City of Monroe, WI
Green County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 5-19-1 Purpose and Intent.

[1-16-1996; 2016 Code]
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 a public necessity and is required promote the health, prosperity, safety and welfare of the people. The purpose of this chapter is to:
(A) 
Effect and accomplish the protection, enhancement, and preservation of such improvements, sites and districts which represent or reflect elements of Monroe's cultural, social, economic, political and architectural history.
(B) 
Safeguard Monroe's historic, prehistoric and cultural heritage, as embodied and reflected in such historic structures, sites and districts.
(C) 
Stabilize and improve property values, and enhance the visual and aesthetic character of Monroe.
(D) 
Protect and enhance Monroe's attraction to residents, tourists and visitors, and serve as a support and stimulus to business and industry.

§ 5-19-2 Definitions.

[1-16-1996; 8-17-2010; 9-1-2015; 2016 Code]
In this chapter:
ALTER or ALTERATION
Means any act or process that materially changes one or more of the architectural features of a structure, other than a temporary sign, including but not limited to, erection, construction, reconstruction, removal, or a material change to the color or texture.
ARCHITECTURAL FEATURE
Means the architectural elements embodying style, design, general arrangement and components of all of the visible surfaces of a structure, including but not limited to the type of building materials and the type and style of all windows, doors, lights, signs and other fixtures appurtenant to such structure.
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
Means a certificate issued by the building inspector authorizing alteration, rehabilitation, construction, reconstruction or demolition of a historic structure, historic site or any improvement in a historic district.
COMMISSION
Means the historic preservation commission created under this chapter.
HISTORIC DISTRICT
Means an area designated by the council on recommendation of the commission, that contains two or more historic improvements or sites.
HISTORIC SITE
Means any parcel of land of historic significance due to a substantial value in tracing the history or prehistory of man, or upon which a historic event has occurred, and which has been designated as a historic site under this chapter, or an improvement parcel, or part thereof, on which is situated a 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
Means any improvement which has a special character or special historic interest or value as part of the development, heritage or cultural characteristic of the city, the state or nation and which has been designated a historic structure pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
IMPROVEMENT
Means 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.
SIGN
Means any medium, including its structure, words, letters, figures, numerals, phrases, sentences, emblems, devices, designs, trade names, or trademarks, by which anything is made known and which is used to advertise or promote an individual, firm, association, company, profession, business, commodity, event or product.
STRUCTURE
Means any manmade object with form, shape and utility, either permanently or temporarily attached to, placed upon or set into the ground, including but not limited to, roofed and walled buildings, signs, gas or liquid storage tanks and culverts.
TEMPORARY SIGN
Shall have the meaning set forth in section 5-2-1(B) of this code.
VISIBLE SURFACE
Means any part of the exterior surface of a structure or a sign that is clearly visible from any public sidewalk, street or highway, including signs or architectural features located on the inside of a transparent surface, such as a window, that are positioned in a manner that is clearly designed to be observed from the a public sidewalk, street or highway.

§ 5-19-3 Commission created.

[6-3-1997; 2016 Code]
A historic preservation commission is hereby created, consisting of seven members. One member shall be a licensed real estate broker; one shall be a historian; one shall be a registered architect; one shall be an alderperson; and three shall be citizens. Each shall have, to the highest extent practicable, a known interest in historic preservation. The mayor shall appoint the commissioners subject to confirmation by the council, to the following terms commencing May 1 of the year of appointment: the alderperson shall serve for a term of one year; the licensed real estate broker and one citizen member shall serve for an initial term of one year and succeeding terms of three years; the historian and one citizen member shall serve for an initial term of two years and succeeding terms of three years; the registered architect and one citizen member shall serve for an initial and succeeding terms of three years. If no person meeting the required qualifications is available, a citizen member shall be appointed to fill such position so that the commission has at all times seven members.

§ 5-19-4 Historic structure, historic site and historic district designation criteria.

Notes
Click hyperlink for Certificate of Appropriateness appliation
Created: 2017-04-21
http://cityofmonroe.org/DocumentCenter/View/2317
[1-16-1996; 2016 Code]
(A) 
For purposes of this chapter, a 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, archeological or cultural significance to the city, 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; or
(2) 
Are identified with historic personages or with important events in national, state or local history; or
(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; or
(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 providing such are in conformance with the provisions of this chapter.

§ 5-19-5 Powers and duties.

[9-5-2006; 8-17-2010; 2016 Code]
(A) 
Designation. The commission shall have the power, subject to section 5-19-6 of this chapter, to designate historic structures and historic sites and to recommend designation of historic districts within Monroe's limits. Such designations shall be made based on section 5-19-4 of this chapter. Historic districts shall be approved by the council. 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) 
Certificate of appropriateness. No owner or person in charge of a historic structure, historic site or structure within a historic district shall reconstruct, alter or demolish all or any part of the visible surface of such property or construct any improvement having a visible surface upon such property or cause or permit any such work to be performed upon such property unless a certificate of appropriateness has been issued authorizing such work. The building inspector shall establish procedures to monitor alterations to the visible surface of a historic structure, historic site or structure within a historic district and shall report all such alterations to the commission.
A) 
Approval by commission. Except as provided in subsection (b), no certificate of appropriateness shall be issued until the issuance thereof has been approved by the commission.
B) 
Administrative authority of building inspector. The commission may by resolution delegate to the building inspector authority to administratively issue a certificate of appropriateness for an alteration if such alteration falls within a class of work that has been clearly identified and appropriately defined by the commission as work that may be approved administratively by the building inspector. Issuance of a certificate of appropriateness for such work by the building inspector shall be considered for all purposes to be approval thereof by the commission.
(2) 
Criteria for approval of certificate of appropriateness. Upon filing of any application for a certificate of appropriateness, the commission, or the building inspector in a case falling within the administrative approval authority of the building inspector, shall within 45 days determine if the proposed changes are consistent with the character and features of the property or district, and approve the issuance of the certificate of appropriateness 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 a historic site, or within a 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 a historic district, the proposed construction, reconstruction, 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 the city and the state;
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) 
Other approvals. Issuance of a certificate of appropriateness shall not relieve the applicant from obtaining other permits and approvals required by the city. A building or other city permit needed to perform work on the visible surface of a historic structure, historic site or structure within a historic district shall be invalid if it is obtained without the presentation of the certificate of appropriateness required for the proposed work.
(4) 
Maintenance and repairs. Ordinary maintenance and repairs may be undertaken without a certificate of appropriateness if the work does not alter a historic structure or site and does not require the issuance of a building permit.
(5) 
Issuance. Upon approval of an alteration and fulfillment of all conditions placed upon such approval the building inspector shall issue a certificate of appropriateness.
(6) 
Fees. The fee for issuance of a certificate of appropriateness and for actions required to comply with this chapter shall be established from time to time by resolution of the council.
(C) 
Appeals. If the building inspector, in a case falling within the administrative approval authority of the building inspector, fails to approve a certificate of appropriateness, the applicant may appeal such decision to the commission within 30 days. If the commission fails to approve a certificate of appropriateness, the applicant may appeal such decision to the council within 30 days. In addition, if the commission fails to approve 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 a 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 at the city's expense, a suitable plaque declaring that such property is a historic structure, site or district.

§ 5-19-6 Procedures.

[1-16-1996; 9-5-2006; 12-16-2008; 2016 Code; 2-7-2017]
(A) 
Designation of historic structures and historic sites.
(1) 
The commission may, after notice and public hearing, recommend to the council designation of historic structures and historic sites, or rescission of such designation or recommendation, after application of the criteria in section 5-19-4 of this chapter. At least 10 days before such hearing, the commission shall notify the owners of record, as listed in the office of the city 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 considers 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 recommend to the council that the property be designated as either a historic structure or a historic site or rescission of such designation, provided however, the commission shall not recommend rescission of the designation unless it finds that the characteristics of the property have materially changed since the property was designated such that it is no longer appropriate that it be designated or that failure to rescind the designation will create a substantial economic hardship for the owner of such property.
(3) 
The council, upon receipt of the recommendations from the commission, shall hold a public hearing. Notice of the time, place and purpose of the public hearing shall be sent by the city clerk to the owners of record, as listed in the office of the city assessor, who are owners of the property in whole or in part situated within 200 feet of the boundaries of the property affected. Said notice is to be sent at least 10 days before the date of the public hearing. Following the public hearing, the council shall vote to adopt, reject or withhold action on the designation or rescission. Notification of the decision shall be sent to the property owner or owners. Notification shall also be given to the city clerk, building inspector, plan commission, and the city assessor. The commission shall cause the designation or rescission to be recorded, at the city's expense, in the Green County register of deeds office.
(B) 
Creation of historic district.
(1) 
For preservation purposes, the commission shall select geographically defined areas within the city to be designated as historic districts and shall prepare a historic preservation plan for each area. A historic district may be designated for any geographic area of particular historic, architectural or cultural significance to the city, after application of the criteria in section 5-19-4 of this chapter. Each historic preservation plan prepared for or by the 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) 
Commission hearing and recommendation. The commission shall hold a public hearing when considering the plan for a historic district. Notice of the time, place and purpose of the public hearing shall be published in the manner required by law for adoption by the council of an ordinance creating or amending zoning regulations. Following the public hearing, the commission shall vote to recommend, reject or withhold action on the plan.
B) 
Council. The council, upon receipt of the recommendations from the commission, shall hold a public hearing, notice to be given as noted in subsection (B)(2)A) of this section, 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.

§ 5-19-7 Interim control.

[1-16-1996; 2016 Code]
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 commission at which a nomination form is first presented until the final disposition of the nomination by the commission or the council unless such alteration, removal or demolition is authorized by formal resolution of the council as necessary for public health, welfare or safety. In no event shall the delay be for more than 180 days.

§ 5-19-8 Penalties for violations.

[1-16-1996; 2016 Code]
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall upon conviction be subject to a Class 3 forfeiture. Each day during which a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. Notice of violations shall be issued by the building inspector.

§ 5-19-9 Separability.

[1-16-1996; 2016 Code]
If any provision of this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the remainder of this chapter and the application of such provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.