to be recorded, at the expense of the party requesting the action, in the County Register of Deeds office.
B. 
Creation of historic district.
(1) 
For preservation purposes, the Historic Preservation Commission shall select geographically defined areas within Osceola to be designated as historic districts and shall prepare an historic preservation plan for each area. An historic district may be designated for any geographic area of particular historic, architectural or cultural significance to Osceola, after application of the criteria in § 130-4 above. Each historic preservation plan prepared for or by the Historic Preservation Commission shall include a cultural and architectural analysis supporting the historic significance of the area, the specific guidelines for development and a statement of preservation objectives.
(2) 
Review and adoption procedure.
(a) 
Historic Preservation Commission. The Historic Preservation Commission shall hold a public hearing when considering the plan for an historic district. Notice of the time, place and purpose of the public hearing shall be sent by the Village Administrator to the Village Board and the owners of record, as listed in the office of the Osceola Assessor, who are owners of the property within the proposed historic district or situated in whole or in part within 200 feet of the boundaries of the proposed historic district. Said notice is to be sent a least 10 days prior to the date of the public hearing. Following the public hearing, the Historic Preservation Commission shall vote to recommend, reject or withhold action on the plan.
(b) 
The Village Board. The Village Board, upon receipt of the recommendations from the Historic Preservation Commission, shall hold a public hearing, notice to be given as noted in Subsection B(2)(a) above, and shall, following the public hearing, either designate or reject the historic district. Designation of the historic district shall constitute adoption of the plan prepared for that district and direct the implementation of said plan.
No building permit shall be issued by the Building Inspector for alteration, construction, demolition or removal of a nominated historic structure, historic site or any property or structure within a nominated historic district from the date of the meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission at which a nomination form is first presented until the final disposition of the nomination by the Historic Preservation Commission or the Village Board, unless such alteration, removal or demolition is authorized by formal resolution of the Village Board as necessary for public health, welfare or safety. In no event shall the delay be for more than 180 days.
Any person or persons violating any provision of this chapter shall be fined $50 for each separate violation. Each and every day during which a violation continues shall be deemed to be a separate offense. Notice of violations shall be issued by the Building Inspector.