City of Harrisburg, PA
Dauphin County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Harrisburg 7-8-2014 by Ord. No. 5-2014.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
CROSS REFERENCES
Historic districts — see 53 P.S. § 8001 et seq.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Part Three, 7-300, composed of Ord.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 an Historic Overlay District which recognizes existing municipal historic districts within the City of Harrisburg and provides for the establishment of new municipal historic districts, in accordance with State Act of 167 of 1961, P.L. 282, as amended.[1] The Historic Overlay District has been created to:
A. 
Protect the portions of the City which recall the rich architectural and cultural heritage of Harrisburg and the state;
B. 
Increase interest in the City's history and promote the general welfare, education, and culture of the City;
C. 
Strengthen the City's economy by improving property values and economic activity; and
D. 
Provide for new buildings and alterations that will be harmonious with existing historically and architecturally significant buildings.
[1]
Editor's Note: Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 8001 et seq.
This chapter applies to all properties located within the Historic Overlay District as further described below:
A. 
The Historic Overlay District is hereby delineated as those municipal historic districts shown on the Historic Overlay District Map which, together with all explanatory matter thereon, is hereby adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this chapter.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Said map is on file in the City offices.
B. 
The Historic Overlay District shall function as an overlay zoning district to the existing zoning districts. All of the provisions of the underlying zoning district shall remain in full effect, except that the additional procedures and requirements of this chapter shall also apply.
C. 
If, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, changes are made in the district boundaries or other matters portrayed on the Historic Overlay District Map, such changes shall be entered on such map promptly after the amendment has been approved by City Council and certified by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
D. 
No changes of any nature shall be made on the Historic Overlay District Map or matter shown thereon except in conformity with the procedures set forth in this chapter. Any unauthorized change of whatever kind by any person or persons shall be considered a violation of this chapter and shall be ineffective.
E. 
While copies of the Historic Overlay District Map may from time to time be made or published, the Historic Overlay District Map shall be located in the Planning Bureau in the Department of Building and Housing Development, or its successor agency.
F. 
Where uncertainty exists as to the boundaries of municipal historic districts as shown on the Historic Overlay District Map, the following rules shall apply:
(1) 
Boundaries indicated as approximately following the center lines of streets, highways, or alleys shall be construed to follow such center lines.
(2) 
Boundaries indicated as approximately following plotted lot lines shall be construed as following such lot lines.
(3) 
Boundaries indicated as parallel to or extensions of features indicated in the above shall be so construed. Distances not specifically indicated on the Historic Overlay District Map shall be determined by the scale of the map.
Changes to the boundaries of a municipal historic district or proposed boundaries of a new historic district shall be submitted by the City Clerk for certification by resolution of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission concerning the historic significance of the area within the limits of such historic district. The City Clerk shall maintain records of such certification.
A. 
The City of Harrisburg Historical Architectural Review Board (identified in this Code as the "HARB") is hereby continued in effect and shall be composed of seven members, appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of City Council. One member shall be a registered architect, one a licensed real estate broker, and one member who functions as a Building Inspector of the City. Four additional persons with a knowledge of and interest in preservation of the Historic Overlay District, and who reside therein, shall be appointed.
B. 
The Deputy Director for Planning or his/her representative shall provide staff services to the HARB.
C. 
The existing terms of office are hereby continued. Each member shall be appointed to terms of three years. An appointment to fill a vacancy shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term so vacated.
D. 
HARB members failing to attend three consecutive meetings shall forfeit their membership, unless the Chairperson of the HARB receives written notification from the member involved that the absence was due to personal illness or the death or illness of an immediate family member. Should any HARB member fail to attend three consecutive meetings without providing the notification set forth above, the Chairperson of the HARB, or the City representative (if the absent member is the Chairperson), shall notify the Mayor and City Council of a vacancy on the HARB by virtue of said member's unauthorized absences. The disqualification of any member of the HARB as herein set forth during his/her term of membership shall immediately create a vacancy on the HARB.
A. 
The HARB may provide advice concerning the limits of historic districts. The HARB may provide information to property owners within the district relating to legal and historic architectural techniques with respect to historic district preservation or assist owners in finding such information. The HARB may advise other agencies within the City government on matters relating to the historic districts, although those agencies shall not be obligated to follow such advice.
B. 
The HARB shall advise the City Council regarding the issuance of certificates of appropriateness pursuant to this chapter. Such advice shall be consistent with the provisions of this Zoning Code. The HARB may adopt and amend rules and regulations for its own organization and procedure, consistent with the ordinances of the City and the laws of the commonwealth. A majority of the HARB shall constitute a quorum, and action taken at any meeting shall require the affirmative vote of the majority in attendance.
C. 
The members of the HARB shall serve without compensation and should make an annual report of their transactions to the Mayor and City Council. The HARB may, pursuant to appropriations by City Council, employ and compensate staff and incur other necessary expenses.
D. 
The Executive Secretary to the HARB is the Deputy Director for Planning who shall provide staff assistance to the HARB, provide advice to applicants, process applications, approve applications when directed, and accomplish other responsibilities as stated in this chapter.
E. 
Determinations by the Executive Secretary may be appealed to the HARB by a party with proper standing within 30 days after such determination is made.
F. 
The HARB shall hear appeals of decisions made under Chapter 7-319, Architectural Conservation Overlay District.
A. 
Any of the following activities proposed within the boundaries of the Historic Overlay District which would be visible or intended to be visible from a public street or public alley or an adjacent sidewalk shall fully comply with this chapter:
(1) 
The erection or construction of a proposed building;
(2) 
The extension, exterior reconstruction, exterior alteration, exterior restoration, the tint of glazing or otherwise coating glazing of windows and doors, and the color of new exterior features that are not to be painted;
(3) 
Demolition or razing of all or a part of an existing building;
(4) 
The placement or extension of a sign on a structure or land that is visible from a public street and that is required to have a permit under this Zoning Code; and
(5) 
The installation of structures, including artwork, statues, and memorials, within that portion of Riverfront Park that is included within the Historic Overlay District.
B. 
This chapter shall not by itself regulate features that are not visible from a public street or alley, and shall not regulate interiors.
C. 
Features that are only visible from a private alley shall not be regulated by this chapter.
D. 
The HARB and City Council shall not regulate colors. The HARB may require an applicant to provide information on proposed colors, and may provide advice in such matters.
E. 
The following types of minor repairs and minor restorations shall not by themselves be regulated by this chapter, provided they are in accordance with § 3-317.10:
(1) 
Repainting of previously painted surfaces;
(2) 
Addition or replacement of storm windows or storm doors; and
(3) 
Other work that does not change the exterior historic appearance of the building as viewed from a public street.
F. 
An application which consists solely of repair and/or in-kind replacement shall be referred by the Zoning Officer to the Executive Secretary of the HARB, who shall issue a certificate of appropriateness if such work complies with § 7-317.10:
(1) 
Repair and/or in-kind replacement shall be limited to work to be completed with materials, design, dimensions, and configurations that are identical in appearance as viewed from a public sidewalk to architectural features that currently exist on the building.
(2) 
Additional types of changes that may be reviewed and approved by the Executive Secretary of the HARB include:
(a) 
Installation, removal, or alteration of storm doors, drain pipes, and gutters;
(b) 
Repointing, chemical or abrasive cleaning, and repair of brick or stone;
(c) 
Revealing historic features that have been encapsulated in modern materials and the repair and in-kind replacement of such previously obscured historic features; and
(d) 
Removal or installation of fencing.
(3) 
Based upon the advice of the HARB, City Council may, by written resolution, establish additional standards specifying categories of additional types of changes that, because they are minimal in nature and do not affect historic or architectural significance, shall not be required to be reviewed by the HARB and approved by City Council and instead may be approved by the Executive Secretary of the HARB.
A. 
Any application for a building/zoning permit for any exterior work proposed within the Historic Overlay District shall be forwarded to the Executive Secretary to the HARB.
B. 
The Executive Secretary to the HARB shall require the submission of a completed certificate of appropriateness application and maintain a record of all such applications and of the handling and final disposition of the same, which should be cross-referenced with other zoning records.
C. 
The Executive Secretary to the HARB shall require the applicant to submit 10 copies of submitted materials for proper review by the City. The applicant shall be required to submit sufficient information to the City Staff to determine compliance with this chapter.
D. 
All applications submitted to the HARB shall be reviewed for compliance with the standards of § 7-317.10.
E. 
The HARB shall only recommend disapproval of an application and City Council shall only disapprove an application based upon factors and criteria stated in § 7-317.10 of this chapter.
F. 
The HARB shall forward applications to City Council with a recommendation for approval or denial of a certificate of appropriateness, in accordance with §§ 7-317.11 and 7-317.12.
G. 
Upon notice that a certificate of appropriateness has been approved, the Zoning Officer and Codes Administrator shall consider the application for compliance with other City ordinances. This shall not prohibit such review prior to issuance of a certificate of appropriateness and the concurrent submission of the application to other boards for appropriate review and action.
H. 
If a building permit is not required for work regulated by this chapter (such as repairs under $1,000 subject to Ordinance 17-1994[1]), then a certificate of appropriateness application for such work shall be submitted to the Executive Secretary to the HARB.
(1) 
Such application shall be reviewed and approved in the same manner as any standard application under this chapter; and
(2) 
If denied, the applicant will be informed of the reasons of the disapproval in the same manner as any other disapproval.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 8-101.
I. 
A certificate of appropriateness application filed after work has been performed by the applicant will pay a fee of $500.
The Codes Administrator and the Zoning Officer shall not issue a permit for activity regulated by this chapter unless a certificate of appropriateness has been issued as specified in this chapter.
A. 
The HARB shall meet regularly and may hold special meetings for cause at the call of the Chairperson of the HARB or upon the request of a majority of the members.
B. 
Any application for a permit regulated by this chapter and submitted by the published deadline shall be considered by the HARB at its next regularly scheduled meeting.
C. 
The applicant shall receive written notice of the time and place of said meeting. The HARB may invite such other person or persons as it desires to attend the meeting.
A. 
In determining the recommendations to be made to City Council concerning the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness for work regulated by this chapter, the HARB shall consider the following matters:
(1) 
The effect of the proposed change upon the general historic and architectural nature of the subject building and district;
(2) 
The appropriateness of exterior architectural features which can be seen from a public street; and
(3) 
The general design, arrangement, texture, and material of the building or structure and the relation of such factors to similar features of buildings or structures in the district.
B. 
The HARB and the Executive Secretary to the HARB should also consider the following design guidelines and criteria, as applicable:
(1) 
The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings, as amended, which are hereby incorporated by reference;
(2) 
National Park Service Preservation Briefs, explanatory guidelines, and reports as applicable;
(3) 
The Historic District Design and Preservation Guide for the City of Harrisburg and subsequent amendments;
(4) 
HARB Guidelines for the Use of Alternative Materials in Replacing Historic Features; and
(5) 
HARB demolition criteria.
C. 
To ensure that valuable historic resources are not destroyed when there may be reasonable alternatives available, the demolition criteria established by the HARB and contained within the Historic District Design and Preservation Guide shall apply to any application to demolish an existing principal building or portion of an existing principal building within the Historic Overlay District.
A. 
Within seven days following the meeting of the HARB at which an application is considered, the recommendation shall be submitted in writing to City Council.
B. 
The HARB recommendation concerning each application regulated by this chapter shall set out the following matters:
(1) 
The exact location of the area in which the work is to be done;
(2) 
The exterior changes to be made or the exterior character of the structure to be erected;
(3) 
A list of the surrounding structures with their general exterior characteristics;
(4) 
The effect of the proposed change upon the general historic and architectural nature of the subject building and district;
(5) 
The appropriateness of exterior architectural features which can be seen from a public street;
(6) 
The general design, arrangement, texture, and material of the building or structure and the relation of such factors to similar features of buildings or structures in the district;
(7) 
A sketch or drawing showing the building or structure with its changes, and including at least the two structures on either side showing the effects of those changes within the district;
(8) 
The opinion of the HARB (including any dissent) as to the appropriateness of the work proposed in relation to the preservation or destruction of the historic or architectural aspects of the building and of the district; and
(9) 
The specific recommendation of the HARB regarding the issuance or denial of a certificate of appropriateness.
A. 
The recommendation of the HARB shall be submitted to the Chairperson of the Building and Housing Committee of City Council for review.
B. 
The following procedures shall apply if the HARB recommends approval of an application:
(1) 
Unless the Chairperson of the applicable committee of City Council determines that the application should be submitted for review by the full City Council, the HARB's decision shall be deemed to have been approved by City Council, and a certificate of appropriateness shall be issued within 10 days after such Chairperson's receipt of the HARB recommendation.
(2) 
The Chairperson of the applicable committee of City Council may at his/her discretion submit the application to Council, at a regular or special meeting, to consider the question of issuing a certificate of appropriateness authorizing a permit for the work covered by the application.
(a) 
The applicant shall be advised by the City staff of the time and the place of the meeting at which such application will be considered, and the applicant shall have the right to attend and be heard in support of the application.
(b) 
In determining whether or not to issue a certificate of appropriateness for activity regulated by this chapter, City Council shall consider the factors and guidance documents provided in § 7-317.10 and the report of the HARB.
(c) 
If Council approves the application, it shall approve the certificate of appropriateness in writing.
(d) 
If City Council disapproves the application, it shall do so in writing, and copies thereof shall be delivered to the applicant and to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The disapproval shall indicate the reasons for such action and what changes in the plans and specifications would meet the conditions for protecting the distinctive historical and architectural character of the district.
(e) 
In any event, City Council shall render its decision no later than 45 days after the HARB's last meeting date on the matter, unless a written extension is granted by the applicant, and, upon failure of the Council to act within such period of time, the recommendation of the HARB shall be deemed to be the action of Council, unless by resolution Council specifically defers such action for a period not to exceed 30 days from the date of the resolution deferring such action.
C. 
In the event the HARB recommends denial of an application, City Council shall follow the procedure set in § 7-317.12B(2) for full Council review. The applicant may reapply with revisions made to the application or may appeal the disapproval as provided by law and City ordinance.
Upon receipt of the written disapproval of the Council, the Codes Administrator shall not approve the application for the building permit.
A. 
Intent and purpose. It is recognized that historic district buildings have intrinsic value to the streetscape and character of historic districts, as do in-fill developments. Each type of building adds to the effect experienced in traveling along the block on which the building is located. The lack of a building without a definable and intended open space, as in a park or garden, detracts from this element of place found within the historic district. To that end, when the demolition of an existing building, found by HARB and City Council to be a structurally sound building that contributes to the character of the historic district, is part of a development project resulting in the construction of a new building in place of the existing building, then the existing building will be preserved until such time that:
(1) 
Final construction plans are approved for the issuance of a building permit for the construction of the new building;
(2) 
Schematic documentation is submitted for the building(s) to be razed, including, but not limited to, sketches, pictures, and shop drawings for distinctive features. Documents shall be provided in paper and an electronic fixed-layout format of an open standard independent of application software, hardware, and operating system; and
(3) 
A guarantee is provided by the applicant to the City of Harrisburg in an amount equal to the replacement construction value of the existing building(s) to be removed.
B. 
The following are acceptable forms of guarantee. All others forms of guarantee must be individually approved by the City Solicitor of the City of Harrisburg:
(1) 
"Surety performance bond" means a security bond from a surety bonding company authorized to do business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The bond shall be payable to the City of Harrisburg.
(2) 
"Escrow account" means a deposit of cash either with the City or in escrow with a financial institution. The use of a financial institution for establishing an escrow account shall be subject to approval by the City Solicitor. In the case of an escrow account with a financial institution, the developer shall file with the City an agreement between the financial institution and the developer guaranteeing the following:
(a) 
The funds of said escrow account shall be held in trust until released by the City and may not be used or pledged by the developer as security in any other matter during that period; and
(b) 
In the case of a failure on the part of the developer to maintain current building permits or complete said development within 36 months of the demolition of the existing building, then the financial institution shall immediately make the funds in said account available to the City of Harrisburg.
(3) 
"Letter of credit" means a letter of credit provided by the developer from a financial institution or other reputable institution subject to the approval of the City. This letter shall be deposited with the City and shall certify the following:
(a) 
The amount of credit;
(b) 
In the case of a failure on the part of the developer to maintain current building permits or complete said development within 36 months of the demolition of the existing building, the creditor shall pay to the City of Harrisburg immediately, and without further action, funds equal to the amount of the letter of credit; and
(c) 
The letter of credit is irrevocable and may not be withdrawn, or reduced in amount, until released by the City of Harrisburg.
C. 
The amount of the guarantee shall be calculated as the mean average of the following three conventional methods in determining replacement value:
(1) 
The current property tax assessment of the property as set by the Dauphin County Tax Assessor at the time of the application submission, multiplied by a factor of 2.5.
(2) 
A signed replacement cost quote from an independent insurance broker who represents insurers specializing in providing property and casualty insurance coverage for residential and commercial buildings.
(3) 
A construction cost estimate sealed by a registered architect or professional engineer using industry standard estimating guides or software, compared with recent cost experience in the local market. The method for calculating shall be based upon a cost per square foot derived from project classification (occupancy), construction type, building height, total square feet of occupied space, and a location multiplier, and shall include all requisite architecture and engineering necessary for occupancy. A separate cost per square foot shall be calculated for unoccupied space, including but not limited to basements, parking decks, and mechanical spaces. Specialty items, such as custom millwork, carved stone, and decorative metals, shall be calculated as a lump sum separate line item. The three values shall then be added to establish a total construction cost.
D. 
The guarantee shall be enforced and the money provided to the City of Harrisburg at the time the developer fails either to maintain current building permits, commence new construction within 90 days of demolition completion, or complete said development within 36 months of the demolition of the existing building. An alternate schedule for a longer period of time may be considered at the time of land development plan approval by City Council, provided the developer provides documentation indicating timing or material situations that may impact the construction period. The developer may seek up to two extensions to the schedule, not to exceed an aggregate total of 24 months, through City Council following land development plan approval, with recommendation provided by the Director of the Department of Building and Housing Development. Under no circumstances shall a third extension be granted.
E. 
The guarantee's funds, with City Council's approval, will be used to enhance the City's neighborhoods through urban renewal programs or historic preservation methods. When received, the funds will be deposited into the Demolition Renewal Escrow Account in the City's General Fund.
F. 
Upon issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the newly constructed building, the developer shall notify the Director of the Department of Building and Housing Development in writing, by certified or registered mail, requesting release of the guarantee's funds. The Director shall, within 10 days after receipt of such notice, direct the release of funds by the City.
The Zoning Officer shall have the power to institute any proceedings at law or in equity necessary for the enforcement of this chapter in the same manner as in the enforcement of the Zoning Code of the City of Harrisburg, as presently enacted and as the same may from time to time be amended.
Chapters 7-701, 7-301.99 and 1-305 shall apply.