City of New Rochelle, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of New Rochelle 7-16-1985 by Ord. No. 196-1985; amended in its entirety 9-23-1986 by Ord. No. 225-1986. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 111.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 147.
Plumbing and drainage — See Ch. 242.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 250.
Zoning — See Ch. 331.

§ 170-1 Purpose.

A. 
The City Council of the City of New Rochelle hereby finds and declares that it is desirable to take measures to provide for the creation of historic districts and landmark sites and structures in furtherance of the following public purposes, which are found to promote the economic benefits, the cultural and educational advantages and the general welfare of the residents of the City of New Rochelle:
(1) 
To provide for the protection, enhancement, perpetuation and use of those districts, sites and structures which are illustrative of the growth and development of our nation, our state and our City and which are of particular historic or aesthetic value to New Rochelle.
(2) 
To recognize and ensure the preservation of those elements of the City's past which represent many and varied architectural, artistic and cultural achievements which cannot be duplicated or otherwise replaced.
(3) 
To promote the use of historic districts and landmark sites and structures as a means of providing enjoyment and unique educational benefit by perpetuating the physical evidence of New Rochelle's past.
(4) 
To stabilize and improve property values of such districts, sites and structures and otherwise promote their reuse.
(5) 
To protect and enhance the City's attractions to tourists and visitors and the support and stimulus to business and industry thereby provided.
(6) 
To foster civic pride in those elements of the City's past which gave New Rochelle its unique character and set it apart from other communities.
B. 
The City Council of the City of New Rochelle hereby further finds and declares that demolition or decay of historic landmarks and inappropriateness or poor quality of design in the exterior appearance of buildings erected in historic districts adversely affects the desirability of the immediate area and neighboring areas for residential and business or other uses and, by so doing, impairs the benefits of occupancy of existing property in such areas, impairs the stability and value of both improved and unimproved real property in such areas and destroys a proper relationship between the taxable value of property in such areas and the cost of municipal services provided therefor.

§ 170-2 Establishment of historic districts and landmarks.

[Amended 1-18-2005 by Ord. No. 17-2005]
A. 
In order to promote the general welfare through the preservation and protection of buildings and structures of historical or architectural interest, the City Council may from time to time enact ordinances creating historic districts and historic landmarks. In considering whether or not to create such district or landmark, the following criteria and definitions shall be followed:
(1) 
An area of the City which is one having special character and special historic value and representing one or more periods or styles of art or architecture typical of one or more past eras and geographically combining such factors in a distinct and identifiable portion of the City so as to constitute a discernable district; or
(2) 
An area which has been duly included on the National Register of Historic Places maintained by the United States Secretary of the Interior or which has been duly included on the New York State Historic and Natural Districts Inventory or New York State Archaeological Site Inventory maintained by the New York State Board of Historic Preservation.
HISTORIC LANDMARK
A building, structure or parcel of land not located in a designated historic district which possesses one or more of the following characteristics:
(1) 
Association with persons or events of historic significance to the City, region, state or nation.
(2) 
Illustrative of historic growth and development of the City, region, state or nation.
(3) 
In case of structures, embodying distinctive characteristics of a type, period or method of construction or representing the work of a master or possessing unique architectural and artistic qualities or representing a significant and distinguishable entity.
(4) 
Which has been duly included on the National Register of Historic Places maintained by the United States Secretary of the Interior or which has been duly included on the New York State Historic and Natural Districts Inventory or New York State Archaeological Site Inventory maintained by the New York State Board of Historic Preservation.
B. 
Establishment of historic districts. The City Council may establish an historic district pursuant to the following procedures:
[Amended 11-18-2008 by Ord. No. 212-2008]
(1) 
An application for establishment of an historic district shall be submitted to the Historical and Landmark Review Board and shall include the following information:
(a) 
A concise statement of the remaining physical elements which make this area an historic district and a description of building types and architectural styles and periods represented.
(b) 
A concise statement of how the district meets the review criteria of the definition of "historic district" in § 170-2A above.
(c) 
A map showing the boundaries of the proposed district and structures located therein.
(d) 
A justification of the boundaries of the district.
(e) 
Names and addresses of every property owner within the proposed district.
(2) 
Within 62 days from the date that its staff has verified that all the requested information in § 170-2B(1) has been submitted and is accurate, the Historical and Landmark Review Board shall declare the application complete. A notice must be published at least 10 days prior to the meeting at which the application is declared complete. The notice must contain a description of the process leading to a moratorium. The HLRB then sets a public hearing date to hear public comment on the application. The notice of public hearing shall include the time and place of the public hearing and a map clearly delineating the boundaries of the proposed historic district. A description of the moratorium restrictions and time frame (§ 170-2D) will be included. The notice of public hearing shall be published once in the official newspaper of the City not less than 10 days preceding the scheduled date of public hearing. In addition, copies of the notice of public hearing shall be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to all owners of real property located within the area delineating the proposed historic district, as shown on the current records of the City Assessor; by regular mail to the president(s) of any civic, homeowners, and similar organizations operating within the area delineating such proposed district, as shown on the current records of the City Manager; and by regular mail to the State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.
(3) 
The Historical and Landmark Review Board shall, within 30 days to 62 days after the close of the public hearing, make a recommendation to the City Council regarding establishment of the proposed historic district. The recommendation shall include a statement of how the district complies with or fails to comply with the applicable qualification criteria set forth in Subsection A of this section. The Historical and Landmark Review Board shall forward the application together with its recommendation to the City Council. If the recommendation is negative, the application shall be deemed denied.
(4) 
If the Historical and Landmark Review Board makes a positive recommendation regarding establishment of the proposed historic district, the City Council shall set a public hearing to hear public comment on the application to establish such district and shall refer the matter to the Planning Board for its recommendation as to the proposed district's compatibility with the City's Comprehensive Plan, Local Waterfront Revitalization Program if applicable, relevant Urban Renewal Plan if any, and/or other relevant City-adopted plans. The notice of the City Council public hearing shall be published in the same manner as the notice of public hearing before the Historical and Landmark Review Board. In addition, a copy of the notice of public hearing with map shall be mailed, by certified mail, return receipt requested, to all owners of real property located within the area delineating the proposed historic district, as shown on the current records of the City Assessor.
(5) 
The City Council shall make its determination on whether to establish the proposed historic district within 62 days of the close of its public hearing therefor.
C. 
Establishment of historic landmarks. The City Council may designate a historic landmark pursuant to the following procedures:
(1) 
An application for designation of an historic landmark shall be submitted to the Historical and Landmark Review Board and shall include the following information:
(a) 
A concise description of the physical elements, qualities, architectural style, period and historical significance represented by the landmark, including a consideration of scale, materials, workmanship and spatial qualities, as relevant.
(b) 
A concise statement of how the landmark meets the review criteria in the definition of "historic landmark" in § 170-2A above.
(c) 
Exterior photographs of the landmark and a site map illustrating significant details described in § 170-2C(1)(a) above.
(2) 
Within 62 days from the date that its staff has verified that all the requested information in § 170-2C(1) has been submitted and is accurate, the Historical and Landmark Review Board shall declare the application complete and shall set a public hearing to hear public comment on the application. The notice of public hearing shall include the time and place of the public hearing and the block, lot and address of the real property on which such landmark is located. The notice of public hearing shall be published once in the official newspaper of the City not less than 10 days preceding the scheduled date of public hearing. In addition, copies of the notice of public hearing shall be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner of the real property on which such proposed historic landmark is located, as shown on the current records of the City Assessor; by regular mail to the president(s) of any civic, homeowners, and similar organizations operating within the area delineating such proposed landmark, as shown on the current records of the City Manager; and by regular mail to the State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.
(3) 
The Historical and Landmark Review Board shall, within 62 days after the close of the public hearing, make a recommendation to the City Council regarding designation of the proposed historic landmark. The recommendation shall include a statement of how the landmark complies with or fails to comply with the applicable qualification criteria set forth in Subsection A of this section. The Historical and Landmark Review Board shall forward the application together with its recommendation to the City Council. If the recommendation is negative, the application shall be deemed denied.
(4) 
If the Historical and Landmark Review Board makes a positive recommendation regarding establishment of the proposed historic landmark, the City Council shall set a public hearing to hear public comment on the application to designate such landmark and shall refer the matter to the Planning Board for its recommendation as to the proposed landmark's compatibility with the City's Comprehensive Plan, Local Waterfront Revitalization Program if applicable, relevant Urban Renewal Plan if any, and/or other relevant City-adopted plans. The notice of the City Council public hearing shall be published in the same manner as the notice of public hearing before the Historical and Landmark Review Board. In addition, a copy of the notice of public hearing and recommendation of the Historical and Landmark Review Board shall be mailed, by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner of real property on which such proposed historic landmark is located, as shown on the current records of the City Assessor.
(5) 
The City Council shall make its determination on whether to designate the proposed historic landmark within 62 days of the close of its public hearing regarding the matter.
[Amended 11-18-2008 by Ord. No. 212-2008]
D. 
Moratorium on variance, subdivision, site plan, building permit, sign permit, or demolition permit approvals. No variance, subdivision, site plan, building permit, sign permit, or demolition permit applications that result in a change to the exterior of a building or property that is visible from a public street or alley shall be approved by the appropriate City board, department or bureau for real properties proposed to be included in a proposed historic district or a proposed historic landmark during the period commencing after the Historical and Landmark Review Board makes a positive recommendation to the City Council and concluding when such application is approved or denied by the City Council.
[Amended 11-18-2008 by Ord. No. 212-2008]

§ 170-3 Recognition of historically significant properties.

[Added 3-24-1987 by Ord. No. 69-1987]
A. 
In order to enhance civic pride in New Rochelle's unique past, the City Council may from time to time recognize certain structures and sites as having historical significance. In considering this recognition, the following definition shall be followed:
HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT PROPERTY
A building, structure or parcel of land that lacks architectural significance but possesses one or more of the following characteristics:
(1) 
Association with persons or events of historic significance to the City, region, state or nation.
(2) 
Illustrative of historic growth and development of the City, region, state or nation.
B. 
Submittal requirements. Any request to recognize a historically significant property shall be submitted in writing and shall include the following;
(1) 
A concise statement of how the structure or site meets the review criteria in Subsection A.
(2) 
A description of the physical elements of the structure or site, to indicate how the structure or site lacks the architectural significance necessary for designation as a landmark.
(3) 
A current exterior photograph of the structure (and a photograph of the original structure, if available) and a site map to show its location.
C. 
Procedure.
[Amended 1-18-2005 by Ord. No. 17-2005]
(1) 
Within 62 days from the date that its staff has verified that all the requested information in § 170-3B(1) through (3) has been submitted and is accurate, the Historical and Landmark Review Board shall declare the request for recognition complete and shall set a public hearing to hear public comment on the request. The notice of public hearing shall include the time and place of the public hearing and a map clearly showing the location of the proposed historically significant property. The notice of public hearing shall be published once in the official newspaper of the City not less than 10 days preceding the scheduled date of public hearing. In addition, copies of the notice of public hearing shall be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner of the real property on which such proposed historically significant property is located, as shown on the current records of the City Assessor, and by regular mail to the president(s) of any civic, homeowners, and similar organizations operating within the area delineating such proposed historically significant property, as shown on the current records of the City Manager.
(2) 
The Historical and Landmark Review Board shall, within 62 days after the close of the public hearing, make a recommendation to the City Council regarding recognition of the proposed historically significant property. The recommendation shall include a statement of how the proposed historically significant property complies with or fails to comply with the applicable qualification criteria set forth in Subsection A of this section. The Historical and Landmark Review Board shall forward the request for recognition together with its recommendation to the City Council. If the recommendation is negative, the request shall be deemed denied.
(3) 
If the Historical and Landmark Review Board makes a positive recommendation regarding recognition of the proposed historically significant property, the City Council shall set a public hearing to hear public comment on the request to recognize the proposed historically significant property and shall refer the matter to the Planning Board for its recommendation as to the proposed historically significant property's compatibility with the City's Comprehensive Plan, Local Waterfront Revitalization Program if applicable, relevant Urban Renewal Plan if any, and/or other relevant City-adopted plans. The notice of the City Council public hearing shall be published in the same manner as the notice of public hearing before the Historical and Landmark Review Board. In addition, a copy of the notice of public hearing and recommendation of the Historical and Landmark Review Board shall be mailed, by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner of real property on which such proposed historically significant property is located, as shown on the current records of the City Assessor, together with a written request that such owner respond in writing, on form provided, to the City Council to express his or her view regarding recognition of the proposed historically significant property.
(4) 
The City Council shall make its determination on whether to recognize the proposed historically significant property within 45 days of the close of its public hearing regarding the matter.
D. 
No design criteria review or certificate of appropriateness. Properties determined to have historical significance as set forth in this section shall not be subject to any design criteria review and shall not require the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness for any proposed changes or modifications to facades, additions, new constructions or any new improvements.
[Amended 1-18-2005 by Ord. No. 17-2005]

§ 170-4 Historical and Landmark Review Board.

A. 
Establishment and procedure.
(1) 
The City Council shall appoint a Board, which shall consist of seven members, all of whom shall be residents of the City of New Rochelle, to be known as the "Historical and Landmark Review Board."
[Amended 4-19-1994 by Ord. No. 85-1994; 1-18-2005 by Ord. No. 17-2005]
(2) 
At least one of the members of the Board shall be a licensed architect and at least one of the members of the Board shall be experienced in the real estate business. The members of the Board shall include at least one owner-occupant from each of the designated historic districts in the City. The City Council shall seek to appoint at least one member to the Board with expertise in the field of local history. The Commissioner of Development shall be an ex-officio nonvoting eighth member of the Board, and the staff of the Department of Development and consultants, if any, retained by the Department of Development for such purpose shall serve as staff for the Board for the purpose of conducting and coordinating studies and research and providing other material and information necessary for the Board to reach its decisions.
[Amended 1-18-2005 by Ord. No. 17-2005]
(3) 
Each member shall serve for a term of five consecutive years, except that, of the first appointments to the Board, only one member shall serve for five years, one shall serve for four years, one for three years, one for two years, and one for one year.
(4) 
Members shall serve without compensation.[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection A(4), requiring one licensed architect, one person experienced with real estate business, and one person picked from a panel proposed by the Historical Association on the Board, was repealed 1-18-2005 by Ord. No. 17-2005. This local law also redesignated existing Subsection A(5) through (10) as A(4) through (9).
(5) 
They shall continue to hold office until their successors have been appointed and qualified.
(6) 
The Board, once constituted, shall designate its own Chairman. The Board members shall also designate an Acting Chairman and shall set meeting dates and adopt such procedures pertaining to their duties as they may deem necessary to perform their functions as set forth herein and as are consistent with the laws of the nation, state and City.
(7) 
All meetings of the Board shall be open to the public.
(8) 
The Board shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each member upon every question or, if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact and shall also keep records of its examinations and other official actions. Every rule, regulation, every amendment or repeal thereof and every order, requirement, decision or determination of the Board shall immediately be filed in the office of the Department of Development and with the City Clerk and shall be a public record.
(9) 
Four members shall constitute a quorum, and actions may be taken by vote of a majority of members present and voting, except that the affirmative vote of four members shall be required for the refusal to grant a certificate of appropriateness or the grant of a delayed certificate of appropriateness or the grant of a certificate of appropriateness conditioned upon specific structural performance. Board members shall be required to exempt themselves from voting on any project in which their own financial interests are directly involved.
[Amended 1-18-2005 by Ord. No. 17-2005]
B. 
Duties of the Board. The Historical and Landmark Review Board, together with the Board's staff and consultants, shall:
[Amended 1-18-2005 by Ord. No. 17-2005]
(1) 
Review and provide guidance regarding applications for nomination of structures, sites and districts for historic preservation.
(2) 
Prepare recommendations on proposals for the designation of potential historic sites, structures and districts.
(3) 
Issue or deny certificates of appropriateness for landmarks and buildings in historic districts.
(4) 
Maintain and periodically revise listings of historical sites, buildings and districts and data about them, appropriately classified with respect to national, state or local significance.
(5) 
Establish procedures for the identification and designation of additional historic districts, sites and landmarks as defined in § 170-2A herein.
(6) 
Formulate recommendations concerning the establishment of an appropriate system of markers for selected historic and/or architectural sites and buildings, including proposals for the installation and care of such historic markers.
(7) 
Formulate recommendations concerning the preparation and publication of maps, brochures and descriptive material about the City's historic and/or architectural sites and buildings.
(8) 
Cooperate with and advise the City Council, the Planning Board and other City agencies in matters involving historically and/or architecturally significant sites and buildings, such as appropriate land usage, parking facilities and signs, as well as adherence to zoning regulations having to do with lot dimensions and minimum structural standards.
(9) 
Cooperate with and enlist assistance from the National Park Service, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the State Historic Preservation Officer and other state agencies, public and private, and local agencies concerned with historic sites and buildings.
(10) 
Advise the owners of historic buildings on problems of preservation.
(11) 
File an annual report with the City Council.

§ 170-5 Certificates of appropriateness.

A. 
Notwithstanding any inconsistent ordinance, code, rule or regulation concerning the issuance of building, sign or other permits, no material change of appearance in any feature of a structure or site in a designated historic district or of a designated landmark and no new construction in a designated historic district and no demolition in such district or of a landmark shall be commenced without a certificate of appropriateness having first been issued. The certificate of appropriateness required by this section shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any building, sign or other permit that may be required by any state or local law or regulation.
[Amended 11-18-2008 by Ord. No. 212-2008]
B. 
In passing upon an application for a certificate of appropriateness, the Historical and Landmark Review Board shall not consider changes to interior spaces, except in cases where the interiors of public buildings have been designated, or to architectural features that are not visible from a public street or alley.
C. 
Applications and notification.
(1) 
Applications for a certificate of appropriateness shall be submitted to the Board in such form and including such written information and data and such plans, elevations, drawings, etc., as the Board may require. A filing fee will be required as set forth in Chapter 133, Fees.
[Amended 5-23-1994 by Ord. No. 109-1994]
(2) 
In addition, the applicant shall notify, in writing, property owners within 150 feet of any such proposal, measured from each corner of the applicant's lot. All notifications are to be given by certified mail, return receipt requested, no less than 10 days prior to the scheduled public hearing on the application.
[Added 10-18-1988 by Ord. No. 299-1988; amended 3-16-1999 by Ord. No. 64-1999]
D. 
Issuance of certificate.
(1) 
Within 90 days after a complete application is filed, the Board shall conduct a public hearing and shall then determine whether the proposed material change will be appropriate to the preservation of the district or the landmark in view of the purposes of this chapter. In passing upon appropriateness, the Board shall consider, in addition to any other pertinent factors, the historical and architectural style, general design arrangement, texture, material and color of the building component or sign involved and the relationship thereof to other structures in the immediate neighborhood or district.
[Amended 11-18-2008 by Ord. No. 212-2008]
(a) 
With respect to construction, the Board shall take into consideration the visual relationship between the property in question and existing structures either immediately adjacent to or in the surrounding area and the character of the district and the extent to which a new or altered structure would be harmonious with or incongruous to the historic and architectural qualities or distinctive aspects of the district.
(b) 
With respect to demolition, in whole or in part, of a landmark or building located in an historic district, the Board shall consider whether:
[1] 
The continued existence of the building as a landmark or as part of an historic district prevents the owner from realizing a reasonable return on the property as specified in the hardship criteria in § 170-5 herein.
[2] 
The building is of such architectural or historical interest that its removal would be to the detriment of the public interest.
[3] 
The building is of such interest that it could be made into an historic landmark.
[4] 
The building is of such old and unusual or uncommon design, texture and material that it could not be reproduced or could be reproduced only with great difficulty.
[5] 
Retention of the building would help preserve and protect an historic place or area of historic interest in the City.
[6] 
Retention will promote the general welfare by maintaining and increasing real estate values and encourage interest in American history and architecture.
(c) 
The Board shall, when applying design criteria guidelines to determine whether certificates of appropriateness should be granted, consider its previous applications and determination of same so as to maximize fairness and equal treatment under the law. However, exercise of discretion in favor of one confers no right upon another to demand the same decision. The Board may give weight to slight differences which may not be easily discernible but provide a rational basis for distinguishing its decision from contrary prior determinations.
[Added 9-20-2001 by Ord. No. 190-2001]
(2) 
If the Board approves the material change proposed, the Board shall issue a certificate of appropriateness, which shall specify the work to be done. In issuing such certificate, the Board may prescribe any conditions that it deems to be necessary to carry out the intent and purposes of this chapter. A certificate issued pursuant to this section shall relate solely to proposed plans accompanying the application or otherwise submitted to the Board for official consideration prior to issuance of said certificate. It shall be unlawful to deviate from the plans, including any modifications required as a condition of the issuance of such certificate, unless and until an amended certificate shall be applied for and issued. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Board shall not issue any such certificate if it has been advised by the Building Official that there is an impediment to the issuance of any building, sign or other permit, as may be required by applicable state or local law or regulation, for said work. The official certificate of appropriateness (or copy which was received from the Board upon approval of the application must be prominently displayed at the property, and it must be clearly visible to the public while work is underway.
[Amended 9-20-2001 by Ord. No. 190-2001]
(3) 
With respect to an application to raze a landmark or a structure located in an historic district, the Historical and Landmark Review Board shall have the right to issue a delayed certificate of appropriateness. Such certificate shall not permit demolition or razing for a period of up to four months from the date of issuance of the delayed certificate of appropriateness therefor, during which time the Board and the applicant shall undertake serious and continued discussion for the purpose of finding a method to save such property. During such period, the applicant and the Board shall cooperate in attempting to avoid demolition of the property. At the end of this four-month period, if no mutually agreeable method of saving the subject property bearing a reasonable prospect of eventual success is underway or if no formal application for funds from any government unit or nonprofit organization to preserve the subject property is pending, the Building Official may issue the permit to demolish the property without the approval of the Board. If such mutually agreeable method for saving the subject property is not successful or no such funds to preserve the subject property have been obtained and available for disbursement within a period of two months following the end of such four-month period, the Building Official may issue the permit to demolish the property without the approval of the Board.
(4) 
If the Board determines that a certificate of appropriateness should not be issued or that a delayed certificate or a certificate contingent upon specific structural performance should not be issued, the Board shall notify the applicant, in writing, of such determination and of the Board's reasons therefor and shall file such notice with the City Clerk. Such notice shall advise the applicant of his right to appeal such determination to a court of competent jurisdiction in the State of New York within 30 days of the filing of the written notice.
(5) 
Unless the action of the Historical and Landmark Review Board is reversed by a court of competent jurisdiction, the Building Official shall refuse to grant a building permit or sign or demolition or other permit in an historic district or involving a landmark where a certificate of appropriateness has been denied or where the grant of such permit is not within the terms and conditions of such certificate of appropriateness as has been granted.
(6) 
Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the Board fails to issue a certificate of appropriateness or notify the applicant of its determination not to issue a certificate within 90 days after such application therefor is filed, or within such additional time period as the Board and the applicant may agree, such application shall be deemed approved.
E. 
Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed as authorizing the Historical and Landmark Review Board, in acting with respect to an application for a certificate of appropriateness or in adopting regulations in relation thereto, to waive any regulation or laws relating to zoning and planning of the City of New Rochelle. The Board may, in exercising its powers and performing its functions under this chapter, with reference to an historic district or a landmark, apply or impose, with respect to the construction, reconstruction, alteration, demolition or use of any structure or sign, determinations or conditions which are more restrictive than those prescribed or made by or pursuant to the applicable regulations contained herein or to any other applicable provisions of law.
F. 
Any certificate of appropriateness and any permit to raze a building issued pursuant to these rules and regulations shall expire of its own limitation 12 months from the date of issuance if the work authorized thereby is not commenced by the end of such twelve-month period; and further, any such certificate and permit shall also expire and become null and void if such authorized work is suspended and abandoned for a period of 12 months after being commenced. Any period or periods of time during which the right to use any such certificate or permit is stayed pursuant to these rules and regulations or to any statutory or judicial rule or order shall be excluded from the computation of the 12 months.

§ 170-6 Economic hardship.

A. 
Hardship criteria. An applicant whose certificate of appropriateness has been denied may apply for relief from the strict criteria as established for district or landmark designation on the grounds that designation is working a hardship upon him. In order to prove the existence of hardship, the applicant shall establish that:
(1) 
The property is incapable of earning a reasonable return, regardless of whether that return represents the most profitable return possible;
(2) 
The property cannot be adapted for any other use, whether by the current owner or by a purchaser, which would result in a reasonable return;
(3) 
Efforts to find a purchaser interested in acquiring the property and preserving it have failed;
(4) 
The cost of alterations or replacement according to strict application of the design criteria is prohibitive in comparison with the cost of a reasonably compatible alternative; or
(5) 
The replacement of an existing feature on a building is necessary for safety reasons.
B. 
Hardship application procedure.
(1) 
After receiving written notification from the Board of the denial of a certificate of appropriateness, an applicant may commence the hardship process. No building permit or demolition permit shall be issued unless the Board makes a finding that a hardship exists.
(2) 
The Board may hold a public hearing on the hardship application at which an opportunity will be provided for proponents and opponents of the application to present their views.
(3) 
The applicant shall consult in good faith with the Board, local preservation groups and interested parties in a diligent effort to seek an alternative that will result in preservation of the property and compatibility with the established design criteria.
(4) 
All decisions of the Boar(d shall be in writing. A copy shall be sent to the applicant by registered mail and a copy filed with the City Clerk's office for public inspection. The Board's decision shall state the reasons for granting or denying the hardship application.

§ 170-7 Enforcement.

A. 
Penalties for violation.
(1) 
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to construct, alter, repair, move, remove, demolish, equip, use, occupy, change the exterior appearance of or maintain any building or structure or portion thereof which is a duly designated landmark or is located in a duly designated historic district hereunder in violation of any provision of this chapter or to fail in any manner to comply with a notice, directive or order of the Building Official hereunder or to construct, alter, use, occupy or destroy any building or structure or part thereof in a manner not permitted by an effective certificate of appropriateness, building permit or certificate of occupancy properly issued hereunder.
(2) 
All work performed pursuant to a certificate of appropriateness issued under this chapter shall conform to any requirements included therein. In the event that work is found that is not being performed in accordance with the certificate of appropriateness, or upon notification of such fact by the Historical and Landmarks Review Board, the Building Official shall issue a stop-work order, and all work shall immediately cease. No further work shall be undertaken on the project as long as a stop-work order is in effect. No certificate of occupancy shall be issued if it is found that the completed work is not in compliance with the certificate of appropriateness.
[Amended 9-20-2001 by Ord. No. 190-2001]
(3) 
Any person who shall fail to comply with a written order of the Building Official within the time fixed for compliance therewith, or any owner, builder, architect, tenant, contractor, subcontractor, construction superintendent or his agent, or any other person knowingly taking part or assisting in the violation of any of the applicable provisions of this chapter or any lawful order, notice, directive, permit or certificate of the Building Official made hereunder shall be punished by a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both. Each day that a violation continues shall be deemed a separate violation.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code.
B. 
Abatement of violations. Appropriate actions and proceedings may be taken at law or in equity to prevent unlawful construction or demolition or to restrain, correct or abate a violation of the provisions of Subsection A hereof or to prevent acts, conduct or business declared illegal in this chapter; and these remedies shall be in addition to the penalties prescribed in Subsection A hereof.

§ 170-8 Maintenance; removal of dangerous conditions.

A. 
Every owner or other person in charge of a landmark building or structure or a building or structure in an historic district shall keep in good repair all of the exterior portions of such improvements and all interior portions thereof which, if not so maintained, may cause or tend to cause the exterior portions of such improvements to deteriorate, decay or become damaged or otherwise to fall into a state of disrepair.
B. 
In any case where the Building Official shall order or direct the construction, removal, alteration or demolition of any improvement on a landmark site or in an historic district for the purpose of remedying conditions determined to be dangerous to life, health or property, nothing contained herein shall be construed to make it unlawful for any person, without prior issuance of a certificate of appropriateness, to comply with such order or direction. The Building Official shall give the Historical and Landmark Review Board notice of any such proposed order or direction, and the Board shall have the power to require that the work not materially change the exterior appearance where the danger of life, health or property may be abated without detracting from the exterior appearance.
C. 
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance or repair of any exterior architectural feature of any structure, whether a landmark or within an historic district or otherwise, which does not involve a change in design, material, color or outer appearance thereof.