[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of East Amwell 4-26-1990 by Ord. No. 90-06. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be referred to by the short title of the "Historic Preservation Ordinance of the Township of East Amwell."
There is hereby created in and for the Township of East Amwell a committee to be known as "The Historic Preservation and Heritage Advisory Committee," referred to in this chapter as "The Committee."
In adopting this chapter, it is the intention of the East Amwell Township Committee (EATC) to create an agency which will work with and advise the Planning Board and Board of Adjustment, as well as the EATC, on the effect of development applications within any designated historic districts. In addition, the Committee shall review all major development activities involving a historic location, the exterior of a historic landmark or an improvement within a historic district. The Committee's reviews shall be based on objective criteria and will complement existing land use and construction codes. The guidelines established, while compatible with both the Municipal Land Use Law N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq., and the Uniform Construction Code Act N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et sq., shall be viewed as having an independent basis under N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.
This chapter does not require or prohibit any particular architectural style; rather its purpose is to preserve the past by making the past compatible with and relevant to the present. To that end, new construction upon or near a landmark should not necessarily duplicate the style of the landmark; it must be compatible with and not detract from the landmark.
These historic preservation regulations are intended to effect and accomplish the protection, enhancement and perpetuation of especially noteworthy examples or elements of the township's environment in order:
To safeguard the heritage of East Amwell (EA) by preserving resources within the township which reflect elements of its cultural, social, economic and architectural history.
To encourage the continued use of historic landmarks and to facilitate their appropriate use.
To maintain and develop an appropriate and harmonious setting for the historic and architecturally significant buildings, structures, site objects or districts within EA.
To stabilize and improve property values within the district and foster civic pride in the built environment.
To promote appreciation of historic landmarks for education, pleasure and the welfare of the local population.
To spur beautification and private reinvestment.
To manage change by educating applicants regarding alterations to historic structures or new construction in historic locations or districts.
To discourage the unnecessary demolition of historic resources.
To recognize the importance of individual historic landmarks located outside historic districts by assisting property owners and tenants in understanding the requirements and standards of this chapter.
To encourage the proper maintenance and preservation of historic settings and landscapes.
To encourage appropriate alterations of historic landmarks.
To enhance the visual and aesthetic character, diversity, continuity and interest in the town.
To promote the conservation of historic sites, including historic farmsteads and districts, and to invite voluntary compliance.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The construction of a new improvement as part of an existing improvement when such new improvement changes the exterior architectural appearance of any landmark.
- ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER
- The person designated by the EATC to handle the administration of historic project review applications as well as the coordination of building permit applications as referenced in this chapter.
- AFFECTING A LANDMARK OR HISTORIC DISTRICT
- Any major development activity which alters the exterior architectural appearance of a historic landmark or any improvement within a historic district.
- Any work done on any improvement which is not an addition to the improvement and constitutes a major change by addition or replacement in the exterior architectural appearance of any improvement.
- A structure created to shelter human activity.
- Partial or total razing or destruction of any landmark or of any improvement within a historic district.
- The condition of being in need of repairs; a structure or building in a dilapidated state.
- HISTORIC DISTRICT
- A geographically definable area, urban or rural, small or large, possessing a significant concentration, linkage or continuity of sites, buildings, structures and or objects which, viewed collectively:
- A. Represent a significant period(s) in the development of the township; or
- B. Have a distinctive character resulting from their architectural style; or
- C. Because of their distinctive character can readily be viewed as an area or neighborhood distinct from surrounding portions of the township.
- D. Resources within a historic district shall be classified as either significant, contributing, or noncontributing, which are defined as:
- HISTORIC LANDMARK(S)
- Any buildings, structures, sites objects or districts which possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship and association and which have been determined, pursuant to the terms of this chapter, to be:
- A. Of particular historic significance to EA by reflecting or exemplifying the broad cultural, political, economic or social history of the nation, state or community; or
- B. Associated with the historic personages important in national, state or local history; or
- C. The site of a historic event which had a significant effect on the development of the nation, state or community; or
- D. An embodiment of the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of architecture or engineering; or
- E. Representative of the work of an important builder, designer, artist or architect; or
- F. Significant for containing elements of design, detail, materials or craftsmanship which represent a significant innovation; or
- G. Able or likely to yield information important in pre-history or history.
- HISTORIC PRESERVATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE
- The advisory body created by this chapter which is not, however, a historic preservation commission under the Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq. 
- Any structure or any part thereof installed upon real property by human endeavor and intended to be kept at the location of such construction or installation for a period of not less than 120 continuous days.
- A thing of functional, aesthetic, cultural, historic, or scientific value that may be, by nature or design, movable yet related to a specific setting or environment.
- ORDINARY MAINTENANCE
- Repairing any deterioration, wear or damage to a structure, or any part thereof, in order to return the same as nearly as practicable to its condition prior to the occurrence of such deterioration, wear or damage. Ordinary maintenance shall further include replacement of exterior elements or accessory hardware, including signs, using the same materials having the same appearance.
- OVERLAY ZONE DISTRICT
- A zoning district made up of underlying zone districts or parts of zone districts as shown on the Township Zoning Map. An overlay zone district establishes certain standards with the exception of bulk and use requirements, which are established by the underlying zone district(s).
- Any work done on any improvement which:
- Major repairs affecting the exterior architectural appearance of a structure when a building permit is required for the same.
- To partially or completely remove a structure substantially intact.
- The place where a significant event or pattern of events occurred. It may be the location of prehistoric or historic occupations or activities that may be marked by physical remains or it may be the symbolic focus of a significant event or pattern of events that may not have been actively occupied. A site may also be the location of a ruined building, structure or object if the location itself possesses historic, cultural, or archaeological significance. It may also be a farmstead which would typify the working farm environment.
- Any man-made work arranged in a definite pattern of organization.
The following regulations shall apply to all landmarks in a district and to any other historic resources which are designated in accordance with the procedures outlined in § 86-9.
All uses permitted for a historic landmark or for structures with a historic district shall be those designated by the official Zoning Map. Such uses shall not be altered by further designation as a historic district.
The maximum building height, minimum lot size, maximum coverage, etc., shall be as provided in Chapter 92, Land Management, for the respective zones, except that the Planning Board or Board of Adjustment may grant variances and waivers from such regulations where necessary to preserve historic characteristics.
The Historic Preservation and Heritage Advisory Committee shall consist of nine members and two alternates who shall serve without compensation, except that the Committee members shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of official business, including attendance at annual training sessions and/or programs that relate to historic preservation or heritage studies, within the guidelines of the budget established by the EATC.
[Amended 6-13-1991 by Ord. No. 91-05; 2-13-1992 by Ord. No. 92-02]
The Committee positions shall be filled by people who are interested in and qualified to contribute to the preservation of historic buildings, structures, sites, objects, and districts. The Committee shall represent the following categories:
Class A: persons who are knowledgeable in building design and construction or in architectural history.
Class B: persons who are knowledgeable or have a demonstrated interest in local history.
Class C: persons who are residents of the township and who hold no other municipal office, position or employment except for membership on the Planning Board or Board of Adjustment.
There shall be at least one member from each Class A and Class B; these members may reside outside of the municipality.
Committee members shall be appointed by the Township Committee and shall serve for four-year terms, except that of the first members appointed, one member shall serve for one year, two members shall serve for two years, and two other members shall serve for three years. The alternate members shall initially serve for two-year terms. All members may, at the expiration of their terms, be eligible for appointment to four-year terms. If a Committee member is also a Planning Board or Board of Adjustment member, the term of office as a Committee member is the same length as the other board position. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner in which the previous incumbent was appointed, and such vacancy appointment shall be only for the balance of the unexpired term.
The Committee shall adopt internal rules and procedures for the transaction of its business, subject to the following:
The Committee shall elect from its members a Chair and Vice Chair.
A quorum for the transaction of all business shall be three members.
All Committee minutes and records are public records and all Committee meetings shall comply with the Open Public Meetings Act (N.J.S.A. 10:4-7 et seq.).
The Committee shall employ, designate or elect a secretary who need not be a member of the Committee. The secretary shall keep minutes and records of all meetings and proceedings, including voting records, attendance, resolutions, findings, determinations and decisions. All such material shall be made public record.
Committee meetings shall be scheduled at least once every month, or as often as required to fulfill its obligations to advise the Planning Board, Board of Adjustment and Township Committee.
No Committee member 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 of the EATC shall be designated as liaison between the Historic Preservation and Heritage Advisory Committee and the Township Committee.
The Committee shall be responsible:
To review historical survey material and, if necessary to update said material at least every other year to incorporate any newly acquired historical documentation and to reflect changes to a resource's integrity or condition.
To recommend to the Planning Board and the EATC any additional sites to be designated as historic landmarks in accordance with the procedures established in § 86-9.
To conduct research on and, if necessary, to nominate any additional significant resources to the State and National Register of Historic Places . If the town is certified under the state's Certified Local Government (CLG) Program, the Committee shall, in accordance with the state's CLG guidelines, review and comment on all State and National Register nominations for historic resources within the Township of East Amwell.
To recommend to the Planning Board guidelines for review to be utilized in determinations of historic landmark status and for review of projects affecting historic landmarks or improvements within historic districts. The Planning Board may recommend modifications to the guidelines and shall make the final decisions as to their adoption.
To review all major actions, including those involving building permit applications, which affect the exterior architectural appearance of historic landmarks or improvements within a historic district. To advise the Planning Board on the approval of said requests.
To review all major actions and applications for actions affecting the exterior architectural appearance of a historic landmark or an improvement within a historic district and to make recommendations to the Planning Board.
To assist other public bodies in aiding the public in understanding historic resources' significance and methods of preservation.
To advise the EATC on the relative merits of proposals involving public lands to restore, preserve and protect historical buildings, places and structures, including the preparation of a long-range plan therefor securing state, federal and other grants-in-aid to assist therein and monitoring such projects once underway.
To secure the voluntary assistance of the public and (within the limits of budget established by the EATC) to retain consultants and experts and incur expenses to assist the Committee in its work.
To cooperate with local, county, state or national historic societies, governmental bodies and organizations to maximize their contributions to the intent and purposes of this chapter.
To request the EATC seek, on its own motion or otherwise, injunctive relief for violations of this chapter or other actions contrary to the intent and purposes of this chapter.
To advise and assist the Planning Board during the preparation and/or update of a historic preservation plan element of the Master Plan and capital improvement program.
To prepare and distribute a historic district guideline handbook to be utilized for application reviews and foster appropriate rehabilitation within the historic districts.
To consult with the Hunterdon County Historic Society on all matters pertaining to the protection of the township's historic resources.
To advise and assist property owners and other persons and groups including neighborhood organizations who are interested in historic preservation.
To undertake educational programs, including the preparation of publications aimed at stimulating interest in and sensitivity to historic preservation and the placing of historic markers on structures and locations.
To report at least annually to the EATC on the state of historic preservation in the town and recommend measures to improve same.
To collect and disseminate material on the importance of historic preservation and techniques for achieving same.
To advise all municipal agencies regarding goals and techniques of historic preservation.
To adopt and promulgate such regulations and procedures not inconsistent with this chapter as are necessary and proper for the effective and efficient performance of the duties herein assigned.
To perform any other lawful activities which shall be deemed necessary to further the purposes of this chapter.
The Committee shall consider for landmark designation any buildings, structures, objects, sites and districts within EA which merit landmark designation and protection, possessing integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship or association and being:
Of particular historic significance to EA by reflecting or exemplifying the broad cultural, political, economic, or social history of the nation, state, or community, or
Associated with historic personages important in national, state, or local history; or
The site of a historic event which had a significant effect on the development of the nation, state, or community; or
An embodiment of the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of architecture or engineering; or
Representative of the work of an important builder, designer, artist or architect; or
Significant for containing elements of design, detail, materials, or craftsmanship which represent a significant innovation; or
Able or likely to yield information important in prehistory or history; or
Representative of farming activities which have been a significant part of EA's history.
Based on its review or upon the recommendation of other municipal bodies or of concerned citizens, the Committee may make a list of additional landmarks recommended for designation. For each landmark, there shall be a brief description of the landmark, of the landmark's significance pursuant to the criteria in § 86-9A, a description of the landmark's location and boundaries, and a map siting. The Committee shall, by certified mail:
Notify each owner that his property is being considered for historic landmark designation and the reasons therefor.
Advise each owner of the significance and consequences of such designation, and advise them of their opportunities and rights to challenge or contest such designation.
The list of potential additional landmarks as well as the description, significance, location, boundaries, and map siting of each shall be subject to review at a Committee public hearing. At least 10 days before such a hearing, a preliminary list and a map showing proposed additional landmarks shall be published, together with notice of the hearing, in an official newspaper of the municipality. At the hearing, interested persons shall be entitled to present their opinions, suggestions and objections on the proposed recommendations for landmark designation. The Committee shall then submit its recommendations to the Planning Board which shall determine resources to be designated as local landmarks.
The Committee shall prepare a concise report of its recommendations for sites to be designated as local landmarks. Copies of the report shall be delivered to the Planning Board and the Municipal Clerk and a notice of the action published by the Committee secretary in an official newspaper of the town. The published notice shall state the Committee's recommendations and also state that final designation shall be made by the Planning Board at a public meeting specified on a date not less than 15 nor more than 45 days from the date of publication.
Final determination that landmark status exists shall be made by the Planning Board in accordance with § 86-9B. Such a final determination by the Planning Board shall create landmark status. A certificate of designation shall be issued by the Planning Board. Within seven days of the creation of landmark status, the Planning Board shall, by certified mail, notify the owner of the property involved of the determination and advise him or her of his or her rights with respect to an appeal of said determination to EATC. The Committee or a member of the public may seek to appeal the status directly to the EATC upon giving notice of objecting thereto to the owners and persons of record and the Planning Board. Such appeal shall be made within 45 days of the Planning Board's determination, and the EATC shall have the power to either affirm, modify or vacate the decision of the Planning Board as it deems proper.
After Planning Board review and approval, the Committee shall submit the list of designated landmarks and a map to the Municipal Clerk for filing. The EATC shall then consider the designation list and map, and may approve, reject or modify same by ordinance. Once adopted, the designation list and map may be amended in the same manner in which it was adopted. Upon adoption, the designation list and map shall also be incorporated by reference into the municipal Master Plan and Chapter 92, Land Management, as required by state enabling legislation.
Copies of the designation list and official map as adopted shall be made public and distributed to all municipal agencies reviewing development applications and building permits. A certificate of designation shall be served by certified and regular mail upon each owner included on the list, and a true copy thereof shall be filed with the County Clerk for recording in the same manner as a certificate of lien upon real property.
No duties or powers of the Committee shall supersede or infringe on the powers of other township boards and committees.