[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Ridgefield 6-5-1974 as Ch. 6, Art. I of the 1974 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to promote the educational, cultural, economic and general welfare of the Town through the preservation and protection of buildings, places and districts of historic interest by the maintenance of such landmarks in the history of architecture and of the Town.
Editor's Note: By ordinance of 6-28-2000 the Town adopted by reference the provisions of C.G.S. §§ 7-147p to 7-147y regarding historic properties.
As used in this chapter the following terms shall have the meaning ascribed to them:
- The Ridgefield Historic District Commission as constituted in accordance with this Chapter 19, Article V of the Town Code.
- EXTERIOR ARCHITECTURAL FEATURES
- Includes the location, architectural style, general design and general arrangement of such portion of the exterior of a structure as is open to view from a public street, way or place.
- HISTORIC DISTRICT
- Ridgefield Historic District No. 1 and any other historic district hereafter established pursuant to state law.
Established. Through the development of appropriate settings for buildings, places and districts, there is hereby established an historic district in the Town, to be known as "Ridgefield Historic District No. 1, Main Street, South," and the boundaries of the historic district are hereby fixed and defined in the manner shown on the map on file with the Town Clerk.
The original historic district known as "Ridgefield Historic District No. 1 Main Street, South," is hereby extended to include all those certain pieces and parcels of land as shown on the Map of Existing and Proposed Historic Districts of Ridgefield, Connecticut, which map is dated December 1, 1974, revised March 20, 1975, and is on file in the office of the Town Clerk.
The names of the property owners to whom notice was given pursuant to C.G.S. § 7-147b, Subsection (e), are: Mr. and Mrs. Augustus J. Detzer; First Church of Christ Scientist; Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art; Mr. Robert Kraus; Mr. and Mrs. Lance Ballou, Jr.; Mrs. Betty Lou Campbell; Dr. Robert E. Mead; Keeler Tavern Preservation Society; Mr. and Mrs. Donald H. Schmuck; Mr. and Mrs. John Webster; Mr. and Mrs. Clifford R. Wilmot; Mrs. Hammersley Carpenter; St. Stephen's Episcopal Church; Mrs. Julia R.S. Woodford; Mrs. Lillian Robinson; Miss Dorothy E. Honan; Mr. and Mrs. J. Edward Hall; Mr. and Mrs. Paul Fisher; Mrs. Fielding V. Jackson; Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church; Mr. and Mrs. Patrick J. Crehan; Dr. and Mrs. David Weingast; Mr. and Mrs. William McMahon; Mr. and Mrs. Calvin S. Brunen; First Congregational Church; Mr. James P. Lewis, Jr.; Mr. and Mrs. Edwin A. Rideout; Dr. and Mrs. Patrick A. Neligan; Dr. and Mrs. Theodore Safford, Jr.; Dr. Gordon Pettit; DiNapoli Development Co., Inc.; Mrs. Lesley Williams; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bowie; Mr. and Mrs. Richard Kluger; Mr. and Mrs. Vernon M. Welsh; Mr. and Mrs. Joseph R. Hackett; Mrs. E. Margaret Starr Jessup; C. V. Construction Company, Inc.; and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
All those certain pieces and parcels of land, shown and delineated as "High Ridge-District No. 2" on that certain map titled "Map of Existing and Proposed Historic Districts of Ridgefield, Connecticut," which map is dated December 1, 1974, revised March 20, 1975, and is on file in the office of the Town Clerk, are hereby included as an historic district of the Town of Ridgefield.
The names of the property owners to whom notice was given pursuant to C.G.S. § 7-147b, Subsection (e), are: Mrs. Jeanne M. Bassett; Mr. James P. Ettinger, Jr.; Mr. and Mrs. Albert D. Swanson; Altna Craig Convalescent Home; Mr. Royal C. Van Etten; Mrs. Lois Hall Herrick; Mr. George R. Halpern; Mrs. Elsie Craig; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Martin; Mr. and Mrs. Stanley R. Lewis; Mr. and Mrs. Russell L. Seymour; Miss Mary Proal Lindeke; Mr. and Mrs. Albert A. Arvay; Mr. and Mrs. Roderick Ellis; Mr. Henry Prieger; Messrs. Joseph, James and Aldo Bacchiochi; Mr. and Mrs. Melish A. Thompson; Mr. and Mrs. David Atherton; Mr. and Mrs. John Alymer White; Misses Jane and Mary Henle; Mr. and Mrs. James A. Bacchiochi; Mrs. Joan L. Jacobson Minot; Mr. and Mrs. W. Lee Noel; Mrs. Bernice O. Schwartz Ridgefield Water Supply Company; First Congregational Church; and the Greenwich Federal Savings and Loan Association.
Required; control of advertising.
No building or structure shall be erected, altered, restored, moved or demolished within an historic district until after an application for a certificate of appropriateness as to exterior architectural features has been submitted to the Commission and approved by said Commission.
The style, material, size and location of outdoor advertising signs and bill posters within an historic district shall also be under the control of such Commission.
Public hearing required.
The Historic District Commission shall hold a public hearing upon each application for a certificate of appropriateness. Notice of the time and place of said hearing shall be given by publication in the form of a legal advertisement appearing in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the municipality at least seven days before such hearing. Within not more than 65 days after the filing of an application as required by Subsection A(1) (which time may be extended with the consent of the applicant), the Commission shall pass its decision upon such application and shall give written notice of its decision to the applicant. Evidence of approval, as referred to in Subsection A(1), shall be by certificate of appropriateness issued by the Commission. In the event that the Commission disapproves an application, it shall state its reasons therefor in the written notice of its decision.
Failure of the Commission to act within 65 days (or any extension thereof) shall constitute approval and no other evidence of approval shall be needed. The Commission shall keep a record of all applications for certificates of appropriateness and of all its doings under this chapter.
Issuance; considerations to issuance. If the Commission determines that the proposed erection, construction, restoration, alteration or razing will be appropriate, it shall issue a certificate of appropriateness. In passing upon appropriateness, the Commission shall consider, in addition to any other pertinent factors, the historical and architectural value and significance, architectural style, general design, arrangement, texture and material of the architectural features involved and the relationship thereof to the exterior architectural style and pertinent features of other structures in the immediate neighborhood.
Refusal to issue. A certificate of appropriateness may be refused for any building or structure, the erection, reconstruction, restoration, alteration or razing of which, in the opinion of the Commission, would be detrimental to the interest of the historic district.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance or repair of any exterior feature in the historic district which does not involve a change of design thereof, nor to prevent the construction, reconstruction, alteration or demolition of any such feature which the Building Official or a similar agent shall certify to the Commission is required by the public safety because of an unsafe or dangerous condition, nor to prevent the construction, reconstruction, alteration or demolition of any such feature under a permit issued by a Building Official or similar agent prior to the effective date of establishment of such district.
Where, by reason of topographical conditions, district border line situations, immediately adjoining existing developments, or because of other unusual circumstances, the strict application of any provision of this chapter would result in exceptional practical difficulty or undue hardship upon the owner of any specific property, the Commission in passing upon applications shall have the power to vary or modify strict adherence to this chapter, or to interpret the meaning of this chapter so as to relieve such difficulty or hardship, provided that such variance, modification or interpretation shall remain in harmony with the general purpose and intent of this chapter so that the general character of the district shall be conserved and substantial justice done. In granting variations, the Commission may impose such reasonable and additional stipulations and conditions as will, in its judgment, better fulfill the purpose of this chapter.
Regulations and orders of the Commission issued pursuant to this chapter or to any rule of procedure adopted hereunder shall be enforced by the Historic District Enforcement Officer, who shall be appointed by the Board of Selectmen for a two-year term, who may be authorized by the Commission to inspect and examine any building, structure, place or premises and to require in writing the remedying of any condition found to exist therein or thereon in violation of any provision of the regulations or orders made under the authority of this chapter or of any rule of procedure adopted hereunder.
The owner or agent of any building or premises where a violation of any provision of this chapter or of any bylaw adopted hereunder has been committed or exists, or the agent, architect, building contractor, or any other person who commits, takes part or assists in any such violation, or who maintains any building or premises in which any such violation exists, shall be fined not less than $10 nor more than $100 for each day that such violation continues, but, if the offense is willful, the person convicted thereof shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $250 for each day that such violation continues. Each day such violation continues to exist shall constitute a separate offense.