Borough of New Hope, PA
Bucks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of New Hope 7-13-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-8. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 237.
Zoning — See Ch. 275.
[Amended 6-13-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-08]
Pursuant to authority contained in the Act of June 13, 1961, Public Law 282, No. 167, as amended (hereafter referred to as the "Act") there has been created an historic district within New Hope Borough. This chapter is designed to protect the historic and architectural heritage of that Historic District by establishing an Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) to determine and monitor compliance with historic architectural guidelines. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "New Hope Borough HARB Ordinance."
A. 
This New Hope Historic District was created for the following purposes: Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution states: "The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustees of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people."
B. 
Now therefore, it is the purpose and intent of New Hope Borough:
(1) 
To promote, protect, enhance, perpetuate, and preserve historic districts for the educational, cultural, economic and general welfare of the public through the preservation, protection and regulation of buildings, structures, and areas of historic interest or importance within New Hope Borough;
(2) 
To safeguard the heritage of New Hope Borough by preserving and regulating historic districts which reflect elements of its cultural, social, economic, political, and architectural history;
(3) 
To preserve and enhance the environmental quality of neighborhoods;
(4) 
To strengthen the Borough's economic base by the stimulation of the tourist industry and to establish and improve property values and foster economic development;
(5) 
To foster civic pride in the beauty and accomplishments of New Hope Borough's past;
(6) 
To preserve and protect the cultural, historical and architectural assets of New Hope Borough that have been determined to be of local, state or national, historical and/or architectural significance.
All former New Hope Borough ordinances and amendments to ordinances with regard to the Historic District as codified in Chapter 1, Part 4 of the New Hope Borough Code are hereby repealed and superseded by this chapter herein.
The provisions of the chapter may be amended from time to time by the Council of New Hope Borough after notice and hearing as provided by law.
A. 
For the purpose of this chapter, all words used in the present tense include the future tense. All words in the plural number include the singular number and all words in the singular number include the plural number, unless the natural construction of the word clearly indicates otherwise. The word "shall" is mandatory. The word "used" includes "designated, intended, built, or arranged to be used."
B. 
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ADJACENT
Next to or adjoining. Properties separated by a street or waterway (defined as limited to the Delaware Canal, Aquetong Creek and/or Ingham Creek) may not be considered adjacent. For purposes of this chapter, buildings and structures not in the Historic District but adjacent to an historic district building or structure shall not be considered adjacent buildings or structures.
[Added 4-11-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-02]
ALTERATION
Any act or process requiring a building permit and any other act or process not requiring a building permit but specifically listed in this article as a reviewable action, including without limitation the repair, replacement, reconstruction, demolition, painting or repainting or relocation of any building, structure or object, or any part of a building or structure which is visible from a public right-of-way.
[Amended 5-10-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-5]
BUILDING
Any enclosed or open structure which is a combination of materials to form a construction for occupancy and/or use for human or animal habitation and is permanently affixed to the land, including manufactured homes.
BUILDING CODE OFFICIAL or CONSTRUCTION CODE OFFICIAL or CODES ADMINISTRATOR (hereafter referred to as "CODE OFFICIAL")
A municipal employee or company retained by New Hope Borough as the individual or company who enforces compliance of construction and/or fire codes and issues permits for the erection, alteration, reconstruction, repair, restoration, demolition or razing of all or part of a building or structure within an historic district.
BUILDING PERMIT
A document signed and issued by the Code Official authorizing the construction, alteration, reconstruction, repair, restoration, demolition or razing of all or part of any building or structure.
BUILDING PERMIT APPLICATION
A request filed with the Code Official that seeks authorization to erect, alter, reconstruct, repair, restore, demolish, or raze all or part of a building or structure within an historic district and that requires a certificate of appropriateness.
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS (hereafter referred as "COA")
The approval document signed by the New Hope Borough Council that certifies to the historical appropriateness of a particular request for the erection, alteration, reconstruction, restoration, demolition, or razing of all or part of any building or structure within an historic district and authorizes the issuance of a building permit in compliance with local zoning and construction codes.
CONCEPT REVIEW
A request by an applicant at any time in the planning process for the Historic Architectural Review Board to provide informal comments as to the historical appropriateness of a project without issuing a formal recommendation to the Council regarding the issuance of a COA.
CONTRIBUTING RESOURCE
A building, structure or sign, or any part thereof, in the New Hope Borough Historic Districts which supports the New Hope Borough Historic Districts' historical significance through location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling and/or association.
[Added 11-4-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-06]
DEMOLITION
The dismantling or tearing down of all or part of any building or structure and all operations incidental thereto, including neglecting routine maintenance and repairs which can lead to deterioration and decay.
DISASSEMBLE
The intentional act of moving, dismantling, taking apart or breaking apart a contributing resource, for the purposes of either reassembling and/or relocating the contributing resource. The term "disassemble" is to be distinguished from "demolition."
[Added 11-4-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-06]
HARB APPLICATION
A completed application for a certificate of appropriateness is an application that conforms to the submission criteria for specific historic preservation projects, as determined by HARB and approved by Borough Council.
HARB GUIDELINES FOR APPLICANTS
Guidelines that have been adopted by HARB for making recommendations for approval or denial of a certificate of appropriateness. These guidelines are incorporated herein and attached hereto as Appendix B.[1]
HARB PREDETERMINED STANDARDS
Those standards developed by HARB that specify alterations in an Historic District that may be made without an HARB recommendation and Borough Council approval. Said standards are attached hereto as Appendix A and will be provided to all HARB applicants by the Code Official.
HISTORIC ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD (hereafter referred to as "HARB")
The agency that advises the Council on any requests for authorization to erect, alter, reconstruct, repair, restore, paint or repaint, or demolish all or part of any building within an historic district.
NEW HOPE BOROUGH COUNCIL (hereafter referred to as "COUNCIL")
The elected governing body of New Hope Borough.
PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
Any right-of-way held by the public for public purposes, where the term "public" denotes ownership or control by a governmental entity, either a municipal authority, a municipality, the county or the commonwealth. A public right-of-way shall include but shall not be limited to governmentally owned or controlled streets, parking lots, parks, alleys, sidewalks within the ultimate rights-of-way of roads, other pedestrian rights-of-way, and the Delaware Canal.
[Amended 5-10-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-5]
RECONSTRUCTION
The act or process of reproducing by new construction the exact form and detail of a vanished building, structure, or object, or a part thereof, as it appeared at a specific period of time but not necessarily of original material.
RELOCATE
To move a contributing resource, or any part thereof, to a new location. See "disassemble."
[Added 11-4-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-06]
SIGNS
Any display, structure, device or object which incorporates lettering, logos, colors, lights, or illuminated inert gas tubes visible to the public from a building or structure, which either conveys a message to the public, or intends to advertise, direct, invite, announce, or draw attention to goods, products, services, activities, or facilities, excluding window displays, merchandise and temporary signs.
[Added 5-10-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-5]
STRUCTURE
Anything constructed or erected, having a permanent or semipermanent location on another structure or in the ground, including but not limited to buildings, sheds, manufactured homes, garages, fences, gazebos, decks, satellite dishes, tents, walls, awnings and swimming pools.
[1]
Editor's Note: The Design Guidelines are included as an attachment to this chapter.
[Amended 4-11-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-02]
A. 
The New Hope Borough Historic Districts have been described in writing and delineated on a map designated as the Historic District Map of New Hope, attached to this chapter as Appendix C.[1] The provisions of this chapter apply to all land, buildings, structures and signs within the boundaries of the Historic District.
[1]
Editor's Note: Appendix C is on file in the Borough offices. See Subsection B.
B. 
The Historic District Map of New Hope Borough shall be located in the office of the New Hope Borough Code Official and made available for public inspection in accordance with applicable New Hope Borough regulations pertaining to public records.
C. 
Interpretation of boundaries.
(1) 
The boundaries of the Historic Districts are set forth upon the map attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference by the outlined area.
(2) 
Boundaries indicated as approximately following the center lines of streets or alleys shall be construed to follow such center lines.
(3) 
Boundaries indicated as approximately following lot lines shall be construed as following such lines.
(4) 
Boundaries indicated as parallel to or extensions of features indicated above shall be so construed. Distances not specifically indicated on the map shall be determined by the scale of the map.
(5) 
Where topographical or man-made features existing on the ground are at variance with those shown on the map or in other circumstances not covered by the above, the Council shall interpret the boundaries of the Historic District.
A. 
An Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) is hereby established to be composed of up to nine members appointed by the Council. The membership of the HARB shall be as follows:
[Amended 6-13-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-08]
(1) 
One member shall be a registered architect;
(2) 
One member shall be a licensed real estate broker;
(3) 
One member shall be a building inspector;
(4) 
One member may be a Planning Commission member; and
(5) 
The other member(s) shall be person(s) with demonstrated interest, knowledge, ability, experience or expertise in restoration, historic rehabilitation, or neighborhood conservation or revitalization. An attempt will be made to appoint a majority of the members from property owners who reside in the district.
B. 
The terms of the members shall be so fixed that no more than three members shall be replaced or reappointed during any one calendar year. The term of service shall be three years. Mid-term vacancies on the HARB shall be filled at the pleasure of Council within 90 days; however, a member shall continue in office after expiration of his or her term until a successor has been appointed. The position of any member of the HARB appointed in his or her capacity as a registered architect, a licensed real estate broker, building inspector, Planning Commission member, etc., who ceases to be so engaged, shall be automatically considered vacant. An appointment to fill a vacancy shall be for the unexpired portion of the term only.
C. 
It shall be the duty of each HARB member to remain conscious of and sensitive to any possible conflict of interest (including but not limited to financial considerations) that may arise by virtue of his or her membership on the Board. A member, promptly upon his or her determining he or she has a conflict relative to any matter brought, shall disqualify himself or herself from participating, in any manner, publicly or privately, in the presentation, discussion or deliberation of and the voting on any such matter, including temporarily absenting himself or herself from the room in which the discussion is being held.
A. 
Advisory role. The HARB shall give counsel and recommendations to the Council regarding the advisability of issuing any certificate of appropriateness required to be issued in accordance with the said Act of June 13, 1961, as amended, and this chapter.
B. 
Board rulemaking power. The HARB may make and alter rules and regulations for its own organization and procedure, provided that these are consistent with the laws of the Commonwealth and all provisions of this chapter.
C. 
Removal of members. Any Board member may be removed for misconduct or wrongdoing, unlawful execution of the Act or this chapter, or for failure to perform his or her responsibilities pursuant to the Act or this chapter, or for other just cause by a majority vote of the Council, but not before he or she has been given an opportunity for a hearing to defend any alleged infractions of the Act or this chapter.
D. 
Annual reports. The members of HARB shall make an annual report to the Council which shall include:
(1) 
Any recommendations for changes in this chapter;
(2) 
The number and types of cases reviewed;
(3) 
The number of cases for which a certificate of appropriateness was either approved or denied;
(4) 
The number of HARB meetings which each member attended;
(5) 
Historic preservation related training which each member attended;
(6) 
A narrative summary describing the state of preservation in the New Hope Borough Historic District(s) with recommendations in policy, goals, and objectives for the Council's consideration.
E. 
Compensation. The HARB may employ secretarial and professional assistance and incur other necessary expenses, such as HARB training, with the approval of Council as provided for in its annual budget.
F. 
Meetings. The HARB shall meet publicly at least once a month. Further, HARB may hold any additional meetings it considers necessary to carry out the responsibilities and duties established in this chapter. Such meetings shall be open to the public and shall be advertised and conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, as amended. A majority of HARB shall constitute a quorum, and action taken at any meeting shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of the Board.
G. 
Additional powers and duties of HARB. In addition to the above, HARB shall have the following responsibilities and duties:
(1) 
To conduct a survey of buildings and structures for the purpose of determining those of historic and/or architectural significance and pertinent facts about each; to act in coordination with the Council, Planning Commission, Zoning Hearing Board, and other appropriate groups; and to maintain and periodically revise the detailed listings (resource inventories) of historic resources and associated data, by appropriately classifying such resources with respect to national, state and local significance in accordance or consistent with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission's publication, "Cultural Resource Management in Pennsylvania: Guidelines for Historic Resource Surveys."
(2) 
To propose, from time to time as deemed appropriate, the establishment of additional historic districts and revisions to existing historic districts.
(3) 
To 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.
(4) 
To formulate recommendations concerning the preparation and publication of maps, brochures and descriptive material about New Hope Borough historical and/or architectural sites and buildings.
(5) 
To cooperate with and advise the Council 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 lot dimensional regulations and minimum structural standards).
(6) 
To cooperate with and enlist assistance from time to time from the National Park Service, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Preservation Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and other agencies, public and private, concerned with the preservation of historic sites and buildings.
(7) 
To advise owners of historic buildings regarding rehabilitation, repairs, maintenance methods and technologies, adaptive use, economic and tax incentives and other historic preservation strategies.
(8) 
To promote public interest in the purposes of this chapter by carrying on community education and public relations programs.
In determining the recommendations to be made to the Council concerning the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness, HARB shall consider only those matters that are pertinent to the preservation of the historical and/or architectural aspect and nature of the structure, building, site, area, or district, certified to have historical significance, including the following:
A. 
Broad historical values representing the cultural, political, economic, or social history of New Hope Borough.
B. 
The relationship of the building or structure to historic personages or events.
C. 
Significant architectural types representative of a certain historical period and a style or method of construction.
D. 
The effect of the proposed change upon the general historical and architectural nature of the district.
E. 
The appropriateness of the exterior architectural features that can be seen from a public right-of-way.
F. 
The general design, arrangement, texture, and material of a building or structure and the relation of such factors to similar features of buildings or structures in the district. Consideration shall be given, but shall not be limited to:
(1) 
Proportion of a building's front facade. Preserving the relationship between the width of the front of the building and the height of the front of the building.
(2) 
Proportion of openings within the building. Preserving the relationship of width to height of windows and doors.
(3) 
Rhythms of solids to voids in the front facade. Preserving the relationship between a recurrent alteration of strong and weak architectural elements thereby maintaining a rhythm of solids to voids.
(4) 
Rhythm of spacing of buildings on streets. Preserving the existing rhythm of recurrent or repeated building masses to spaces between each building.
(5) 
Rhythm of entrance and/or porch projections. Preserving the existing rhythm of entrances or porch projections to maintain a pedestrian scale.
(6) 
Relationship of materials. Preserving the predominant materials of the district such as brick, stone, stucco, wood siding, or other material.
(7) 
Relationship of textures. Preserving the predominant textures of the district, which may be smooth such as stucco or rough such as brick, with tooled joints or horizontal wood siding or other textures.
(8) 
Relationship of architectural details. Preserving character defining features of buildings, such as architectural details, including but not limited to cornices, lintels, arches, quoins, balustrades and iron work, chimneys, etc.
(9) 
Relationship of roof shapes. Preserving compatible roof shapes such as gable, mansard, hip, flat, gambrel, and/or kinds of roof shapes.
(10) 
Walls of continuity. Preserving physical elements which comprise streetscapes such as brick walls, wrought iron fences, building facades or combinations of these which form visual continuity and cohesiveness along the street.
(11) 
Directional expression of front elevation. Preserving the orientation of structural shapes, planes of openings and architectural detail that reflect a predominantly vertical or horizontal character to the building's facade.
(12) 
Scale. Preserving the scale of the built environment created by the size of units of construction and architectural detail that relate to the size of persons. In addition, preserving building mass its relation to open space.
(13) 
Variations. The HARB shall grant variations in a manner that will be in harmony with the character of other buildings or structures on the street and/or districts.
G. 
The height of any new building or structure shall not exceed the height of the tallest adjacent building or structure by 10% measured in the same manner as set forth in the New Hope Borough Zoning Ordinance. The building or structure shall also be limited to the overall height limitations of the New Hope Borough Zoning Ordinance. This requirement shall also apply to any proposed modifications to existing buildings or structures.
H. 
In such rare cases where HARB recommends and the Council approves demolition of an historic building, efforts shall be made to move the building to another lot or salvage architectural features of said building or structure for use within New Hope Borough.
I. 
All other New Hope Borough laws and ordinances shall be complied with, including the zoning and subdivision ordinances and the construction codes.
J. 
Applicants shall also comply with the requirements of the publication "HARB Guidelines for Applicants," as amended, which is incorporated herein and attached hereto as Appendix B.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Design Guidelines are included as an attachment to this chapter.
K. 
Financial feasibility. The HARB shall consider the financial feasibility of its recommendations in response to a request for a certificate of appropriateness for the erection, reconstruction, alteration, and restoration of a building or structure.
L. 
Historical markers may be authorized by HARB subject to the provisions stipulated, and such markers shall not be considered as signs but are to be erected in accordance with the requirements established for historic markers by HARB.
M. 
Wireless facilities. In addition to the evaluation criteria of this chapter permitted by applicable law, in the case of a request for a COA for any wireless facility as identified in this subsection within the New Hope Borough Historic District, the following regulations shall apply:
[Added 4-11-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-02]
(1) 
Any request to site "personal wireless services," "personal wireless service facilities," or "unlicensed wireless services" as defined in 47 U.S.C.A. § 332(C), as amended, shall be subject to all of the following:
(a) 
The applicant shall demonstrate its compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended;
(b) 
The applicant shall demonstrate its compliance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's regulations under the National Historic Preservation Act;
(c) 
The applicant shall provide the HARB and Council with a copy of the environmental assessment filed with the Federal Communications Commission;
(d) 
The applicant shall provide the HARB and Council with the Advisory Council's comments to the Federal Communications Commission;
(e) 
The applicant shall demonstrate that it made a good faith effort to obtain the concurrence of the Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission regarding its efforts to mitigate any adverse historical effects;
(f) 
If an agreement is reached as a result of the Section 106 review process, all requirements contained therein shall be considered conditions of approval of the requested certificate of appropriateness, if granted; and
(g) 
The applicant shall hold at least one public meeting to discuss the proposal with residents of New Hope Borough and notify in advance, by regular mail, all property owners within 250 feet of the proposed site.
(2) 
Any request to install and/or site direct broadcast satellites, multichannel multipoint distribution (wireless cable) providers, and television broadcast stations as defined in 47 U.S.C.A. § 151, et seq., as amended (collectively "antenna"), is reviewed only to ensure compliance with 47 CFR 1.4000 and 47 CFR 25.104, as amended, and that the request is congruent with the Historic District's listing on the National Register. Such requests shall be subject to only the following:
(a) 
The applicant shall demonstrate that the antenna will be placed in a position where reception and an acceptable signal will be possible and is the least visible from the public street or way;
(b) 
The applicant shall consider reasonable landscaping of any antenna that is, in the opinion of the HARB, obtrusive;
(c) 
The applicant shall consider painting or otherwise concealing the antenna so as not to interfere with reception but so that it blends into the background against which it is mounted; and
(d) 
The applicant shall demonstrate a good faith attempt to site the antenna without attaching it to any building or structure. If, in order to obtain an acceptable signal, the antenna must be attached to a building or structure, the applicant shall demonstrate that it proposes no adverse affects to the structural, historical or architectural integrity of any contributing resources or character defining features of the building or structure.
A. 
Upon receipt of a completed application for a building permit or a certificate of appropriateness for work to be done in an historic district, the Code Official shall act in accordance with the procedures set forth below:
(1) 
The Code Official and Zoning Officer will evaluate the application using a set of Predetermined Standards established by HARB, which are attached hereto as Appendix A, to determine if the applicant has satisfied the requirements of this chapter. If the application complies fully with the Predetermined Standards, appropriate zoning and building permits may be processed and approved without further action by HARB or the Council. In all such cases, the Code Official shall attest in writing that the applicant has met the predetermined criteria. If, in the judgment of the Code Official, the project fails to comply with HARB's Predetermined Standards, the applicant may make revisions and resubmit the application to the Code Official or request a formal review by HARB
(2) 
If the application fails to comply fully with HARB's Predetermined Standards, the Code Official shall not issue a building permit for any erection, alteration, reconstruction, repair, restoration or demolition of all or part of the building or structure until such time as the Council issues a certificate of appropriateness. If the Code Official issues a building permit in error, such as to an applicant who has failed to obtain a COA or who has failed to meet the predetermined HARB standards or who has provided inaccurate or incomplete information, said building permit shall be suspended or revoked.
(3) 
The Code Official shall require applicants to submit a sufficient number of copies of documents and plans with a completed application for a building permit or certificate of appropriateness, so that such information is available to all HARB and Council members.
(4) 
The Code Official shall maintain in his office a complete record of all such applications and all recommendations, decisions, actions, and permit documents related thereto.
B. 
HARB and Council review procedure.
(1) 
If the Code Official determines that an application must be reviewed formally by HARB and Council for consideration of issuance of a certificate of appropriateness, the owner or applicant shall be notified to request a meeting with HARB and to provide the documents and plans required for consideration of the COA request. The owner of record or his or her representative(s) applying for a COA shall be advised of the time and place of said HARB meeting and be invited to appear to explain his or her reasons therefore. The HARB may invite such other persons as it desires to attend a meeting.
(2) 
Design guidelines. In determining the recommendations to be made to Council concerning the issuance of a COA, HARB shall consider the design guidelines set forth in § 10-9 herein and the requirements of the publication "HARB Guidelines for Applicants," as amended, which is attached hereto as Appendix B.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Design Guidelines are included as an attachment to this chapter.
(3) 
Time frame for Board decision. The HARB shall render its recommendation on an application for a COA no later than 30 working days after the meeting provided for in Subsection B(1) herein and shall submit recommendations in writing to the Council and the applicant.
(4) 
HARB recommendation to deny an application. If HARB advises against granting a COA, it shall so indicate in writing to the Council and applicant. The written recommendation to deny shall inform the applicant of the changes in plans and specifications, if any, which would meet HARB's conditions for protecting the distinctive historical character of the historic district and the architectural integrity of the building or structure. HARB shall withhold its written recommendation for five days following the date of the HARB meeting at which the applicant's request was considered to allow the applicant time to decide whether or not to make the suggested changes in his or her plans and specifications. If the applicant determines that he or she will make the necessary changes, then he or she shall so advise HARB, which shall, in turn, inform the Council by issuing its written report with a recommendation to Council to approve the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness.
(5) 
Contents of written recommendation. The written recommendation to Council by HARB on the issuance of a COA shall set out findings of fact that may include but shall not be limited to:
(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) 
The effect of the proposed change upon the general historic and architectural nature of the district (if applicable);
(d) 
The appropriateness of exterior architectural features of the building which can be seen from a public way;
(e) 
The general design, arrangement, texture, and material of the building and the structure and the relation of such factors to similar features of building or structures in the district;
(f) 
The opinion of HARB (including any dissent) as to the appropriateness of the work or project proposed as such work will preserve or destroy the historic character and nature of the district; and
(g) 
The specific recommendations of HARB based on findings of fact as to the issuance by Council, or Council's refusal to issue a certificate of appropriateness.
(h) 
If the application involves the disassembly and/or relocation of a contributing resource, the written recommendation shall include a reassembly and relocation plan for the contributing resource and all surrounding and affected properties. The plan shall include, at a minimum, a narrative outlining how the contributing resource will be protected during all phases of disassembly, reassembly and/or relocation, architectural drawings prepared by a registered architect, and a report and/or drawings prepared by a structural engineer, and a site plan.
[Added 11-4-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-06]
(6) 
Upon receipt of a written recommendation from HARB on a request for issuance of a COA, Council shall schedule such application at its next regularly scheduled meeting and shall consider the question of issuing a COA authorizing a building permit for work covered by the application. The applicant shall be advised by the New Hope Borough Secretary of the time and place of the meeting at which his or her application shall be considered. The applicant shall have the right to attend this meeting, present his or her application, and present his or her reasons in support therefore.
(7) 
Design guidelines. In determining whether or not to certify to the appropriateness of the proposed erection, alteration, reconstruction, repair, restoration or demolition, of all or part of any building or structure within a historic district, the Council shall consider the written recommendations of HARB, the design guidelines set forth in § 10-9 herein, and the requirements of the HARB publication "HARB Guidelines for Applicants," as amended, which is attached hereto as Appendix B.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: The Design Guidelines are included as an attachment to this chapter.
(8) 
Approval by Council; conditions.
[Amended 11-4-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-06]
(a) 
If the Council approves the application, whether as submitted or revised, it shall issue a COA authorizing the Code Official to issue a building permit for the work covered and approved.
(b) 
The issuance of a COA by Council may be conditional. All such conditions shall be reasonably related to preserving the historic and architectural integrity of the New Hope Borough Historic Districts, and all contributing resources affected by the COA approval. The COA and all conditions shall be covenants running with the land. Where appropriate, the Council may require a separate instrument, in a form approved by the New Hope Borough Solicitor, to be recorded in the Office of the Bucks County Recorder of Deeds to provide notice of such conditions.
(c) 
Where a COA approval authorizes the disassembly or relocation of a contributing resource, Council may require the applicant to enter into a financial security agreement and post adequate financial security in a form and in a sufficient amount approved by the New Hope Borough Solicitor with New Hope Borough to ensure the reassembly and/or relocation of the contributing resource per the terms of the approved COA, and to cover the costs of all required activities.
(9) 
Disapproval/denial by Council. If Council denies a request for issuance of a COA, a written decision specifying the reason(s) therefore shall be given to the Code Official and the applicant. The denial document shall state what changes in the plans and specifications would meet the Council's conditions for protecting the distinctive historical character of the district and the architectural integrity of the building or structure. Upon receipt of a written denial document from the Council, the Code Official shall reject the application for a building permit by so advising the applicant in writing within the time period and in the manner prescribed by law. The applicant may appeal the Council's refusal to issue a COA to the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas within the time specified by law.
(10) 
Final notification by Council. The Council shall notify the applicant in writing of its decision to issue or not issue a COA within five business days of the meeting at which the application was heard and a decision rendered.
(11) 
Deadlines to complete approved work.
[Amended 4-11-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-02; 11-4-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-06]
(a) 
Except as otherwise provided in this Subsection B(11), all proposed work under an approved COA shall be completed within 18 months from the date of issuance by the Code Official.
(b) 
Except as otherwise provided in this Subsection B(11), if the approved COA authorizes the disassembly and reassembly or relocation of a contributing resource, all approved disassembly/reassembly and/or relocation work shall be completed in accordance with the time frame established in the approved reassembly and relocation plan; and in default of any such time frame, within 18 months from the date of issuance. Such disassembly/reassembly or relocation work shall be required regardless of whether other proposed work under the approved COA is ultimately completed.
(c) 
If the approved COA is also part of a subdivision, land development or zoning application, the approved COA shall be valid for a period not to exceed 18 months from the date the latest approval is received. All proposed and/or required work under these scenarios shall be completed within 18 months of the final approval and/or issuance, and the COA approval shall expire at the end of the validity period.
(d) 
Under any scenario, no extension of the COA validity period shall be granted as a new application is required.
A. 
When a claim of unreasonable economic hardship is made due to the effect of this chapter, the applicant or owner of record must present evidence sufficient to prove that as a result of HARB's recommendation he or she is unable to obtain a reasonable return or a reasonable beneficial use from the property, building or structure. The applicant or owner of record shall submit an affidavit to HARB providing, at the discretion of HARB, some or all of the information below, which shall include but not be limited to:
(1) 
Date the property was acquired by its current owner;
(2) 
Price paid for the property (if acquired by purchase) and a description of the relationship, if any, between the buyer and the seller of the property;
(3) 
Mortgage history of the property, including current mortgage and the annual debt service, if any, for the previous two years;
(4) 
Current market value of the property;
(5) 
Equity in the property;
(6) 
Income and expense statements for the past two years;
(7) 
Past capital expenditures during ownership of current owner;
(8) 
Appraisals of the property obtained within the previous two years;
(9) 
Income and property tax factors affecting the property;
(10) 
All appraisals obtained within the previous two years by the owner or applicant in connection with purchase, offerings for sale, financing or ownership of the property, or a statement that none were obtained;
(11) 
All studies commissioned by the owner as to profitable renovation, rehabilitation or utilization of any structures on the property for alternative use, or a statement that none were obtained;
(12) 
Estimate(s) of the cost of the proposed erection, reconstruction, alteration, restoration, demolition or razing and an estimate(s) of any additional cost(s) that would be incurred to comply with the recommendations of HARB for changes necessary for it to recommend approval of a certificate of appropriateness; and
(13) 
Form of ownership or operation of the property, whether sole proprietorship, for profit or nonprofit corporation, limited partnership, joint venture or other.
B. 
The HARB may require that an applicant furnish additional information relevant to its consideration of a claim of unreasonable economic hardship. Should HARB determine that the owner's present return is not reasonable, it must consider whether there are other uses currently allowed that would provide a reasonable return and whether such a return could be obtained through investment in the property for rehabilitation purposes. HARB may choose to recommend to Council that special economic incentives be developed to assist the owner of the resource in maintaining it and in obtaining a suitable economic return or achieving a reasonable beneficial use.
C. 
The HARB may seek the assistance of appropriate local, regional, state or national preservation organizations in developing solutions that would relieve the applicant's or owner's economic hardship. If HARB chooses to explore such options, it may delay its recommendation to Council on the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness on the basis of economic hardship for a period of 90 days in addition to time periods otherwise applicable.
D. 
Should the applicant or owner convince HARB that he or she will suffer an unreasonable economic hardship if a certificate of appropriateness is not approved, and should HARB be unable to develop with New Hope Borough or appropriate local, regional, state or national preservation organizations a solution which can relieve the applicant's or owner's economic hardship, HARB shall recommend to Council issuance of a certificate of appropriateness.
(Reserved)
[Amended 4-11-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-02]
A. 
Unlawful acts. It shall be unlawful for any person, natural or otherwise, to erect, reconstruct, alter, restore, demolish or raze any building, structure or sign, in whole or in part, regulated by this chapter, or cause same to be done, prior to obtaining a certificate of appropriateness, or in conflict with or in violation of any approved certificate of appropriateness or of the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Prosecution of violations. The Code Official shall have the power to initiate any proceedings at law or in equity necessary for the enforcement of this chapter.
C. 
Notice of violation. The Code Official shall serve a notice of violation, on a form prescribed by New Hope Borough, on the person responsible for the violation of this chapter and the owner if different, which results from commencing any work prior to receipt of any approved certificate of appropriateness for any work covered by this chapter; failure to comply with approved work or any conditions of such approval; and any other violation of this chapter. Such notice shall direct the discontinuance of the illegal action or condition, the abatement of the violation, and the time for compliance and/or appeal.
D. 
Penalties. Any person, applicant, owner, occupant, etc. who violates any provision of this chapter or who shall fail to comply with any of the requirements of this chapter, or who shall erect, alter, construct, restore, rehabilitate, demolish or raze any building, structure or sign, in whole or in part, in violation of or contrary to the approved certificate of appropriateness shall be guilty of an offense punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000. Each day that a violation continues after due notice has been served shall be deemed a separate offense.
E. 
Appeals.
(1) 
Any aggrieved person shall have the right to appeal a decision of the Council to deny or conditionally approve a certificate of appropriateness to the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas in the manner and time provided by law.
(2) 
Any aggrieved person shall have the right to appeal a notice of violation from the Code Official to the Council within 30 days from the issuance thereof. Failure to appeal shall result in a conclusive determination that a violation exists. An appeal from such action shall be based on a claim that the true intent of this chapter has been incorrectly applied and/or any notice of violation issued hereto has been improperly issued. Any such appeal shall be filed with the Code Official on a form prescribed by the Borough.
(a) 
The Council shall hold a public hearing on the appeal within 60 days, or longer if mutually agreed by the applicant. The Code Official and the HARB, if it elects, shall appear and defend the notice of violation.
(b) 
Any person who demonstrates a direct, immediate, pecuniary and substantial interest in the subject matter may request to be a party to the appeal. The Council shall decide all requests for party status.
(c) 
The Council shall announce a determination within 15 days of the final hearing, and shall render a written decision within 45 days of the announcement of the determination.
(d) 
Any person who was a party to the appeal and is aggrieved by the decision of Council shall have the right to appeal an adverse decision to the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas in the manner and time provided by law.
(3) 
At any court-ordered remand or other hearing held by Council, other than as described in Subsection E(2) hereof, the Code Official, the HARB and any consultant shall appear and present evidence on behalf and in support of the HARB's position.