City of Buffalo, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
It is hereby declared as a matter of public policy that preservation, protection, conservation, enhancement, perpetuation and utilization of sites, buildings, improvements and districts of special character, historical or aesthetic interest or value are necessary and required in the interest of the health, education, culture, prosperity, safety and high quality of life of the people.
B. 
The purpose of this Preservation Code is to:
(1) 
Promote the intellectual, cultural and general welfare as well as the economic well-being of the people of the City.
(2) 
Safeguard the City's history and heritage as embodied and reflected in its landmarks, landmark sites and historic districts.
(3) 
Preserve, protect, perpetuate and utilize landmarks, landmark sites, historic districts, neighborhoods, areas, places, buildings, structures and improvements which have a distinctive character or are of historic, aesthetic, architectural, archeological or cultural interest or value to this City, state or nation.
(4) 
Stabilize and improve property values in the City.
(5) 
Avoid demolition of historically or architecturally important properties.
(6) 
Enhance the visual and aesthetic character, diversity and distinctiveness of the City.
(7) 
Enhance the City's attraction for residents, visitors, tourists and prospective residents.
(8) 
Preserve the economic and architectural integrity of vacant or underutilized landmark properties by means of substantial rehabilitation and adaptive reuse.
[Added 7-31-1990, effective 8-16-1990]
The following terms and phrases shall mean and include:
ADAPTIVE REUSE
Conversion of a building originally designed for a certain purpose to a different purpose.
ALTER
To change one or more exterior architectural features of a landmark, an improvement on a landmark site or a structure within an historic district.
BUILDING
Any structure or part thereof having a roof supported by columns or walls for the shelter or enclosure of persons or property.
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
A certificate issued by the Preservation Board or the Common Council approving plans for alteration, construction, relocation, removal or demolition of a landmark, an improvement on a landmark site or a structure within an historic district.
[Amended 10-5-2010, effective 10-19-2010]
CERTIFICATE OF EXCEPTION
A certificate issued by the Preservation Board or the Common Council approving plans for alteration, construction, removal or demolition of a landmark, an improvement on a landmark site or a structure in an historic district where these plans do not meet the standards for a certificate of appropriateness.
CERTIFICATE OF NO EFFECT
A certificate issued by the Preservation Board or its Secretary indicating that proposed plans having no effect on the exterior of a landmark, an improvement on a landmark site or a structure within an historic district and that a certificate of appropriateness is not required.
CONSTRUCTION
Building an addition to an existing structure or building a new principal or accessory structure.
DEMOLITION
Destruction of a building, structure or improvement.
DESIGN GUIDELINE
A standard of appropriate activity that will preserve the historic, aesthetic, cultural and architectural character of a structure or area.
EXTERIOR
Architectural style, design, general arrangement and components of the outer surfaces of an improvement, building or structure as distinguished from the interior surfaces enclosed by said outer surfaces, including but not limited to the kind and texture of building material and the type and style of windows, doors, lights, signs and other such exterior fixtures.
HISTORIC DISTRICT
A geographically definable area, so designated pursuant to this code, or previously designated pursuant to the Landmark Code, which possesses a significant concentration, linkage or continuity of sites, buildings, structures or objects united historically by past events or united aesthetically by plan or development. An "historic district" may also comprise individual elements, separated geographically, but linked by association or history.
IMPROVEMENT
Any building, structure, place, parking facility, fence, gate, wall, work of art or other object constituting a physical betterment, or any part thereof.
LANDMARK
Property, object or structure, or any part thereof so designated pursuant to this code or previously designated pursuant to the Landmark Code.
LANDMARK SITE
A parcel or part thereof:
A. 
On which is situated a landmark, and any abutting parcel or part thereof used and constituting part of the premises on which the landmark is situated; or
B. 
Which has been designated as a "landmark site" pursuant to the provisions of this code or previously designated pursuant to the Landmark Code.
LOCAL HISTORIC MARKER
An historic marker describing the history of a location or a structure without affording said location or structure landmark status or subjecting it to any additional restrictions, but which provides a brief history of the location for informational purposes only.
[Added 10-5-2010, effective 10-19-2010]
OWNER
A person, firm or corporation which owns the fee of property or a lesser estate therein, a mortgage or vendee in possession, a receiver, an administrator, an executor, a trustee or any other person, firm or corporation in control of property.
PRESERVATION
Retention of essential character of an improvement, object, building or structure as embodied in its existing form, integrity and material. This term includes the retention of the trees and vegetative cover of a site. This term may include temporary stabilization work as well as on-going maintenance of historic building materials.
PRESERVATION BOARD OR BOARD
The Buffalo Preservation Board.
PROPERTY
Land and improvements thereon.
RECONSTRUCTION
Reproduction of the exact form and detail of a vanished building, structure, improvement or part thereof, as it appeared at a specific time.
REHABILITATION
Repair or alteration that enables buildings, structures or improvements to be efficiently utilized while preserving those features of buildings, structures or improvements that are significant to their historic, architectural and cultural values.
RESTORATION
Recovery of the form and details of a building, structure or improvement and its site during a particular time.
SITE
A plot or parcel of land.
STRUCTURE
Anything constructed or erected which requires permanent or temporary location on the ground or attachment to something permanently attached to the ground. This term shall include but not be limited to buildings, walls, fences, signs, billboards, lighting fixtures, screen enclosures, works of art and electronic transmission or reception devices.