City of Geneva, NY
Ontario County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added effective 6-4-1969 by Ord. No. 69-5]
The purpose of this article is:
A. 
To safeguard the heritage of the City of Geneva by preserving districts and buildings and structures in the City which reflect elements of its cultural, social, economic, political and architectural heritage.
B. 
Stabilize and improve property values.
C. 
Foster civic pride.
D. 
Strengthen the local economy.
E. 
Promote the use of historic districts, buildings and structures for the education, pleasure and welfare of the citizens of the City.
A. 
Districts.
(1) 
The Historic District to be known as the South Main Street-Pulteney Park Historic District shall be bounded and described as follows: Commencing at the southeast corner of South Main and Seneca Streets, extending south to Conover Street, including all properties on the east side of South Main Street, crossing South Main Street due west, extending 400 feet west from the west side of South Main Street, extending north to include all properties along the west side of South Main Street to William Street, including all properties facing Park Place, all properties on the north side of Washington Street between Park Place and Pulteney Street, including the properties numbered 135 Washington Street, 129 Washington Street, 128 Washington Street, 144 Pulteney Street and 35 William Street and the properties on the west side of Pulteney Street between Washington Street and Worthington Avenue and crossing South Main Street at the southeast corner of South Main and William Streets to the place of beginning.
(2) 
The Historic District to be known as the Genesee Park Historic District shall be bounded and described as follows: Commencing at the northeast corner of Genesee Street and Genesee Park, east to the northeast boundary of 9 Genesee Park, south to property at 44 Lewis Street, crossing Lewis Street to the property at the southwest corner of Geneva Street and Lewis Street, extended south along the west side of Geneva Street west along the border of St. Peters Episcopal Church property, 145 Genesee Street, crossing Genesee Street, west to the western boundary of 152 Genesee Street, north along the western boundary of 146, 140 Genesee Street, crossing Lewis Street, going north crossing Goodelle Terrace, bounded on the west by the properties fronting Genesee Park on the west, north to the northern boundary of number 112 Genesee Street, then east crossing Genesee Street to the place of beginning.
B. 
Buildings and structures. The historic buildings and structures are designated as follows:
Thomas Folger House
105 Jay Street
Ashcroft House
112 Jay Street
Douglas-Blackwell House
William Smith College Campus
Van Brent-Foote (DeLancey) House
46 DeLancey Drive
Greek Revival House
273 Washington Street
Greek Revival House
226 Washington Street
Greek Revival House
218 Washington Street
Victorian Eclectic House
210 Washington Street
Federal Three-Bay House
508 Washington Street
Greek Revival House
143 William Street
Greek Revival House
96 Pulteney Street
Greek Revival House
92 Pulteney Street
Geneva Women's Club
336 South Main Street
Baldridge House
196 Genesee Street
Simpson House
34 Elmwood Place
Former Smith Nursery Office
580 Castle Street
Denton House
643 North Street
Gothic House
165 Washington Street
The Smith Observatory
Castle Street
The Smith Opera House for the Performing Arts
[Added 1-24-1990 by Ord. No. 2-1990]
82 Seneca Street
No structure or building, including stone walls, fences, steps and paving, shall be erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, restored, repaired, moved, or demolished in the historic districts or on the designated historic buildings and structures, and no sign, light, fence, wall or other appurtenant fixture, hereafter called "appurtenant fixtures," shall be erected or displayed on any lands, buildings or structures therein or thereon unless such action complies with the requirements of this article.
A. 
Creation of Commission. In order to execute the purposes declared in this article, there is hereby created a commission to be called the "Historic Districts and Structures Commission."
B. 
Membership of the Commission.
(1) 
The Historic Districts and Structures Commission shall consist of seven members whose residences are located in the City of Geneva. They shall be appointed by the City Council of the City of Geneva for terms of office of three years, provided that two of the initial members shall be appointed for one year, two for two years and three for three years, and subsequently members shall be appointed for terms of three years as terms expire. Members of the Commission may be reappointed after their terms expire. The terms of office of the members shall begin as of the date of passage of this article.
(2) 
Before making said appointments, the City Council shall request the Board of Directors of the Geneva Historical Society for recommendations. In no event is the City Council required to accept any recommendations so made to it. A vacancy occurring in the membership of the Commission for any cause shall be filled by a person appointed by the City Council for the unexpired term. The members of the Commission shall serve without compensation.
A. 
The Commission, in reviewing applications for certificates of appropriateness, shall consider the appropriateness of proposed exterior features of buildings, structures and appurtenant fixtures, location on the lot and removal or demolition of any building or structure under authority of said Commission, where such exterior features, buildings, structures and appurtenances are subject to public view from a public street or way. All plans, elevations and other information deemed necessary by the Commission to determine the appropriateness of the exterior features or buildings in question shall be made available to it by the applicant. In reviewing the plans, the Commission shall give consideration to:
(1) 
Historical architectural value and significance of the structure and its relationship to the historic value of the surrounding area;
(2) 
The general compatibility of exterior design, arrangement, texture and materials proposed to be used; and
(3) 
Any other factor, including aesthetic, which it deems pertinent.
B. 
The Commission shall pass only on exterior features of a structure and will not consider interior arrangements, nor shall it disapprove applications except in regard to considerations as set forth in the previous subsection.
C. 
It is also the intent of this article that the Commission shall be lenient in its judgment of plans for new construction or for alteration, repair or demolition of structures of little historic value, except when such construction, alteration, repair or demolition would seriously impair the historic value and character of surrounding structures or the surrounding area. It is not the intent of this article to limit new construction, alteration or repair to any one period of architectural style, but rather to preserve an aesthetic whole.
D. 
Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance or repair of any exterior architectural feature in either the historic districts or on designated structures of historic and architectural importance which does not involve a change in design, material, color or the outward appearance thereof.
E. 
The Commission shall have the power to call in experts to aid in its deliberations and may ask the Council for appropriations for such services.
F. 
The Commission shall have the power to issue a certificate of approval if it approves of the plans submitted to it for its review. The Superintendent of Building and Zoning shall not issue a building permit until such certificate of approval has been issued by the Commission.
A. 
The Historic Districts and Structures Commission shall elect from its membership annually a Chairman and Vice-Chairman from its own number.
B. 
The Chairman shall preside over the Commission and shall have the right to vote. The Vice-Chairman shall, in cases of absence or disability of the Chairman, perform the duties of the Chairman.
C. 
All Commission members shall have voting rights. The Commission may adopt rules and regulations not inconsistent with the provisions of this article.
D. 
The Commission shall adopt rules which shall provide for the time and place of holding regular meetings. It shall provide for the calling of special meetings by the Chairman or by at least three members of the Commission.
E. 
At least four members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of its business.
F. 
All meetings of the Commission shall be open to the public, and any person or his duly constituted representative shall be entitled to appear and be heard on any matter before the Commission before it reaches its decision.
G. 
The Commission shall be furnished with a secretary by the City who shall keep a record of all resolutions, proceedings and actions of the Commission. This shall constitute a record which shall be open to public view. The concurring affirmative vote of four members shall constitute approval of plans before it for review or for the adoption of any resolution, motion or other action of the Commission.
A. 
Application for a building permit to construct, alter, repair, move or demolish any structure in the historic districts or one of the specific historic buildings and structures shall be made to the Superintendent of Building and Zoning. The application shall state whether the property is in an historic district or listed as an historic designated structure in § 350-56B. Plans shall be submitted showing the structure in question and also showing its relation to adjacent structures.
B. 
Upon the filing of such application, the Superintendent of Building and Zoning shall immediately notify the Historic Districts and Structures Commission of the receipt of such application and shall transmit it together with accompanying plans and other information to the Commission unless it pertains solely to the interior of the structure.
C. 
The Historic Districts and Structures Commission shall meet within 15 days after notification by the Superintendent of Building and Zoning of the filing, unless otherwise mutually agreed upon by the applicant and Commission, and shall review the plans according to the duties and powers specified herein. In reviewing the plans, the Commission may confer with the applicant for the building permit.
D. 
The Commission shall approve or disapprove such plans and, if approved, shall issue a certificate of approval, which is to be signed by the Chairman, attached to the application for a building permit and immediately transmitted to the Superintendent of Building and Zoning. The Chairman shall also stamp all prints submitted to the Commission signifying its approval.
E. 
If the Commission disapproves of such plans, it shall state its reasons for doing so and shall transmit a record of such action and reasons therefor in writing to the Superintendent of Building and Zoning and to the applicant. The Commission may advise what it thinks proper if it disapproves of the plans submitted. The applicant, if he so desires, may make modification to his plans and shall have the right to resubmit his application at any time after so doing.
F. 
The failure of the Historic Districts and Structures Commission to approve or disapprove of such plans within 45 days from the date of application for the building permit, unless otherwise mutually agreed upon by the applicant and Commission, shall be deemed to constitute approval, and the Superintendent of Building and Zoning shall proceed to process the application without regard to a certificate of approval.
G. 
After the certificate of approval has been issued and the building permit granted to the applicant, the Commission shall from time to time inspect the construction, alteration or repair approved by such certificate and shall take such action as is necessary to force compliance with the approved plans.
Any person or persons jointly or severally aggrieved by a decision of the Historic Districts and Structures Commission which shall result in the failure of the Superintendent of Building and Zoning to issue a building permit shall have the right to appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance as provided by this chapter and seek such other remedies as may be provided for by this chapter or general law.
The provisions of this article shall be in addition to and shall in no manner supersede or nullify any other provisions contained in this chapter.