Town of Bloomsburg, PA
Columbia County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 710, 11/28/1988, § 102]
The "Town of Bloomsburg Historical District Ordinance."
[Ord. 710, 11/28/1988, § 104]
This Part is enacted to:
A. 
Protect an architecturally distinctive and historical area of Bloomsburg.
B. 
Encourage interest in Bloomsburg's past.
C. 
Promote the general welfare and education of the Town's people.
D. 
Improve property values.
E. 
Enhance the Town's attractiveness to residents and visitors.
F. 
Stimulate business and strengthen the Town's economy.
[Ord. 710, 11/28/1988, § 105]
All standards in this Part are to be interpreted as minimums required. Nothing prevents property owners from using their own higher standards, as long as they meet or exceed the standards in this Part.
[Ord. 710, 11/28/1988, § 106]
Should any provision in this Part conflict with any law of the United States or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Federal or State law shall govern. Such conflicts shall not affect the validity of the remainder of this Part.
[Ord. 710, 11/28/1988, § 109]
This Part shall not take effect until the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has been notified, in writing, of the enactment of this Part and has certified, by Resolution, to the historical significance of the Historic District of the Town of Bloomsburg as defined in § 1307 hereof and has transmitted its certifying resolution to the Town of Bloomsburg, pursuant to 53 P.S. § 8002.
[Ord. 710, 11/28/1988, § 201]
It is not intended that these definitions include only words used or referred to in this Part. The words are included in order to facilitate the interpretation of this Part for administrative purposes and in the carrying out of duties by the Board of Historical Architectural Review, the Town Council and the Code Enforcement Officer. Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following shall, for the purpose of this Part, have the meaning herein indicated:
A. 
Words in the present tense include the future tense.
B. 
The word "person" includes a profit or nonprofit corporation, company, partnership, or individual.
C. 
The word "building" includes "structure."
D. 
The word "shall" is always mandatory.
[Ord. 710, 11/28/1988, § 202; as amended by Ord. 841, 12/19/2001]
For this Part, the following words are defined:
ALTERATION
Changing any architectural feature of a structure.
BOARD
The Town of Bloomsburg Board of Historical Architectural Review.
BUILDING
A structure with the roof supported by columns or walls and intended for shelter or storage of people, animals or chattel.
BUILDING PERMIT
[See definition of "Permit"].
CERTIFICATE
Certificate of appropriateness.
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
The approval statement signed by the Council of the Town of Bloomsburg which authorizes the construction, alteration, repair, restoration, demolition or razing of all or a part of a building within the historic district and which authorizes the issuance of a building permit for said request.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of Bloomsburg.
COMMISSION
The Town of Bloomsburg Planning Commission.
COMMONWEALTH
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
CONDITION
The structural stability and level of maintenance of a building.
CONSTRUCTION
Building an addition to an existing structure or erecting or placing a structure on a property.
CONTRIBUTING STRUCTURE
Structures at least 50 years old that represent a vernacular architecture. Buildings that contribute to the district's distinction yet may not be of special significance individually; properties designated "contributing" on the original 1980 site survey update.
COUNCIL
The governing body of the Town of Bloomsburg.
DEMOLITION
Destruction, the dismantling or tearing down of all or part of any building or structure and all operations incidental thereto.
EVALUATION CRITERIA
Maintenance, restoration and renovation standards to preserve the historic and architectural characteristics of the structures in the historic district.
EXTERIOR ARCHITECTURAL APPEARANCE
The architectural character and composition of a structure's exterior. This includes the building materials and the design, number, type, and style of windows, doors, fixtures, porches and appurtenant elements.
HARB
The Bloomsburg Board of Historic Architectural Review.
HISTORIC DISTRICT
The area of the Town of Bloomsburg created by ordinance of the Town of Bloomsburg pursuant to the Pennsylvania Historic District Act of June 13, 1961 (Act 167 as amended), subject to the regulations contained herein, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places (September 1983). Even though Bloomsburg's Historic District is composed of sites, buildings, structures and objects that would not qualify individually, the identity and value of the district results from the density of structures and from their interrelationships rather than from individual, significant structures.
INTEGRITY
The degree in which a building retains its original design, materials and character.
MAYOR
The chief executive of the Town of Bloomsburg.
NOTABLE STRUCTURES
Buildings at least 50 years old or those having local historic importance or embodying the distinctive characteristics of a type, period or method of construction. All structures on Main Street, irrespective of age or architectural significance, shall fall within this classification, properties designated "significant" on the original site survey or on the 1988 site survey update. [A.O.]
PERMIT (BUILDING PERMIT)
A certificate issued by the Code Enforcement Officer which approves and authorizes the erection, repair, alteration or demolition of part or all of a structure in the historic district subject to the provisions of this Part.
PUBLIC STREET or WAY
Any land dedicated to public use or passage including, but not limited to, streets, alleys, parks, pedestrian rights-of-way, whether constructed, dedicated, or proposed.
RECONSTRUCTION
Remaking or rebuilding all or part of a building, not necessarily using original materials.
REPAIR
Replacing existing features with equivalent materials for maintenance without adding, changing or modifying the original construction.
RESTORATION
Returning all or part of a building to its original state or nearly original state by using original or nearly original materials.
SITE SURVEY
Evaluation during 1980 and updated during 1988 of all properties within the Bloomsburg Historic District to determine the location, ownership, tax number, approximate date of construction, architectural style and features, historic significance and current condition and integrity.
STATE
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
STRUCTURE
Anything constructed, erected or placed that requires a permanent location on the land.
SUPPLEMENTAL STRUCTURES
Structures built after 1938 that are of little or no historic or architectural merit at this time, properties classified as "intrusions" on the 1980 and 1988 site surveys.
TOWN
The Town of Bloomsburg.
[Ord. 710, 11/28/1988, Art. 3]
1. 
District Description. The "Bloomsburg Historic District" is hereby created and described as follows:
A. 
"Beginning at a point, said point being the northwesterly corner of the intersection of Fifth Street and Chestnut Avenue; thence in a northwesterly direction along the westerly side of Chestnut Avenue to a point, said point being the northwesterly corner of the intersection of Chestnut Avenue and Green Avenue; thence along the northerly side of Green Avenue to a point, said point being the northwesterly corner of the intersection of Green Avenue and Penn Street; thence northerly along the westerly side of Penn Street to a point, said point being the southwesterly corner of Penn Street and Lightstreet Road; thence southwesterly along the southerly side of Lightstreet Road to a point, said point being the northeasterly corner of the intersection of Lightstreet Road and Second Street; thence westerly across the intersection of Lightstreet Road and Second Street and along that portion of the property line of lot No. 48 fronting on Second Street to a point, said point being the common property line between lot No. 48 and lot No. 50 (tax map No. 05E-04); thence northerly along the common property line between lot No. 48 and lot No. 50 and the easterly side of lot No. 51 (tax map No. 05E-04) to a point, said point being the northeasterly corner of lot No. 51 (tax map No. 05E-04); thence westerly along the northerly side of lot Nos. 51, 52, and 55 (tax map No. 05E-04) and across Millville Road to a point on the easterly side of lot No. 6-A (tax map No. 05E-05); thence northerly along the westerly side of lot Nos. 6-A, 7, 10, and 11 (tax map No. 05E-05) to a point, said point being the southwesterly corner of the intersection of First Street and Millville Road; thence westerly along the southerly side of First Street to a point opposite the southeasterly corner of the property called Rosemont Cemetery; thence northerly across First Street and along the easterly boundary of Rosemont Cemetery abutting an alley and the rear property lines of lots fronting on Millville Road; thence generally northwesterly by various courses and distances along the rear and side property lines of lots fronting on Millville Road to a point, said point being the common property line between the most northwesterly boundary of Rosemont Cemetery and the Reading Railroad Company right-of-way; thence southwesterly along the common property line between Rosemont Cemetery and the Reading Company right-of-way to a point, said point being a northwesterly corner in the Reading Railroad Company line; thence southeasterly to a southwesterly corner of Rosemont Cemetery; thence northeasterly along the westerly boundary of the Rosemont Cemetery to a point; thence southerly along the westerly boundary of the Rosemont Cemetery to the northeasterly corner of lot No. 110 (tax map No. 05W-04); thence westerly along the northerly side of lot No. 110 (tax map No. 05W-04) to a point, said point being the southeasterly corner of lot No. 114 (tax map No. 05W-04); thence northerly along the easterly side of lot No. 114 (tax map No. 05W-04) to a point, said point being the northeasterly corner of lot of lot No. 114 (tax map No. 05W-04); thence southwesterly along the rear property lines of lots fronting on Williams Street and along the northerly side of Williams Street to its westerly terminus; thence westerly along the rear property lines of lot Nos. 129, 130, 131, and 132 (tax map No. 05W-04) to a point in the rear property line of lot No. 132, said point being opposite a line scaled 100 feet from the front line of properties fronting on West Street, thence southerly along a line scaled 100 feet from the front line of properties fronting on West Street to a point, said point being the intersection of this line with the northerly side of Fifth Street; thence easterly along the northerly side of Fifth Street and across Market Street to the northeasterly corner of the intersection of Market and Fifth Streets, thence southerly across Fifth Street and along the easterly side of Market Street to the northeasterly corner of the intersection of Market Street and Sterner Avenue; thence easterly along the northerly side of Sterner Avenue to the northwesterly corner of the intersection of Sterner Avenue and East Street; thence northwesterly along the westerly side of East Street and across Fifth Street to the northwesterly corner of the intersection of East Street and Fifth Street; thence across East Street and along the northerly side of Fifth Street to the northwesterly corner of the intersection of Fifth Street and Chestnut Avenue, being the place of beginning."
2. 
District Map. The "Bloomsburg Historic District" map, together with all supplementary matters shown thereon, is hereby adopted by reference and declared to be part of this Part. Said historic district map shall be identified by the signature of the Mayor, properly attested, and shall bear the Town Seal. This official historic district map shall be identified by certification to the effect that:
"This official map of the Town of Bloomsburg Historic District is hereby adopted on the 28th day of November, 1988, as part of Ordinance No. 710 of the Town of Bloomsburg, Columbia County, Pennsylvania."
3. 
District Boundaries.
A. 
District boundary lines are intended to follow or be parallel to the right-of-way line of streets, streams and railroads and lot or property lines as they may exist on a recorded deed or plan of record in the Columbia County Recorder of Deeds Office at the time of the adoption of this Part, unless such district boundary lines are fixed by dimensions as shown on the "Bloomsburg Historic District" map and as described in subsection (1) above.
B. 
Where a district boundary is not fixed by dimensions and where it approximately follows lot lines and where it does not scale more than 10 feet therefrom, such lot lines shall be construed to be such boundaries unless specifically shown otherwise.
C. 
In unsubdivided land or where a district boundary divides a lot, the location of such boundary, unless the same is indicated by dimensions, shall be determined by the use of the scale appearing on the Map or by survey of a registered surveyor hired and paid for by the property owner questioning or contesting the boundary location.
[Ord. 710, 11/28/1988, Art. 4; as amended by Ord. 841, 12/19/2001]
1. 
Creation and Membership. A Board of Historic Architectural Review (HARB) is hereby created and shall be composed of seven members appointed by Town Council. One member shall be a registered architect, one shall be a licensed real estate broker, two shall be resident property owners in the historic district, two members shall have knowledge of and interest in preservation of historical structures and the Code Enforcement Officer.
2. 
Terms of Office. Of the initial appointees to the Board, one shall be designated until the first day of January following the date of this Part, two until the first day of the second January thereafter, two until the first day of the third day thereafter, and two until the first day of the fourth January thereafter. Their successors shall be appointed on the expiration of their respective terms to serve four-year terms.
3. 
Vacancies. The term of the registered architect, the licensed real estate broker or the Code Enforcement Officer shall be considered vacant if the member no longer engages in the occupation. The membership of the resident or property owner in the district shall cease if the member no longer resides or owns property in the district. The Board shall promptly notify the Town Council of vacancies. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term.
4. 
Removal of Members. A Board member may be removed for malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office or for any other just cause by a majority vote of the Town Council. The Town Council shall notify the Board member of the charges 15 days before the vote. A hearing on the vote shall be held if the member requests it in writing.
5. 
Organization. The Board will meet once each month if the Code Enforcement Officer has submitted applications for review. If no such applications have been submitted, no meeting shall be necessary. Officers, elected from the membership, shall serve annual terms and may succeed themselves. A quorum of a majority of the Board as a whole shall be required to conduct meetings. Affirmative actions shall require a majority vote of the quorum. No Board member shall take part in a discussion or vote on issuing a certificate of appropriateness for any property in which that member has any direct or indirect interest. The Board shall keep full public records of its business and shall submit a report of its activities to the Town Council at least once a year.
6. 
Expenditures for Services. Within the limits of funds appropriated by the Town Council, the Board may employ or contract for technical and clerical services. Board members shall serve without compensation except that the Town Council may reimburse members for expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
7. 
Functions of the Board.
A. 
The primary function of the HARB shall be to advise the Bloomsburg Town Council on issuing certificates of appropriateness pursuant to this Part.
B. 
The HARB shall apply the guidelines included in this Part and shall require plans, drawings or other information necessary to review and recommend the Certificate of Appropriateness.
C. 
The HARB shall adopt its own procedural regulations.
D. 
The Board should cooperate with the Bloomsburg Historic Preservation Society to conduct ongoing surveys to document the historical and architectural significance of buildings and sites in the historic district, maintain a register of structures and conduct public education programs.
E. 
The HARB shall advise owners of properties in the historic district on the physical and financial aspects of preservation, rehabilitation and reuse.
F. 
The HARB may call upon experts in historic preservation and in other technical fields for advice.
G. 
The HARB shall, when requested by Town Council, testify before Town Council, Boards and Commissions on any matter affecting buildings or sites of historic or architectural significance in the Town.
H. 
The HARB shall keep abreast of and advise on, when requested by the Bloomsburg Zoning Hearing Board or Bloomsburg Planning Commission, proposed zoning amendments, special exception uses, conditional uses and variances affecting structures and sites in the historic district.
I. 
The HARB may accept gifts, grants, and money for publishing educational materials, hiring consultants or for other activities appropriate to this Part.
[Ord. 710, 11/28/1988, Art. 5]
1. 
Building Classifications.
A. 
Structures in the Historic District shall be classified by age and historic and architectural significance rather than by structural stability or condition of maintenance. These designations correspond respectively to the significant, contributing and intrusion classifications on the 1980 historic site survey and the 1988 site survey update.
(1) 
Supplemental Structures. Structures built after 1938 and having little or no historic or architectural merit at the time of enactment of this Part.
(2) 
Contributing Structure. Structures at least 50 years old that represent a vernacular architecture. Buildings that contribute to the district's distinction yet may not be of special significance individually.
(3) 
Notable Structures. Buildings at least 50 years old or those having local historic importance or embodying the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction. All structures on Main Street, irrespective of age or architectural significance, shall fall within this classification.
2. 
Building Permit Requirement. In accordance with the Town of Bloomsburg Floodplain Management Ordinance [Chapter 8], all repairs, alterations, restorations, enlargements, demolitions, new construction or razing of structures in the Historic District shall require a building permit.
3. 
Certificate of Appropriateness Requirement.
A. 
For structures classified as contributing or supplemental, a certificate shall not be required for repairs. For structures classified as contributing or supplemental, a certificate shall be required for the following:
(1) 
Changes to roof lines.
(2) 
Changes in the size, shape or number of doors, windows or other openings.
(3) 
Changes in exterior surface materials.
(4) 
Cleaning of masonry.
(5) 
Changes in design or materials of, or demolition of, porches or appurtenant elements.
(6) 
Structural enlargement or demolition.
B. 
Structures classified as notable require certificates of appropriateness before the Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a building permit for exterior repair, alteration, addition or demolition.
C. 
All new construction shall require a certificate.
D. 
The Board of Historic Architectural Review shall base their recommendations for Certificates of Appropriateness on the Evaluation Criteria in Appendix A.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Appendix A is included at the end of this chapter.
4. 
Notice and Appeal of Classification.
A. 
Within 30 days from the effective date of this Part, every property owner within the Historic District shall be notified of the classification assigned to his or her property, along with a brief explanation of the classification system.
B. 
Any person aggrieved by the classification assigned to his or her property may, within 90 days from the effective date of this Part, file a written statement appealing the classification to Town Council. Town Council will hold a hearing on any such appeal at its next regularly scheduled meeting and reach a decision thereon either at the meeting or within 45 days thereafter, and send the appellant a written notice of the decision. Any further appeal shall be in the manner provided by § 27-1311(4) of this Part.
[Ord. 710, 11/28/1988, Art. 6; as amended by Ord. 841, 12/19/2001]
1. 
Procedures of the Code Enforcement Officer.
A. 
Issuing Building Permits. In accordance with the Town of Bloomsburg Floodplain Management Ordinance [Chapter 8], the Code Enforcement Officer shall issue building permits for all repairs, alterations, restorations, new construction, enlargements, demolitions or razing of any structure or part of any structure in the Historic District. The Code Enforcement Officer shall require certificates of appropriateness before issuing building permits for properties in the Historic District, in accordance with § 27-1310.
B. 
Applications for Permits. When the Code Enforcement Officer receives a building permit application for a property in the Historic District, procedures for the office, at that time, shall be followed. The Code Enforcement Officer shall also verify the classification of the property and the type of work to be done to determine whether a certificate of appropriateness shall be required. If a certificate is required, the Code Enforcement Officer shall:
(1) 
For applications to be considered at the next meeting of the Historic Architectural Review Board, complete applications must be submitted no less than 10 days prior to its next regularly scheduled meeting. [A.O.]
(2) 
Forward copies of the application, site plans, building plans and specifications to the Board of Historic Architectural Review within three working days.
(3) 
Maintain records, including details of the handling and disposition of the application, which shall be cross-referenced to other codes.
(4) 
Notify applicants in writing of the numbers of copies and types of materials needed to allow compliance with the foregoing and the date and time of the HARB meeting at which the application will be reviewed.
(5) 
Notify permit applicants of approval or disapproval upon written notice from the Town Council.
(6) 
Institute proceedings at law or in equity necessary to enforce this Part in the same manner as the Building Code [Chapter 5] of the Town of Bloomsburg.
C. 
Hazardous Structures. If a building presents a clear and present danger to the public or has been rendered unfit for habitation because of fire, explosion or similar cause, the terms of this Part may be temporarily waived to the extent that the applicant can render interim, short term repairs to ensure the property is safe and habitable under the terms of the Building Code [Chapter 5] of the Town of Bloomsburg. Any changes made to the building other than emergency repairs and any permanent alterations shall be subject to the requirements of § 27-1310.
2. 
Procedures of the Board of Historic Architectural Review.
A. 
Receipt of Application for Permit Requiring a Certificate of Appropriateness. The Code Enforcement Officer shall send the HARB every application for a building permit for which a certificate shall be required. The HARB shall review and make recommendations to the Town Council on granting a certificate. The complete process of application to and review by the Code Enforcement Officer and the HARB, shall not exceed 45 days.
B. 
Board Review and Recommendation. The HARB shall review and consider each application based on the evaluation criteria in Appendix A of this Chapter[1] and shall submit its recommendation to the Town Council in writing as set forth below. Each recommendation shall be submitted separately to the Town Council:
(1) 
Recommend approval of granting a certificate, setting forth what information the HARB believes is important to Town Council's consideration of the recommendation.
(2) 
Recommend disapproval of granting of a certificate, setting forth how the application fails to meet the evaluation criteria set forth in Appendix A of this Chapter[2] and what the applicant must do to bring the structure into compliance with such criteria.
[2]
Editor's Note: Appendix A is included at the end of this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: Appendix A is included at the end of this chapter.
C. 
Notification of Applicant. The HARB shall notify the applicant in writing, on the forms furnished by the Town, of its recommendation within three days of its decision. In case the Board recommends disapproval, it shall indicate to the applicant the changes in the plans and specifications that would protect the distinctive historic character of the property and district. Where disapproval is recommended, an applicant will have a period five days from receipt of notification of the Board's recommendation within which to resubmit the application with the suggested changes. The applicant may request, in writing, an additional 15 days during which to make changes and resubmit the application. In each case, the HARB's written report of recommendations[3] shall be sent to the applicant within three days of the decision of the HARB, whether the decision is a recommendation of approval or disapproval and whether it is a decision on an original application or a resubmitted application. This notification shall be deemed to be given to the applicant on the date the written report of recommendation is mailed to the applicant if ordinary United States mail is utilized.
[3]
Editor's Note: See Appendix B at the end of this chapter.
D. 
Report of Recommendation to Town Council: The HARB shall submit a copy of its written report of recommendation to Town Council for its consideration at its next meeting. In cases where the HARB has recommended disapproval of an original application for a certificate of appropriateness, the HARB shall not immediately submit its report to Council but, rather, shall withhold its report to Council for five days from the date the applicant is notified of the HARB's intent to recommend against granting the certificate. If the applicant does not resubmit the application, then the report recommending disapproval of the application shall be submitted to Council. If the applicant has made a written request for a fifteen-day extension to resubmit the application, pursuant to subsection (2)(C) of this Section, then the report shall not be submitted to the Council until the expiration of that extended resubmission period. In any event, upon receipt of a resubmitted application, the HARB shall submit its written report of recommendation to Council upon reaching a decision.
3. 
Procedures of the Town Council.
A. 
Consideration of Reports from the HARB. At a regular or special meeting, the Town Council shall consider the HARB's written report of recommendation on a given application for a certificate of appropriateness and shall either approve the application and issue a certificate or disapprove the application and deny a certificate. In determining whether to certify the appropriateness of the application by the issuance of a certificate, the Town Council shall apply the evaluation criteria in Appendix A.[4] If a certificate is issued, such issuance will authorize the Code Enforcement Officer to issue a building permit for the work covered. If the certificate is denied, a building permit may not be issued.
[4]
Editor's Note: Appendix A is included at the end of this chapter.
B. 
Notification of Decision. The applicant shall be notified, in writing, of the Town Council's decision within three days of its decision. If the written notification is mailed, the date of the mailing shall be deemed the date of notification if ordinary United States mail is utilized. A copy of the decision shall also be provided to the Code Enforcement Officer. Should Council fail to notify the applicant of its decision within the specified time, it shall be assumed as a matter of law that Council has approved the issuance of a certificate, unless the applicant waives the time limit in writing.
C. 
Denial and Reconsideration by Town Council. When an application has been disapproved and a Certificate of Appropriateness denied, the applicant may submit a written request, on a form to be provided therefor, for a hearing for the purpose of reconsidering the application. The Town Council shall hold such a hearing at its next regularly scheduled meeting. The applicant shall be sent notice, not less than 10 days before the meeting, of the time and place of the meeting at which the hearing will be held. Council shall make a final decision and notify the applicant thereof, within 10 days of the hearing on reconsideration, in the same manner as provided in subsection (3)(B) of this Section for notification of Council's original decision. The Code Enforcement Officer shall also be notified of the final decision.
4. 
Procedures of Aggrieved Parties. Any party aggrieved by any final decision of the Town Council made pursuant to the provisions of this Part may file an appeal with the Court of Common Pleas of Columbia County in accordance with Title 42 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (42 Pa.C.S., § 933)
[Ord. 710, 11/28/1988, Art. 7]
1. 
Code Enforcement Officer. The provisions of this Part shall be enforced by the Code Enforcement Officer appointed by the Town Council.
2. 
Notice of Violation. The Code Enforcement Officer shall serve notice of violation on the person violating this Part or in violation of a permit or certificate under the provisions of this Part. The notice shall direct the abatement of the violation.
3. 
Prosecution of Violation. If the violation is not abated within the time specified in the notice, the Code Enforcement Officer shall institute the appropriate proceeding at law or in equity to restrain, correct or abate such violation.
4. 
Penalties. Any person violating the provisions of or failing to comply with this Part or violating a permit issued under the provisions of this Part shall be guilty of a summary offense punishable by a fine not exceeding $600 or by imprisonment not exceeding 90 days, or both fine and imprisonment. Each day that a violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.