Township of Doylestown, PA
Bucks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Doylestown 7-15-1997 by Ord. No. 264. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 65.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 153.
Zoning — See Ch. 175.
ATTACHMENTS
102a Exhibit A
The historic area is delineated in the attached Exhibit A, which is incorporated by reference.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Exhibit A is included at the end of this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BUILDING PERMIT
A permit issued by the Township in accordance with Chapter 65, Building Construction, and Chapter 175, Zoning, for any structure proposed to be built or erected.
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
A certificate approved by the Doylestown Township Board of Supervisors that allows for the issuance of a building permit within the Historic District after a finding by the Board that the proposed construction, alteration, reconstruction, repair, restoration, demolition or razing is appropriate within the Historic District, based upon a review conducted in accordance with the standards of this chapter.
DEMOLITION
The dismantling or tearing down of all or part of any building or structure and all operations incidental thereto and for which a Township demolition permit is required.
HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD (HARB)
The agency created to advise the Doylestown Township Board of Supervisors on any request for a building or demolition permit for all or any part of a building or structure within the Township Historic District.
Any building or property located within the Historic District may be used for any use permitted in the zoning class or classes as set forth in Chapter 175, Zoning.
No building located, in whole or in part, within the Historic District shall be erected, expanded, reconstructed, altered, restored, demolished or razed unless or until a certificate of appropriateness, as hereinafter provided, has been approved by the Doylestown Township Board of Supervisors, provided that such erection, expansion, reconstruction, alteration, restoration, demolition or razing requires a building and/or demolition permit from the Township.
A. 
A Board of Historical Architectural Review is hereby established, to be composed of seven members appointed by the Board of Supervisors, one of whom shall be a registered architect, one a licensed real estate broker, one the Building Inspector of Doylestown Township and four additional persons with a knowledge of and interest in the preservation of the historic buildings and the Historic District. The initial terms of six members of the Board, other than the Building Inspector, shall be as follows:
(1) 
Two members: four years.
(2) 
Two members: three years.
(3) 
Two members: two years.
B. 
Their successors shall serve for terms of four years, except that an appointment to fill a vacancy existing prior to the end of the term for which the member was appointed shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term. Any member of the Board may be removed from office for misconduct, for consistent failure to attend meetings or for other just cause, by a majority vote of the Board of Supervisors following a hearing held for that purpose. The position of any member of the Board residing within Doylestown Township at the time of appointment who thereafter moves his/her residence from the Township or of any member of the Board appointed in his/her capacity as a registered architect, a licensed real estate broker or the Building Inspector of the Township of Doylestown, who ceases to be so engaged, shall be automatically considered vacant.
C. 
No member of the Board shall participate in or make any decision in connection with the operation of the Board if the member has any interest whatsoever in the property subject to the Board's jurisdiction, including ownership, as a professional employee of the owner or any other capacity whatsoever. If any member has any interest in the property being reviewed by the Board, then that member shall excuse him or herself from any consideration whatsoever related to that property.
A. 
The Board shall give counsel to the Board of Supervisors of Doylestown Township regarding the advisability of issuing any certificates required to be issued pursuant to this chapter and the enabling legislation pursuant to which it was adopted. For this purpose, the Board may make and alter rules and regulations for its organization and procedures, consistent with ordinances of the Township and the laws of the commonwealth.
B. 
A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum and action taken at any meeting shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of the entire Board.
C. 
The members of the Board shall serve without compensation and shall make an annual report of its transactions to the Board of Supervisors.
D. 
The Board may, pursuant to appropriations by the Board of Supervisors, employ secretarial assistance, pay salaries and wages for secretarial assistance and incur other necessary expenses; provided, however, that the Board shall not incur any expense whatever without a prior resolution of the Board of Supervisors authorizing such action.
Upon receipt of an application for a building permit for exterior work, that will be visible from a public street, to be done in the Historic District, the Building Inspector shall act in accordance with the procedure presently being followed in that office, except as those procedures are necessarily modified by the following requirements:
A. 
He/she shall forward to the office of the Board of Historical Architectural Review a copy of the application for a building permit, together with a copy of the plot plan and the building plans and specifications filed by the applicant. In addition the Board may require elevation drawings of any modifications.
B. 
He/she shall maintain in his/her office a record of all such applications and of the handling and final disposition of the same, which shall be in addition to and appropriately cross-referenced to his/her other records.
C. 
He/she shall require applicants to submit a sufficient number of additional copies of material required to be attached to an application for a building permit to permit compliance with the foregoing.
A. 
Meeting. Upon receipt by the Board of notice that an application for a building permit for the erection of a new structure or modifications to the exterior of an existing structure located within the Historic District has been filed in the office of the Building Inspector of Doylestown Township, the Board shall schedule a meeting to consider the counsel which the Board will give to the Board of Supervisors of Doylestown Township. To ensure consideration at a particular Board of Supervisors meeting, applications must be submitted at least two weeks prior to said meeting. The person applying for the permit shall be given not less than five days' written notice of the time and place of said meeting of the Board and that he/she may appear to explain his/her reasons therefor; provided, however, that the applicant may execute and file a written waiver of the five-day notice requirement if he/she elects to do so in order that the meeting may be scheduled at an earlier date. The Board or the applicant may invite such other persons as it desires to attend its meeting.
B. 
Considerations in determination of counsel to be given.
(1) 
In determining the counsel to be presented to the Doylestown Township Board of Supervisors concerning the issuing of a certificate of appropriateness for a permit for the erection, reconstruction, alteration, restoration, demolition or razing of all or a part of the exterior of any building within the Historic District, the Board shall consider the following:
(a) 
The effect of the proposed change upon the general historic and architectural nature of the District.
(b) 
The appropriateness of exterior architectural features which can be seen from a public street or way.
(c) 
The general design, arrangement, texture, material and color of the building or structure and the relation of such factors to similar features of buildings and structures in the District.
(d) 
The effect of the proposed change as related to Chapter 175, Zoning, applicable to the area in which the property is situated.
(2) 
The Board shall not consider any matters not pertinent to the historical aspect and nature of the District.
C. 
Procedure in counseling against grant of certificate of appropriateness. If the Board, on the basis of the information received at the meeting and from its general background and knowledge, decides to counsel against the granting of a certificate of appropriateness, it shall indicate to the applicant for a building permit the changes in plans and specifications, if any, which, in the opinion of the Board, would protect the distinctive historical character of the Historic District. The Board shall withhold its report to the Board of Supervisors following its decision, until the applicant gives written notification to the Board whether or not he/she will abide by the suggested changes in his/her plans and specifications or until the expiration of 10 days, whichever first occurs. If the applicant determines that he/she will make the suggested changes, he/she shall so advise the Board which shall counsel the Board of Supervisors accordingly.
The Board, after the meeting provided for in this chapter and after the making of any changes in the plans and specifications as provided in § 102-8C of this chapter, shall submit to the Doylestown Township Board of Supervisors, in writing, its counsel concerning the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness for the grant or refusal of a permit for the erection, reconstruction, alteration, restoration, demolition or razing of all or a part of any building within the Historic District. The written report shall set out the following matters:
A. 
The exact location of the area in which the work is to be done;
B. 
The exterior changes to be made or the exterior character of the structure to be erected;
C. 
A list of the surrounding structures, describing their general exterior characteristics;
D. 
The effect of the proposed change upon the general historic and architectural nature of the District;
E. 
The appropriateness of exterior architectural features, including signs and fences which can be seen from a public street or way;
F. 
The general design, arrangement, texture, material and color of the building or structure and the relation of such factors to similar features of buildings or structures in the District;
G. 
The opinion of the Board (including any dissent) as to the appropriateness of the work proposed as it will preserve or destroy the historic aspect and nature of the District; and
H. 
The specific counsel of the Board to issue or to refuse to issue a certificate of appropriateness.
Upon receipt of the written counsel of the Board as provided in this chapter, the Doylestown Township Board of Supervisors shall consider at a meeting the question of issuing to the Building Inspector a certificate of appropriateness authorizing a permit for the work covered by the application. The Township shall give the applicant not less than five days' written notice of the time and place of the meeting at which the application will be considered and of the fact that he/she has the right to attend and be heard as to the reasons for filing the same; provided, however, that the applicant may execute and file a written waiver of the five-day notice requirement if he/she elects to do so in order that the meeting may be scheduled at an earlier date. In determining whether or not to certify to the appropriateness of the proposed erection, reconstruction, alteration, restoration, demolition or razing of all or part of such building, the Board of Supervisors shall consider the same factors as the Board of Historical Architectural Review set forth in § 102-8B of this chapter and the report of the Board. If the Board of Supervisors approves the application, it shall approve a certificate of appropriateness authorizing the Building Inspector to issue a permit for the work covered. If the Board of Supervisors disapproves, it shall do so in writing, giving reasons therefor; and a copy thereof shall be given to the applicant, to the Building Inspector and to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The disapproval shall indicate what changes in the plans and specifications would meet the conditions for protecting the distinctive historical character of the District.
Upon receipt of the written disapproval of the Board of Supervisors, the Building Inspector shall disapprove the application for a building permit and so advise the applicant. The applicant may appeal from the disapproval as provided by law and the ordinances of Doylestown Township.
A. 
The Building Inspector shall have the power to institute any proceedings at law or in equity necessary for the enforcement of this chapter in the same manner as in the enforcement of other building, zoning or planning legislation or regulations of Doylestown Township.
B. 
The Township shall have the power to institute any proceeding at law or in equity necessary for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.
A certificate of appropriateness shall not be required where the modifications, alterations or repairs do not alter the appearance of the building or are limited to interior modifications.
A. 
For any and every violation of the provisions of this chapter, the owner, general agent or contractor of a building or premises where such violation has been committed or shall exist, the owner, general agent, contractor, lessee or tenant of any part of a building or premises in which part such violation has been committed or shall exist and the general agent, architect, building contractor or any other person who knowingly commits, takes or assists in any such violation or who maintains any building or premises in which any such violation shall exist shall be liable, on conviction thereof in a summary proceeding, to be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600. In default of payment of the fine, such person, the members of such partnership or the officers of such corporation shall be liable to imprisonment for not more than 60 days.
B. 
The Building Inspector shall give official written notice to the violator, by registered or certified mail that he/she is committing a violation. The Building Inspector's official written notice of violation shall be considered as an order, requirement, decision or determination of the Building Inspector. Each day's continuance of such violation after such notification shall constitute a separate offense punishable by a like fine or penalty. Such fines shall be collected as like fines are now collected by law.