[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Lower by Ord. No. 97-9 (Sec. 2A-12 of the 1975 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Land development — See Ch. 400.
It is the purpose and intent of the Township of Lower to:
Promote, protect, enhance, perpetuate and preserve historic landmarks for the educational, cultural, economic and general welfare of the public through the preservation, protection and regulation of buildings, sites, monuments, structures and areas of historic interest or importance within the Township of Lower;
Safeguard the heritage of the Township by preserving and regulating historic landmarks which reflect elements of its cultural, social, economic, political and architectural history;
Preserve and enhance the environmental quality of neighborhoods, to strengthen the Township's economic base by the stimulation of the tourist industry, and to establish and improve property values;
Foster economic development;
Foster civic pride in the beauty and accomplishments of the Township's past; and
Preserve and protect the cultural, historical and architectural assets of the Township for which the Township has been determined to be of national, state and local historical and architectural significance.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION (HPC)
- The Historic Preservation Commission for the Township of Lower.
- HISTORIC SITE
- Any real property, man-made structure, natural object or configuration or any portion or group of the foregoing that has been formally designated by Township Council ordinance as being of historical, archaeological, cultural, scenic, or architectural significance in accordance with the designation criteria set forth below.
- The Township of Lower, in the County of Cape May, State of New Jersey.
Designation criteria. The criteria for designating historic sites as established by the Commission are as follows:
The site reflects or exemplifies the broad cultural, political, economic, social, or architectural history of the nation, state, or community; or
The site is identified with historic personages or events in the main current of national, state, or local history; or
The site shows evidence of precolonial habitation, activity, or culture; or
The site has a distinguishing characteristic or architectural style valuable as representative of a period, style, or method of construction; or
The site is representative of the work of a builder, designer, artist, or architect whose individual style significantly influenced the architectural history of the municipality; or
The site is imbued with traditional or legendary lore; or
The site (if a structure) shall normally be at least 100 years old to be designated unless there are special circumstances in a given case.
Designation procedure. Designation shall be formalized by ordinance of the Township Council based upon the recommendations of the HPC.
Creation. Pursuant to Chapter 516, Laws of 1985, amending the Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 (et seq.), there is hereby established an Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) to advance the purposes of historic preservation. The Township Council shall appoint the HPC membership consisting of seven regular members and two alternates. The Township Council shall designate Alternate No. 1 and Alternate No. 2.
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40:55D-107 et seq.
Membership. The HPC membership includes the following categories of appointment:
Regular members. At least one member from each of the following classes:
Class A: A person who is knowledgeable in building design and construction or architectural history.
Class B: A person who is knowledgeable or who has interest in local history.
Class C: A person who is a citizen of the Township and holds no other municipal office, position or employment except for membership on the Township's Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Class C members shall constitute a majority by at least one.
Alternate members. Two alternate members who must qualify as Class C members. Alternate members may participate in all HPC proceedings but may not vote except in the absence or disqualification of a regular member. A vote shall not be delayed in order that a regular member may vote instead of an alternate member. If a choice must be made as to which alternate member is to vote, Alternate No. 1 votes.
Terms. For members first appointed under this section to the HPC, the expiration of their terms should be distributed as widely as possible so that, in the interest of HPC continuity, simultaneous reappointments are remote. The expiration dates of regular members should be distributed evenly over the first four years after their appointments, and alternate members, evenly over the first two years after their appointments. The initial terms of regular members shall not exceed four years, and the initial terms of alternate members shall not exceed two years. Thereafter, the terms of the regular members shall be four years, and the terms of the alternate members shall be two years. Vacancies occurring other than by expiration of terms shall be filled for the unexpired term only. The term of any member common to the HPC and the Township's Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall be for the term of membership on those boards.
Officers. The HPC shall elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman from its membership and select a recording secretary who may or may not be a member of the HPC or a municipal employee.
Funds. Township Council shall make provision in its budget and designate funds for the expenses of the HPC.
Fees. Township Council shall establish by ordinance reasonable fees necessary to cover the expenses of administration and professional services to aid the HPC in its review of an application. These fees are in addition to any other fees required under any portion of this or any other applicable Township ordinance.
Conflict of interest. A member of the HPC may not act on any matter in which the member has any personal or financial interest, either directly or indirectly.
Expert assistance. The HPC may employ, contract for, and fix the compensation for experts and other staff and services as it deems necessary and for which Township Council has provided funding. The HPC shall obtain its legal counsel from the Municipal Solicitor at the rate of compensation set by Township Council. Expenditures shall not exceed, exclusive of gifts or grants, the amount appropriated by Township Council for the HPC's use.
Rules. The HPC shall adopt such procedural rules for the conduct of its business as it deems necessary and advisable.
Records. The HPC shall keep minutes of its meetings and proceedings, including voting records, findings, determinations and recommendations, and shall at all times comply with the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq. Copies shall be made available to municipal bodies, agencies and officials for their use. When the Township's Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment refers an application to the HPC, then the referring board shall receive a copy.
Duties. The HPC shall have the responsibility to:
Prepare a survey of historic sites of the Township.
Make recommendations to the Township's Planning Board as to the creation or amendment of an historic preservation plan element of the Master Plan and on the implications for preservation of historic sites of any other Master Plan elements.
Advise the Township's Planning Board on the inclusion of historic sites in the recommended capital improvement program.
Advise the Township's Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment on applications for development involving historic structures or sites. Such boards shall make available to the HPC informational copies of applications submitted to them for development in historic sites. Failure to provide this copy shall not invalidate any hearing or proceeding. The HPC may provide its advice which shall be conveyed through its delegation of one of its members or staff to testify orally at the hearing on the application and to explain any written report which may have been submitted. If the HPC fails to deliver a timely report, that shall constitute their approval of the application.
Carry out other advisory, educational and informational functions to promote historic preservation in the community.