Village of Greendale, WI
Milwaukee County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Greendale by Ord. No. 717 (Ch. 23 of the Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building Code — See Ch. 15.
Zoning Code — See Ch. 17.

23.01 Declaration of policy; purpose.

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 or historic interest or value is a public necessity and is required in the interest of the health, prosperity, safety and welfare of the people. The purpose of this chapter is to:
Effect and accomplish the protection, enhancement, and perpetuation of such improvements, sites and districts which represent or reflect elements of the Village's cultural, social, economic, political and architectural history.
Safeguard the Village's historic and cultural heritage, as embodied and reflected in such historic structures, sites and districts.
Stabilize and improve property values and enhance the visual and aesthetic character of the Village.
Protect and enhance the Village's attractions to residents, tourists and visitors and serve as a support and stimulus to business and industry.
Educate the public regarding the need and desirability of the Village's historic preservation program and its enhancement of the quality of life.

23.02 Definitions.

The definitions shall be as follows:
The certificate issued by the Commission approving alteration, rehabilitation, construction, reconstruction, or demolition of an historic structure or historic site or any improvement in an historic district.
The Plan Commission.
An area designated by the Village Board on recommendation of the Commission that contains two or more historic improvements or sites.
Any parcel of land of historic significance due to a substantial value in tracing the history or prehistory of man, or upon which an historic event has occurred, and which has been designated as an historic site under this chapter, or an improvement of a parcel, or part thereof, on which is situated an historic structure.
Any improvement which has a special character or special historic interest or value as part of the development, heritage or cultural characteristics of the Village, state or nation and which has been designated as an historic structure pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
Any building, structure, place, work of art or other object constituting a physical betterment of real property, or any part of such betterment.

23.03 Designation criteria.

For purposes of this chapter, an 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, archaeological or cultural significance to the Village, such as historic structures, sites or districts which:
Exemplify or reflect the broad cultural, political, economic or social history of the Village, state or nation;
Are identified with historic personages or with important events in Village, state or national history;
Embody the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural type or specimen inherently valuable for a study of a period, style, or method of construction or of indigenous materials or craftsmanship;
Are representative of a notable work of a master builder, designer or architect who influenced an era; or
Have yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important to prehistory or history.
The Commission may adopt operating guidelines for historic structure, historic site and historic district designation provided that such are in conformance with the provisions of this chapter.

23.04 Designation authority; certificate of appropriateness; appeals.

Designation. The Commission shall have the power, subject to § 23.05, to designate historic structures and historic sites and to recommend designation of historic districts within the Village limits. Such designations shall be made based on § 23.03 and approved by the Village Board. Once designated, such historic structures, sites and districts shall be subject to all the provisions of this chapter.
Regulation of construction, reconstruction, alteration and demolition.
No owner or person in charge of an historic structure or historic site within an historic district shall reconstruct, alter or demolish all or any part of the exterior of such property or construct any improvement upon such designated property or properties or cause or permit any such work to be performed upon such property or demolish such property unless a certificate of appropriateness has been granted by the Commission. Unless such certificate has been granted by the Commission, the Director of Inspection Services shall not issue a permit for any such work.
Upon filing of any application for a certificate of appropriateness with the Commission, the Commission shall approve the application unless:
In the case of a designated historic structure or historic site, the proposed work would detrimentally change history or adversely affect any exterior architectural feature of the improvement or site upon which said work is to be done.
In the case of the construction of a new improvement upon an historic site or within an 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.
In the case of any property located in an historic district, the proposed construction, reconstruction, exterior 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 of said district.
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 Village and state.
The building or structure is of such old and unusual or uncommon design, texture and/or material that it could not be reproduced without great difficulty and/or expense.
In the case of a request for the demolition of a deteriorated building or structure, any hardship or difficulty claimed by the owner is self-created or is the result of any failure to maintain the property in good repair.
In addition, in determining whether to issue a certificate of appropriateness, the Commission shall consider and may give decisive weight to any or all of the following standards:
A property shall be used for its historic purpose or be placed in a new use that requires minimal change to the defining characteristics of the building and its site and environment.
The historic character of a property shall be retained and preserved. The removal of historic materials or alteration of features and spaces that characterize a property shall be avoided.
New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy historic materials that characterize the property. The new work shall be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with the massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect the historic integrity of the property and its environment.
If the Commission determines that the application for a certificate of appropriateness and the proposed changes are consistent with the character and features of the property or district and with the above guidelines, it shall issue the certificate of appropriateness. The Commission shall make this decision within 45 days of the filing of the application.
The issuance of a certificate of appropriateness shall not relieve the applicant from obtaining other permits and approvals required by the Village. A building permit shall be invalid if it is obtained without the presentation of the certificate of appropriateness.
Compliance with certificates of appropriateness shall be started within 12 months after the issuance of the certificate, and the work shall conform to the provisions of the certificate. The Village may inspect the work during and after construction in order to assure compliance. Failure to comply with a certificate of appropriateness or failure to obtain a certificate of appropriateness shall be a violation of this chapter. In addition to other penalties and remedies, the Director of Inspection Services shall issue a stop-work order, and all work shall cease on the designated property. No additional work shall be undertaken as long as such stop-work order shall continue in effect.
Ordinary maintenance and repairs may be undertaken without a certificate of appropriateness provided that the work involves repairs to existing features of an historic structure or site or the replacement of elements of a structure with pieces identical in appearance and provided that the work does not change the exterior appearance of the structure or site and does not require the issuance of a building permit.
Appeals. Should the Commission fail to issue a certificate of appropriateness due to the failure of the proposal to conform to the guidelines, the applicant may appeal such decision to the Village Board within 30 days. In addition, if the Commission fails to issue 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.

23.05 Procedures.

Designation of historic structures, historic sites and historic districts. The Commission may designate historic structures, historic sites and historic districts or rescind such designation or recommendation, after application of the criteria in § 23.03 above.
Review and adoption procedure. The Village Board, upon receipt of the recommendations from the Commission, shall hold a public hearing. Notice of time, place and purpose of such hearing shall be given by publication as a Class 1 notice under the Wisconsin Statutes in the official Village paper. Notice of the time, place and purpose of the public hearing shall also be sent by the Village Clerk-Treasurer to the owners of the property in whole or in part situated within 200 feet of the proposed historic structure, historic site or historic district. Following the public hearing, the Village Board shall vote to recommend, reject or withhold action on the plan. Designation of historic structures, historic sites and historic districts shall constitute adoption of the plan in ordinance form to direct the implementation of said plan.
Structures to be rezoned. Following the designation of the historic structure, historic site or historic district and in accordance with § 17.37, the Village shall rezone each historic structure, historic site or historic district from its original zoning classification to include Special District "H."
Preservation of distinctive landmarks. In order to preserve the two distinctive historic landmarks, being the Trimborn Farm (Tax Key Numbers 661-9897-011 and 661-9897-012) and the Jeremiah Curtin House (Tax Key Number 661-9898-001), said properties are designated as historic districts and identified on the Zoning Map with the "H" symbol.

23.06 Interim control.

No building permit shall be issued by the Director of Inspection Services 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 and the Village Board, unless such alteration, removal or demolition is authorized by formal resolution of the Village Board as necessary for public health, welfare or safety.

23.07 Maintenance.

Every owner or agent in charge of an historic structure, historic site or improvement in an historic district shall keep in good repair all of the exterior portions of such improvement and all interior portions thereof which, if not so maintained, may cause or tend to cause the exterior portions of such improvements to fall into a state of disrepair. This provision shall be in addition to all other provisions of law requiring such improvement to be kept in good repair.

23.08 Violations and penalties.

Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall be subject to the penalty provided in § 25.04 of this Code. Each violation and each day a violation continues or occurs shall constitute a separate offense. Notice of violations shall be issued by the Director of Inspection Services.