[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Upper Merion Township 4-20-2017 by Res. No. 2017-12. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Upper Merion Township Historical Commission ("Historic Commission") is hereby established by the Upper Merion Township Board of Supervisors.
The Upper Merion Historical Commission shall consist of seven members who shall be appointed by the Board of Supervisors. Members of the Historical Commission shall serve staggered terms of five years, except that the terms of the initial members shall be for one year, two years, three years, four years, and five years. Annually thereafter, the Board of Supervisors shall appoint a member or members to the said Commission for a term of five years. The Chairperson of the Board shall promptly notify the Board of Supervisors of any vacancies on the Commission, and such vacancy shall be filled by the Board of Supervisors for the unexpired term.
All members of the Historical Commission shall be Upper Merion Township residents. One member of the Commission must currently be serving on the Upper Merion Township Planning Commission.
The members of the Historical Commission shall serve without compensation, but they may be reimbursed for expenses necessary to carry out the objectives of the Commission when those expenses are deemed necessary and appropriate and have been approved by the Board of Supervisors and appropriated in the annual budget.
A member of the Historical Commission shall be immediately and automatically removed if, at any time during the member's term, such member no longer maintains a residency in the Township or is no longer representing the Township Planning Commission, if membership was for such purpose. Any appointment to fill a vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term.
The Historical Commission shall elect its own Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and Secretary, and create and fill such other offices as it may determine necessary. Subject to the approval of the Board of Supervisors, the Commission may make and alter its rules of procedure consistent with the ordinances of Upper Merion Township and the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It shall keep records of its resolutions, transactions, findings, and determinations, and such records shall be public records, subject to the exceptions of the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law, 65 P.S. § 67.101, et seq. A majority of the Historical Commission shall constitute a quorum, and action taken at any meeting shall require the affirmative vote of that majority.
The Historical Commission shall serve solely in an advisory capacity with the following duties:
To record the history of Upper Merion Township and its significant architectural and historic sites;
To gather documentary evidence, illustrations, photographs and all other appropriate materials which will establish architectural and historic sites as significant and worthy of preservation;
To cooperate with all Township officials and agencies in relation to the preservation, operation, maintenance, and restoration of architectural and historic structures and sites, including the possible acquisition and use of the same by the Township;
To consider, promote and, with the approval of the Board of Supervisors, to apply for technical and financial assistance from all appropriate local, Township, county, state, federal and other agencies in the preservation of significant architecture and historic sites within Upper Merion Township, and to report all related action to the Board of Supervisors;
To prepare and submit a yearly budget to the Board of Supervisors for sums deemed necessary to carry out the objectives of the Historical Commission;
When requested by the Board of Supervisors, to review and comment on subdivision or land development applications which affect historic resources, in accordance with the requirements and procedures of Chapter 145, Subdivision of Land, and Chapter 165, Zoning, of the Code of the Township of Upper Merion;
To create, maintain, and revise a proposed list that, upon approval of the Board of Supervisors, will constitute a historic resources map that clearly identifies buildings, cemeteries, structures, objects, and districts of historical significance and worthy of preservation;
To advise the Zoning Hearing Board and Board of Supervisors on all requests for special exceptions, conditional uses, or variances affecting historic resources;
To advise the Board of Supervisors on matters of historical preservation and planning in relation to the Township's Comprehensive Plan;
To review applications for the rehabilitation, enlargement, or alteration of historic resources for compliance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings;
To develop ideas for historical education programs within the Township, and to assist with the promotion of historic programs, information and resources within the Township.
The Board of Supervisors may appropriate funds on an annual basis to support activities of the Historical Commission. Any expenditures requested by the Commission shall be on forms provided by the Township and shall conform to the Township budget, appropriate Township ordinances and resolutions, and state and federal laws governing purchasing and expenditures. When authorized by the Board of Supervisors, the Historical Commission may contract for experts or other consultants for such technical services as it may require.
The Commission shall keep a full record of its business and shall no less than annually make a written report of its activities to the Township Board of Supervisors. Interim reports may be made as often as may be necessary or as requested by the Board of Supervisors.