[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Harrisburg 7-8-2014 by Ord. No. 5-2014. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Part Three, 7-300, composed of Ord. Nos. 112-1964, 17-1965, 79-1965, 13-1974, 29-1974, 30-1974, 13-1977, 26-1977, 19-1985, 6-1988, 25-1993, 26-1995, 10-1996, 61-1996 and 3-2012, as amended.
The purpose of this chapter is to establish the Architectural Conservation Overlay District ("ACOD"), which is intended to serve the following major objectives, in addition to the overall community development objectives of this Zoning Code:
To protect the existing physical character of neighborhoods which have their own historic streetscape identity;
To avoid a level of regulation that might discourage the proper repair and improvement of buildings, considering the economic market within the area;
To address areas where there exists a sense of place and identity in a neighborhood that is fostered by the physical character of its streetscape;
To address areas where there is not grass-roots support for a formal municipal historic district or where the criteria to be designated a municipal historic district cannot be met.
An ACOD may be established as an "overlay" district to any conventional underlying zoning districts. Where such overlay district is established, in each matter, whichever provision of the ACOD or the underlying district is most restrictive upon the structure or use shall apply. All of the use, yard, bulk, and other requirements of the underlying zoning district shall apply, except that within an ACOD, any activity regulated by this chapter that is visible from a public street shall also comply with this chapter.
An ACOD may be established by City Council by an official amendment to the Zoning Code to revise the Official Zoning Map.
An ACOD shall not be established within a certain area unless a petition expressing support for the establishment of the district is presented to the Deputy Director for Planning. Such petition shall contain the signatures of "representatives" of:
A minimum of 60% of all dwelling units located within the proposed ACOD district boundaries;
A minimum of 51% of all owner-occupied housing units located within the proposed ACOD district boundaries; and
For the purposes of this section, a "representative" of a dwelling unit shall be one adult person living on the premises whose name appears on either the deed or the lease to such premises or a formal agreement of sale.
Such petition shall be submitted together with a list of all City-recognized neighborhood organizations located within the proposed ACOD district, together with the organization's address and name of the presiding officer.
Such petition shall be accompanied by a map which clearly delineates all boundaries within the proposed ACOD district and which shows all public streets within and adjacent to the proposed ACOD district.
Such petition shall be submitted to the City together with a proposed set of design guidelines, as described below.
Such petition and a copy of the accompanying design guidelines and map shall be provided to the HARB and the Planning Commission for review. In addition, a meeting shall be held, which residents of the affected area shall be encouraged to attend.
After an official public hearing, City Council shall approve or deny the proposed ACOD district designation. City Council shall have the authority to revise the proposed design guidelines and/or to reduce the boundaries of the proposed ACOD district prior to or as part of such vote.
If an ACOD district is established, the Deputy Director of Planning shall send written notice to an owner of record of each lot within the district and to each City-recognized neighborhood organization that serves such area. Such notice, at a minimum, shall describe the types of activities that are regulated and the method to obtain approval for such activities.
Any ACOD district shall include a minimum of 12 blocks.
A minimum of 80% of the residential buildings within an ACOD district shall be a minimum of 80 years old.
A minimum of 75% of the residential buildings within an ACOD district shall be occupied.
The Deputy Director for Planning or his/her designee shall act as an examiner to administer each ACOD district's regulations.
The exterior of an existing principal building shall not be altered in a manner that is visible from a public street, and a principal building shall not be newly constructed or demolished within an ACOD district unless an application has been submitted and approved under this chapter.
At the time an applicant applies for a building permit for activity regulated by this chapter, the following additional information shall be submitted to the examiner:
A narrative describing the proposed work;
Photographs of existing conditions;
Plans and illustrations of the proposed work;
Plans and specifications for any construction proposed after demolition, if applicable; and
Such other information as the examiner may reasonably require as is necessary to determine compliance with the adopted design guidelines.
The examiner shall consider the following factors to determine the compliance of the proposed exterior alterations, demolition, or construction with this chapter:
Within 10 days after receipt of a complete application, the examiner shall act to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application. Written notice shall be provided to the applicant.
If a City-recognized neighborhood organization serves the affected area, then the examiner shall also mail notice to such organization:
The decision of the examiner may be appealed by the applicant to the HARB, provided such appeal is filed within a maximum of 14 days after such decision is provided to the applicant. A decision under this chapter shall only be subject to appeal by the applicant or his/her designee.
If the HARB recommends approval of the application, and any conditions are acceptable to the applicant, such decision shall be considered the final action of the City on the application.
If the HARB recommends denial or the applicant does not wish to accept the proposed conditions, then the application shall be forwarded to City Council for final approval, approval with condition, or denial.
Design guidelines shall be adopted as part of each ACOD district. Such design guidelines shall be a set of standards and specifications which define the parameters to be followed in site and building design within the ACOD district.
The design guidelines shall address the following:
Alterations to architectural features of existing principal buildings;
The new construction and expansion of a principal building, which shall be controlled to ensure that the new building will be compatible with existing patterns of development in the neighborhood and the massing, proportions, and fenestration patterns of existing buildings; and
The demolition of an existing principal building.
This Chapter 7-319 shall only control the exterior appearance of the "primary facade" and side walls of principal buildings facing a City street having a right-of-way of 20 feet or greater. The "primary facade" of the building shall be defined as the exterior wall of a building which faces a street and contains the principal entrance to the building.
Chapters 7-701 and 1-305 shall apply.