[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Council of the Village of Spring Lake 10-2-1995 by Ord. No. 241 (Ch. 42, Art. II, of the 2000 Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purposes of this chapter are to:
Safeguard the heritage of the Village by preserving landmarks and sites which reflect elements of the Village's cultural, social, economic, political or architectural history;
Stabilize and improve property values;
Foster civic beauty;
Strengthen the local economy;
Identify and promote the use of historic resources for the education, pleasure and welfare of citizens of the Village;
Provide advice and/or management of public historical properties and resources; and
Unify historic preservation efforts in this area.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- Any construction which increases the height or floor area of or adds to an existing district resource.
- Construction, replacement or remodeling within or to a district resource, resulting in exterior change to the structural parts, the location of openings or the location or appearance of the district resource, but not increasing the overall dimensions.
- The destruction, in whole or in part, of a district resource.
- HISTORIC CONSERVATION DISTRICT
- A geographically defined area including a landmark or a group of landmarks or property which will become a landmark if the necessary written consent is given by the owners, created by the Village Council for the purpose of historic preservation. The Village Council may establish more than one such historic conservation district. Landmarks within the boundaries of an historic conservation district are related by historical, architectural or archaeological significance. For the purpose of clarification, however, an historic conservation district may also consist of a single landmark unrelated to its surroundings in historical, architectural or archaeological significance, if so designated.
- HISTORIC CONSERVATION DISTRICT COMMISSION and COMMISSION
- The member body created by the Village Council for the purpose of fulfilling the purpose of this chapter.
- HISTORIC PRESERVATION
- The protection, reconstruction, rehabilitation, repair or restoration of landmarks of historical, architectural or archaeological significance.
- A site, building, structure, object, open space or feature to be found individually or in a related group within an historic conservation district.
- NEW CONSTRUCTION
- Planned landmarks that are to be constructed or placed within a designated historic conservation district. Such planned new construction, because it will have a significant effect on the overall appearance of an historic conservation district and because it will play a role in the evolutionary growth of an historic conservation district's streetscape, shall be treated as historic by the Commission the same as older, existing landmarks.
- The act or process of applying measures designed to affect the physical condition of a landmark by defending or guarding it from deterioration, loss or attack, or to cover or shield it from danger or injury.
- The process of reproducing by new construction the exact form and detail of a vanished landmark, or part of such landmark, as it appeared at a specific time.
- The revitalization of a landmark through the introduction of modern mechanical systems, structural elements and decorative features. Such modern improvements, however, should be sympathetic to the landmark's original style, size, color and texture, and should be reversible.
- The maintenance of or the return to a state of utility of a landmark.
- The process of accurately recovering the form and detail of a landmark as it appeared at a particular period of time by removing later work, replacing missing elements, and enhancing original work.
An Historic Conservation District Commission is established. The Commission shall consist of seven members of legal age who reside in the Village. Members shall be appointed by the Village Council and shall serve without compensation but may be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred in Commission activities. Members shall be appointed for three-year staggered terms. Subsequent appointments shall be for three-year terms, and members shall be eligible for reappointment.
Four members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. In the absence of a quorum, any number less than a quorum may adjourn a meeting to a later date.
The Commission shall take action by the affirmative vote of a majority of its members present at a Commission meeting, provided that no motion shall pass without at least three affirmative votes.
The members of the Commission shall annually select a Chairman from among themselves. One member of the Commission shall be a duly registered architect if one is eligible and willing to serve. Neighborhood associations, merchants' groups, duly organized and existing preservation societies or historical groups, and other groups with preservation interests may also submit names to the Village Council.
In the event of a vacancy on the Commission, an interim appointment shall be made by the Village Council to complete the unexpired term of such position.
The Commission shall meet monthly at the call of the Chairman and shall adopt rules for the conduct of its business. All meetings of the Commission shall be conducted in accordance with Public Act No. 267 of 1976 [MCLA § 15.261 et seq., MSA § 4.1800(1) et seq.].
Power to designate and protect generally. The Village Council has the authority to designate by ordinance historic conservation districts. Historic preservation shall be practiced in historic conservation districts through several measures. Such measures shall include the Commission's review of permit requests for additions, alterations, demolitions, protection, new construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, repair, restoration and any other type of action proposed with regard to a landmark which requires a permit. The Commission shall be consulted prior to the moving of any landmark. The Commission shall be given copies of all permit applications pertaining to properties within historic conservation districts that are landmarks, and shall offer information and assistance on historic preservation to property owners and people living within historic conservation districts.
Designation of historic conservation districts. The Commission may investigate and recommend to the Village Council those geographical areas in the Village it deems valuable for designation as historic conservation districts. When and if designation of an historic conservation district is approved by the Village Council, the Commission shall notify the affected property owner in writing of such designation. The designation of historic conservation districts shall be accomplished according to § 215-5.
Designation of landmarks. The Commission shall designate appropriate property within historic conservation districts as landmarks; however, no property shall be designated as a landmark without the written consent of the owner of record. Furthermore, once such written consent is given, it may not be revoked unless the landmark is first removed from the historic conservation district according to the procedure set forth in § 215-5.
Erection of historic markers. The Commission shall have the authority, with the written consent of the property owner of record, to erect historic markers or commemorative plaques on a landmark.
Commendation and recognition. The Commission may issue appropriate commendation and recognition to individuals, firms or areas promoting historic preservation. The Commission may also recognize potential landmarks of the future by commending good examples of contemporary buildings.
Maintenance of historic roster. The Commission shall maintain a roster of historic conservation districts and landmarks within the Village.
Advisory capacity. It shall be the duty of the Commission to render advice and guidance with respect to any proposed work to landmark property within historic conservation districts in the Village for which a permit is required. In rendering advice and guidance, the Commission shall promote historical consciousness in educational programs and shall undertake any advisory duty deemed appropriate by the Village Council.
Acceptance of gifts or grants. The Commission may accept public or private gifts for historic preservation purposes and/or may accept grants from the governments of the state or the United States for historic preservation purposes. The Village Council may empower the Commission to administer on its behalf grants and gifts for such purposes.
Review of permit applications. The Commission shall review all applicable permit applications and plans for landmarks in historic conservation districts. No permit with regard to a landmark in an historic conservation district shall be granted until, pursuant to § 215-6, the Commission has granted its approval or the Commission's denial has been reversed on appeal.
Budget. The Commission expenses for stationery, clerical services, historic markers and other appropriate activities shall be provided in a budget submitted to and approved by the Village Council.
Designation or removal of designation as an historic conservation district may be initiated by the Commission or by the written request of an owner of property within the proposed or current historic conservation district. Such a request shall designate clearly the land proposed to be included or excluded.
Upon receipt of a request or upon its own motion, the Commission shall conduct studies and research and make a report on the landmarks within the historic conservation district, or on the sites, buildings, structures, objects, open spaces and/or features which would be landmarks if the area were designated as an historic conservation district. The report shall contain recommendations concerning the inclusion or exclusion of geographical areas in or from an historic conservation district.
Copies of the Commission's report shall be transmitted for review to the Village Planning Commission, the State Historical Commission, the State Historical Advisory Council, and the Village Council.
The Commission shall hold a public hearing 60 days after the transmittal of its report to the Planning Commission, the State Historical Commission, the State Historical Advisory Council, and the Village Council, and shall give due notice of such public hearing. The notice for the public hearing shall include written notice sent by first-class mail with postage prepaid to the owner of record of property proposed for designation or removal of designation as an historic conservation district.
After the public hearing, the Commission shall submit a final report to the Village Council stating its recommendations, together with a draft of any proposed ordinance change.
The Village Council shall consider the Commission's final report and may amend this chapter to designate or remove from designation property previously excluded from or included in an historic conservation district.
Upon application from the owner of record of any income-producing property to designate such property as an historic conservation district, such property owner shall pay an application fee which shall be established by resolution of the Village Council. For purposes of this subsection, the term "income-producing property" shall be defined as property used in a trade or business held for the production of income.
After initial adoption of this chapter, the Commission shall have all the authority and duties of an historic district study committee pursuant to Public Act No. 169 of 1970 [MCLA § 399.201 et seq., MSA § 5.3407(1) et seq.], as limited by the terms of this chapter.
Application and plans. Application for a permit for addition, alteration, demolition, protection, new construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, repair, restoration and/or any other type of action proposed with regard to a landmark which requires a permit shall be accompanied by an historical preservation permit application and plans. Plans shall describe the proposed changes, showing the landmark in question and also showing its relationship to adjacent landmarks and other buildings or structures. The application shall be made by the owner of the landmark in question or any person authorized to act on behalf of the owner.
Notification. Upon the filing of an application, the Building Inspector for the Village shall immediately notify the Commission of the receipt of such application and shall transmit it together with accompanying plans and other information to the Commission.
The Commission shall meet within 30 days after notification by the Building Inspector for the Village or by the Village Council, unless otherwise mutually agreed by the applicant and the Commission. In reviewing the plans and the application, the Commission shall give consideration to:
The historical or architectural value and significance of the landmark and its relationship to the historical value of the surrounding area;
The relationship of the exterior architectural features of the landmark to the rest of the landmark and to the surrounding area;
The general compatibility of the exterior design, arrangement, texture and materials proposed to be used on the landmark;
Any major investment program;
The economic feasibility of preserving the landmark; and
Any other factor, including aesthetics, which the Commission deems pertinent and within the purpose of this chapter.
In proposing its review, the Commission shall use the United States Secretary of the Interior's Standard for Rehabilitation, 36 CFR 67, or similar successor regulations. In reviewing the plans, the Commission may confer with the applicant and shall have the power to call in experts to aid in its deliberations.
The Commission shall approve or disapprove such application. If the Commission gives its approval, the Commission shall issue a certificate of approval, which is to be signed by the Chairman, attached to the application and immediately transferred to the Building Inspector for the Village. The Chairman shall also stamp all plans submitted to the Commission, signifying approval or disapproval.
If the granting of an application would result in the moving, alteration or demolition of a landmark, or have any other type of adverse impact upon a landmark, and if the Commission considers such landmark so valuable that its loss would adversely affect the public purpose of the Village, the state, or the United States, the Commission shall attempt to establish with the owner of the landmark an economically feasible plan for its historic preservation and/or protection.
Any application shall be approved by the Commission if any of the following conditions prevail, and if the proposal will materially improve or correct these conditions:
The landmark constitutes a hazard to the safety of the public or the occupants;
The landmark is a deterrent to a major improvement program which will be of substantial benefit to the Village;
Retention of the landmark would cause undue financial hardship to the owner; or
Retention of the landmark would not be in the interest of the majority of the Village.
Conditions. The Commission may impose reasonable conditions upon its approval of an application. Standards for imposing such conditions are as follows:
Any condition imposed must be reasonable and economically feasible;
Any condition imposed must be designed to protect the health, safety, welfare, social well-being and economic well-being of those who will use the landmark, residents of the Village, adjacent landowners and the community as a whole;
Any condition imposed must be reasonably related to the valid exercise of police power and to the purposes affected by the proposed action concerning the landmark; and
Any condition imposed must also be necessary to meet the purposes of this chapter, be reasonably related to the standards established in this chapter for historic preservation, and be necessary to ensure compliance with those standards.
Disapproval. If the Commission disapproves an application, it shall state its reasons for doing so and shall transmit a written record of its actions and specific objections to the Building Inspector of the Village and to the applicant. Thereafter, the Commission shall endeavor to agree with the applicant on an economically feasible plan for the historic preservation and/or protection of the landmark which would allow the applicant to still accomplish the applicants' purposes. The applicant may make modifications to the application and/or plans and shall have the right to resubmit the application at any time. If the application is disapproved, no certificate of approval and no permit shall be issued.
Appeal. If the Commission disapproves an application, the applicant may appeal the disapproval through arbitration (upon procedures agreed to by the parties) or through the established appeal procedures granted to an applicant aggrieved by a decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Failure to act upon request. Failure of the Commission to approve, conditionally approve or disapprove an application within 60 days of the filing of the application, unless otherwise mutually agreed by the applicant and the Commission, shall constitute approval. In that event, the Building Inspector shall proceed to process the application without regard to a certificate of approval from the Commission.
Inspection and compliance. After the issuance of any certificate of approval and permit, the Building Inspector shall, according to established procedures, periodically inspect the landmark in question. The Building Inspector shall take such action as necessary to ensure that the applicant and those acting under the applicant conform with the certificate of approval, the approved application, the accompanying plans, and any conditions imposed.
Ordinary maintenance; prior permits. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent ordinary maintenance of a landmark. Neither shall this chapter be construed to prevent an addition to or alteration, demolition, protection, new construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, repair or restoration of a landmark, or any other permit-requiring action to a landmark, under a permit duly issued by the Building Inspector prior to the effective date of the ordinance from which this chapter is derived.
[Amended 10-20-1997 by Ord. No. 253]
The following historic conservation district is established: