City of Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Lancaster as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 116.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 223.
Zoning — See Ch. 300.
[Adopted 8-26-2014 by Ord. No. 13-2014[1]]
[1]
Editor’s Note: This ordinance also repealed former Art. I, Historic District, adopted 10-9-2001 by Ord. No. 9-2001, as amended.
A. 
Pennsylvania law. This City of Lancaster Historic District Ordinance is created pursuant to the authority granted by Historic District Act 167, entitled: "An Act authorizing counties, cities, boroughs, incorporated towns and townships to create historic districts within their geographic boundaries; providing for the appointment of Boards of Historical Architectural Review; empowering governing bodies of political subdivisions to protect the distinctive historical character of these districts and to regulate the erection, reconstruction, alteration, restoration, demolition or razing of buildings within the historic districts."
B. 
Power granted to governing body to certify appropriateness. Pursuant to Act 167, § 4(b),[1] the Lancaster City Council shall consider the following prior to issuing a certificate of appropriateness:
(1) 
Any governing body in determining whether or not to certify to the appropriateness of the erection, reconstruction, alteration, restoration, demolition or razing of a building, in whole or in part, shall consider the effect which the proposed change will have upon the general historic and architectural nature of the district. The governing body shall pass upon the appropriateness of exterior architectural features which can be seen from a public street or way, only, and shall consider the general design, arrangement, texture, material and color of the building or structure and the relation of such factors to similar features of buildings and structures in the district. The governing body shall not consider any matters not pertinent to the preservation of the historic aspect and nature of the district.
[1]
Editor’s Note: See 53 P.S. § 8004(b).
A. 
Short title. This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Historic District Ordinance."
B. 
Compliance. All construction, reconstruction, alteration, restoration or demolition of a building or structure, in whole or in part, located within the Historic District and visible from a public right-of-way or public alley shall hereafter be in full compliance with the terms of this article and/or other applicable regulations.
It is the purpose of this article to:
A. 
Protect and preserve historic buildings, structures and areas within the Historic District that represent distinctive elements of the City's cultural, social, economic, political and architectural history;
B. 
Safeguard the specific architectural features of historic structures, including design, materials, textures, and method of construction, that define their unique character and reflect historical architectural styles;
C. 
Assure that exterior alterations visible from a public way protect and enhance the historic character of existing structures;
D. 
Ensure that the architectural elements of new construction are compatible with the primary architectural characteristics of existing adjoining and nearby structures; and
E. 
Provide property owners with an effective tool to preserve the historic character of their neighborhoods.
A. 
Activities requiring HARB review and City Council approval. Unless specifically addressed below in Subsection B or C, any construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, restoration, or demolition activity on private or public property requiring a building permit for exterior work visible from a public right-of-way, or any sign visible from a public right-of-way shall require prior review and recommendation to the City Council by the HARB and the issuance by the City Council of a certificate of appropriateness.
B. 
Activities subject to administrative review and approval. The following activities visible from a public right-of-way shall require administrative review and approval prior to the issuance of a building permit. If approved by the Building Official and Historic Preservation Specialist as an activity consistent with the Secretary of the Interior Standards, a certificate of appropriateness will not be required. Any of the following activities that are not administratively approved shall require an application for a certificate of appropriateness:
(1) 
Repair or in-kind replacement of any element, in whole or in part;
(2) 
Repointing and masonry repair using materials, mortar composition, color, joint profile and width that closely match historic materials;
(3) 
Repair or replacement of slate roofing shingles, provided that the replacement shingles are asphalt, fiberglass or other approved material that closely matches the slate shingles in color, profile and design;
(4) 
Repair or replacement of asphalt or fiberglass shingles, provided that the replacement shingles are asphalt, fiberglass or other approved material that closely matches a color preapproved by the HARB;
(5) 
Replacement of gutters and downspouts, provided that the new gutters and downspouts match the existing features in design and materials;
(6) 
Installation of flower boxes, window boxes, immovable planters or other plant containers affixed to a building or porch;
(7) 
Installation or replacement of full-light storm doors, with color matching existing trim, provided they conform to the shape and size of the historic door;
(8) 
Installation or replacement of storm windows, with meeting rails matching existing windows and color matching existing trim, provided they conform to the shape and size of the historic windows;
(9) 
Repair and alteration activity visible only from unnamed public alleys.
C. 
Activities not subject to HARB or administrative review.
(1) 
Painting of exterior walls or trim, provided repointing is not necessary prior to paint application;
(2) 
Removal of paint from any exterior surface;
(3) 
Maintenance;
(4) 
Landscaping.
For the purpose of this article, all words used in the present tense include the future tense. All words in the plural number include the singular number, and all words in the singular number include the plural number, unless the natural construction of the word clearly indicates otherwise. The masculine gender includes the feminine and neuter genders, and the feminine gender includes the masculine and neuter genders. The word "shall" is mandatory. The word "used" includes "designated," "intended," "built," or "arranged to be used." Words not defined below shall have the meanings given in the most recent edition of Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
ADDITION
A building or part thereof constructed on the same lot as an existing building and which is an expansion of the volume of the existing building.
ALTERATION
Any visual or physical change to the exterior of a building or structure, including the repair, replacement, or installation of any exterior structural, decorative or accessory element, feature, or appurtenance.
APPURTENANCE
A subordinate component or structural feature erected on a lot, or attached or affixed to a principal structure.
AREA
A geographically definable area comprised of one block face, or one side of a public right-of-way located between the intersection of public rights-of-way and/or alleys which possesses a significant concentration, linkage or continuity of buildings or structures united by past events or aesthetically by plan or physical development which may also comprise individual elements separated geographically but thematically linked by association or history.
AUTHORIZED AGENT
An individual granted written permission by a property owner to file an application on his or her behalf and to represent the owner at public meetings.
BUILDING
A structure, enclosed and isolated by exterior walls and roof and attached or placed with the intent of permanence to the land, including principal and accessory buildings.
BUILDING OFFICIAL
A municipal employee of or individual retained by the City designated as the individual who enforces compliance of the City of Lancaster Building Code and Property Maintenance Code and issues permits for the construction, alteration, repair or demolition of all or part of any building or structure within the municipality, including a qualified person designated by the Building Official to perform such functions as delegated by this article to the Building Official.
BUILDING PERMIT
An approval document signed by the Building Official authorizing the construction, alteration, repair or demolition of all or part of any building or structure.
BUILDING PERMIT APPLICATION
The document filed by a property owner or authorized agent with the Building Official requesting authorization to construct, alter or demolish all or part of any building or structure.
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
The approval authorized by the City Council, which certifies to the historical appropriateness of a particular request for the construction, erection, reconstruction, alteration, repair, restoration, or demolition of all or part of any building or structure within the Historic District.
CHARACTER-DEFINING
Architectural design, materials, details, forms, workmanship, or components that are important elements reflecting the distinctive design or physical characteristics of the original historical building or structure. In certain instances, alterations or additions occurring more than 50 years ago may acquire historical significance and be considered character-defining elements as well; for example, a Victorian porch added to a Federal-style building.
COMPLETED APPLICATION
An application for a certificate of appropriateness that conforms to submittal requirements for HARB review.
CONSTRUCTION
The erection, assembling, or building from components or materials of a new building or structure or part thereof, including the extension in height or area of an existing building or structure, the introduction of new elements or additions to existing buildings and structures, and the reconstruction or restoration of a demolished or destroyed building or structure or part thereof.
COUNCIL'S CONSIDERATION
The review and deliberation by the City Council at a public meeting of either a City Council Committee or full City Council of an application or matter requiring formal City Council action.
DEMOLITION
The dismantling, permanent removal, tearing down or razing of a building or structure, in whole or in part.
DEMOLITION BY NEGLECT
The absence of routine maintenance and repair which leads to a building's or structure's structural weakness, decay and deterioration to the point where the building/structure meets criteria for condemnation.
HERITAGE CONSERVATION DISTRICT
That geographic area of the City of Lancaster, identified and delineated by the City Council, pursuant to Section 2, Pennsylvania Act 167-1961, as amended, adopted by Ordinance No. 6-1999, as amended, and certified by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission on February 16, 2000.[1]
HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD (HARB)
The official review board first appointed by the City Council pursuant to Ordinance No. 41-1967, as amended, which is charged with the responsibility to recommend to the City Council, following deliberations at public meetings, the approval, approval with conditions, or denial of certificates of appropriateness for regulated construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, restoration or demolition activity.
HISTORICAL COMMISSION
The official review board appointed by the City Council pursuant to Ordinance No. 6-1999, as amended, which is charged with the responsibility to recommend to the City Council, following deliberations at public meetings, the approval, approval with conditions, or denial of certificates of appropriateness for regulated demolition or construction activities within the Heritage Conservation District.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION SPECIALIST
A municipal employee or individual retained by the City meeting the professional and educational qualifications of 36 CFR 61, as required by the Certified Local Government Program, and designated as the individual responsible for advising the HARB and Historical Commission and applicants/property owners regarding regulated activities within the Historic District and Heritage Conservation District.
LANCASTER HISTORIC DISTRICT
That geographic area of the City of Lancaster created by City of Lancaster Ordinance No. 41-1967, as amended, (City of Lancaster Code Chapter 155, Article I, originally codified at Article 1763) wherein any and all changes to buildings or structures, or parts thereof, visible from a public right-of-way are subject to review and approval in accordance with the provisions of this article.
MAINTENANCE
Work that does not alter the exterior fabric or features of a building or structure and has no material effect on the historical, architectural or cultural significance of a building or structure.
NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES
The federal listing, administered by the United States Department of the Interior, of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects significant in American history and culture for their architecture, archaeology, contribution to the broad patterns of history, or association with lives of persons significant in the nation's past.
PLOT PLAN
A drawing or map, drawn to scale, showing existing and proposed buildings and structures and other improvements.
PRESERVATION
Actions taken to prevent the decay or degradation of a structure.
PRINCIPAL STRUCTURE
Building or structure in which has been, is, or will be conducted the principal, or primary, use or uses of a lot. More than one principal structure may exist on a lot; for example, an office and a separate fabrication shop.
PROPERTY OWNER
The owner of record of a property, including the owner of a condominium unit.
PUBLIC ALLEY
A minor right-of-way which is used primarily for vehicular or pedestrian access from a public street to the side or rear of properties and which is included in the Official City (Street) Plan.
PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
Any land dedicated to public use or passage, including streets, alleys, and pedestrian rights-of-way placed on the Official City (Street) Plan.
RECONSTRUCTION
The rebuilding or reassembling of a building, structure or part thereof that previously has been demolished or destroyed. Reconstruction may or may not replicate the building or component being rebuilt.
REGULATED ACTIVITY
Any activity requiring review and recommendation by the HARB and approval by the City Council for the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness or administrative approval in the Historic District.
REPAIR
The process of rehabilitation that warrants additional work beyond maintenance. Repair includes, but is not limited to, patching, piecing in, splicing, consolidating or otherwise reinforcing materials.
REPLACEMENT
To install materials or components in place of existing materials or components, such as removing existing windows or doors and installing other windows or doors. "In-kind replacement" means that the replacement materials or components shall be of the same design, material, texture, color, and other visual qualities as the element to be replaced.
RESTORATION
The process of accurately recovering the form and details of a building or structure as it appeared at a specific period of time by means of removal of later work or by the replacement of work missing from that specific period.
SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR'S STANDARDS
Federal standards developed by the United States Department of the Interior to guide work undertaken on buildings listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Separate standards exist for acquisition, protection, stabilization, preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction.
SETBACK
The distance from a property line of a lot or parcel to the principal or secondary facade of a building or edge of a structure.
SIGN PERMIT
A permit issued by the City of Lancaster Zoning Officer for signs regulated by the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Lancaster, as amended.[2]
STORM DOOR
A secondary door mounted outside an existing outside door for protection against severe weather.
STORM WINDOW
A secondary sash placed over an existing window as a protection against severe weather.
STREETSCAPE
The overall view of a public street and its component elements, including the street, sidewalk, buildings, street signs and furnishings, and landscaping, and also including the relationships of building setbacks, rhythms, heights, shapes, spacing, and textures that give the public street or neighborhood its distinctive visual character.
STRUCTURE
Any man-made object, including but not limited to, buildings, appurtenances, and paving having a stationary location, whether or not affixed to the land or to an existing building or structure. Examples include but are not limited to heating/cooling units, telecommunication equipment, fences, swimming pools, recreational apparatus, gazebos, animal shelters, vending machines, and advertisement distribution boxes.
USE
The specific purpose for which land, structure, building, or a unit within a structure or building is arranged, designed, intended, occupied or maintained.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Art. II, Heritage Conservation District.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 300, Zoning.
A. 
Certification of Historic District. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) has certified by resolution the historical significance of the Historic District within the limits identified below in Subsection B. Furthermore, on February 16, 2000, the PHMC certified by resolution the historical significance of the Heritage Conservation District of the City of Lancaster as delineated in Ordinance No. 6-1999, adopted November 9, 1999, by the Lancaster City Council. Any expansion of the Historic District into the previously certified Heritage Conservation District shall require no further certification by the PHMC. However, expansion of the Historic District beyond the limits of the Heritage Conservation District shall require the certification by resolution of the PHMC of such expansion prior to the ordinance amending the boundaries of the Historic District taking effect.
B. 
Boundaries. The boundaries of the Historic District are those established by City of Lancaster Ordinance No. 41-1967, adopted October 10, 1967, as amended from time to time, the boundaries of which are described in the attached Exhibit A, incorporated and made a part hereof by reference.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Exhibit A is on file in the City offices.
C. 
Historic District Map. Regardless of the existence of purported copies of the official Historic District Map which may from time to time be published, the official Historic District Map shall be located in the office of the Building Official.
D. 
Interpretation of Historic District boundaries. Where uncertainty exists as to the boundaries of the Historic District as shown on the official Historic District Map, the following guidelines shall apply:
(1) 
Boundaries indicated as following the center lines of streets or plotted lot lines shall be construed as following such lines.
(2) 
Distances not specifically indicated on the official Historic District Map shall be determined by the scale of the map.
(3) 
Where physical or cultural features existing on the ground are at variance with those shown on the official Historic District Map, or in other circumstances not covered by the above, the City Council shall interpret the Historic District boundaries.
E. 
Additions to or deletions from Historic District.
(1) 
Requests for inclusion in or exclusion of an area from the Historic District must have the concurrence of the property owners representing at least 70% of the properties located within the boundaries of the proposed area. All such requests shall be made on a form obtained from the Historic Preservation Specialist. The proposed petition form shall be returned to the Historic Preservation Specialist for review prior to its circulation to property owners. The review by the Historic Preservation Specialist will be completed within 15 days of the submission of the petition form; if additional review time is needed, the sponsor will be notified of the need for additional time and the anticipated date of completion.
(2) 
The sponsor(s) circulating a petition for inclusion or exclusion of an area from the Historic District must own property in the block or area referenced in the petition for a minimum of one year prior to circulation of the petition request.
(3) 
When the required signatures have been obtained, the signed petition requests shall be submitted to the Historic Preservation Specialist for review and verification that signatures were obtained from the owners of at least 70% of the properties located within the boundaries of the proposed area.
(4) 
All requests shall be considered in accordance with the procedures set forth herein in §§ 155-9 and 155-10 regarding applications for certificates of appropriateness. Verified petition requests will be placed on the HARB's meeting agenda. All owners of properties located within the boundaries of the proposed area shall be informed in writing of the time and place of the HARB meeting at which the petition request will be considered. The sponsor(s) of the request shall be advised to appear before the HARB to explain the request on behalf of the petitioners. The recommendation of the HARB shall be rendered within 75 days of the meeting at which the request is first considered, unless the sponsor(s) agrees, in writing, to grant the HARB additional time to render a recommendation. At the time of its decision on the request, the HARB shall orally advise the sponsor(s) of its recommendation and shall also advise the sponsor(s) of the time and place of the meeting of City Council when the request will be considered.
(5) 
Petition requests are subject to approval or authorization by the City Council. The City Council shall, within 60 days following the Council's first consideration of the request at a Council meeting, either approve or disallow the request, unless granted additional time by the sponsor(s) to render a decision. In determining whether to approve or disallow the request, the City Council shall consider the HARB's recommendation and the purpose of the Historic District Ordinance as set forth in § 155-3.
(6) 
Within 30 days following the decision of the City Council to approve or disallow the request, the City shall send written notification to all property owners within the boundaries of the proposed area(s) advising them of the decision of the City Council.
(7) 
Any appeals of a City Council decision regarding a petition for inclusion or exclusion of an area from the Historic District shall be made in accordance with § 155-16B.
(8) 
Any area or property which is removed from the Historic District shall automatically be incorporated into the Heritage Conservation District in accordance with Chapter 155, Article II, § 155-21C of the City Code.
A. 
Appointment by City Council. A Board of Historical Architectural Review (HARB) is hereby established and shall be composed of seven members, appointed by the City Council, in accordance with Section 8002 of Act 167. The HARB shall be composed of seven members, one of whom shall be a registered architect, one a licensed real estate broker, one the City Building Official, and the remaining four members shall be persons with knowledge of and interest in the preservation of historic districts. With the exception of the registered architect, licensed real estate broker and Building Official, all members must own property or reside within the Historic District.
B. 
Term and vacancies. The term of each member shall be three years, or until his or her successor is appointed, except that the terms of the members appointed pursuant to this article shall be so fixed that no more than three members shall be reappointed or replaced during any one calendar year. The position of any member appointed in his or her capacity of architect, real estate broker, Building Official, resident or property owner who ceases to fulfill this requirement of membership shall be automatically considered vacant. An appointment to fill a vacancy shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term.
C. 
Removal of members. Any Commission member may be removed for misconduct or wrongdoing, unlawful execution of this article, or failure to perform his or her responsibilities pursuant to this article, or for other just cause by a majority vote of the City Council, but not before he or she has been given the opportunity of a hearing before an executive session of the City Council to defend himself or herself against any alleged infractions of this article.
A. 
Advisory role. The HARB shall be charged with the responsibility for the review of applications for exterior work to buildings and structures or demolition, in whole or in part, of buildings or structures within the limits of the Historic District which require the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness prior to the issuance of a building permit, sign permit or demolition permit, in accordance with the provisions of this article, and for forwarding written recommendations to the City Council regarding the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness for such work. Furthermore, the HARB shall review and recommend to the City Council appropriate action upon petitions submitted by property owners of given areas of the City requesting the inclusion of their area in or its withdrawal from the Historic District. In addition, the HARB is charged with the responsibility of recommending to the City, and participating in, the establishment of programs and actions that will promote public interest in the purpose of this article and the preservation of buildings and structures within the Historic District.
B. 
Meetings and quorum. The HARB shall meet publicly at regularly scheduled meetings, and, if determined necessary, at special meetings, advertised in accordance with the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, Act of October 15, 1998, P.L. 729, 65 Pa.C.S.A. § 701 et seq. A majority of the appointed members shall constitute a quorum, and action taken at any meeting shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of the HARB members present at the meeting. Except that, if one or more positions are vacant at the time of official action, a quorum shall be no less than three people; and, in the case of an even number of members present because of vacancy or absence, a tie vote shall indicate denial.
C. 
Voting and conflicts of interest. It shall be the duty of each HARB member to publicly announce any conflict of interest, including but not limited to financial consideration, in connection with any application or other official action before the HARB. When a conflict of interest has been identified, the member shall not participate in the deliberation or voting on the matter.
D. 
Bylaws. The HARB shall adopt rules and regulations for its own organization and procedure, provided that they are consistent with the laws of the commonwealth and provisions of this article.
E. 
Annual reports. The HARB shall make an annual report to the City Council and to the PHMC, summarizing actions and accomplishments for the previous calendar year.
F. 
Compensation. HARB members shall serve without compensation.
G. 
Training. As required by the PHMC for all certified local governments, HARB members shall participate in eight hours of training each year on matters related to historic preservation.
A. 
Meeting. At the time a completed application is filed, the applicant shall be informed of the time and place of the HARB meeting at which his or her application will be considered. The applicant shall be advised to appear before the HARB to explain the application. The recommendation of the HARB shall be rendered within 75 days of the meeting at which the application is first considered, unless the applicant agrees, in writing, to grant the HARB additional time to render a decision. Failure of the HARB to make a recommendation within this seventy-five-day period or any extension thereof shall be considered a recommendation of unconditional approval.
B. 
Public notification. Public notification shall occur for all applications. The applicant shall post the property where the activity is to occur with the placard provided by the City at least 10 days prior to the HARB meeting. In addition, the City shall submit the HARB agenda to a newspaper of general circulation for publication prior to the meeting, and will post the HARB agenda on the City of Lancaster website.
C. 
Recommendations regarding certificates of appropriateness. In determining the recommendation to be presented to the City Council concerning the issuing of a certificate of appropriateness authorizing a permit for the construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, restoration, or demolition of all or part of any building or structure within the Historic District, the HARB shall consider the following matters:
(1) 
Standards promulgated by the Secretary of the Interior;
(2) 
Historical and/or architectural significance of the building or structure;
(3) 
Effect of the proposed change upon the general historic and architectural character of the Historic District;
(4) 
Appropriateness of exterior architectural features that can be seen from a public right-of-way;
(5) 
General design, arrangement, texture, material and color of materials of the building or structure and the relation of such factors to similar features of buildings or structures in the Historic District, and, in the case of new construction, consistency with the design standards set forth in § 155-12 herein;
(6) 
Written report of the Historic Preservation Specialist regarding the appropriateness of the proposed activity; and
(7) 
The applicant's justification for the proposed activity, including financial feasibility and cost estimates.
D. 
Findings of meeting. The HARB, following the meeting provided for in § 155-9A, shall submit to the City Council, in writing, its recommendation concerning the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness. The written report shall include the name and address of the applicant, the location of the property under consideration, description of the proposed work, the specific Secretary of the Interior's Standards upon which the HARB recommendation is based, and any other pertinent information. The written report also shall contain one of the following recommendations:
(1) 
The issuance of a certificate of appropriateness authorizing the issuance of a building permit for the proposed activity; or
(2) 
The issuance of a certificate of appropriateness subject to specified changes and conditions not included in the application as submitted, but which, in the opinion of the HARB, would protect the distinctive historic character of the building or structure or the area where the change is to occur; or
(3) 
The denial of a certificate of appropriateness with respect to the proposed activity as set forth and described in the application.
E. 
Withholding recommendation of denial. In the event that the HARB votes to counsel against the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness, it shall indicate to the applicant the changes in plans and specifications, if any, which, in the opinion of the HARB, would protect the distinctive historical character of the Historic District. The HARB shall withhold its written recommendation to the City Council if the applicant agrees at the conclusion of the meeting or meetings to appear before the HARB at its next regularly scheduled meeting with a revised application for its consideration.
A. 
Deliberations of City Council. Following the HARB's provision of its recommendation concerning issuance of a certificate of appropriateness as set forth in § 155-9D, the City Council may consider the written recommendation of the HARB, any additional presentation by representatives of the HARB, and the presentation of evidence by the applicant at a regularly scheduled meeting of the City Council. In its discretion, the City Council may refer the matter to such City Council committee or committees as it deems appropriate either before or after its first consideration of the application at a Council meeting. The committee or committees to which the matter is referred shall consider the recommendation of the HARB, any additional presentations by the HARB, and evidence by the applicant at a public meeting of the committee. The committee shall make a report to the full City Council at its next regularly scheduled meeting. The City Council may schedule a presentation of committee reports or recommendations, the presentation of testimony or documents from all interested parties and, if deemed necessary, from the public at such meeting or meetings as it shall consider appropriate.
B. 
Decision of City Council. The City Council shall, within 60 days following the Council's first consideration of the application at a Council meeting, take formal action on the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness for work covered by applications reviewed by the HARB. In determining whether or not to certify to the appropriateness of the proposed construction, alteration, repair, restoration or demolition of all or part of any building or structure within the Historic District, the Council shall consider the same factors as the HARB, as set forth in § 155-9C as well as the written recommendation of the HARB. The Council shall either:
(1) 
Issue a certificate of appropriateness authorizing a building permit for the proposed regulated activity;
(2) 
Issue a certificate of appropriateness subject to specified changes and conditions not included in the application as submitted, but which would protect the distinctive historic character of the building, structure or area which is proposed to be changed; or
(3) 
Issue a written denial to the applicant, with a copy to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, setting forth the reasons for the disapproval. The City Council shall also indicate what changes in the applicant's plans and specifications would meet its conditions for protecting the distinctive historical character of the Historic District.
C. 
Notification to applicant. Within 30 days following the decision of the City Council, the City shall send written notification to the applicant of the decision of the City Council. Failure of the City to so act within said period shall be deemed to constitute a decision in favor of the applicant, and a certificate of appropriateness shall thereupon be issued. In the event that approval is granted subject to conditions, the applicant may, within 15 days after receiving a written copy of the decision, give written notice of his, her or its refusal to accept all of the conditions, in which case the City Council shall be deemed to have denied a certificate of appropriateness. In the event the applicant does not, within said period, notify the City in writing of his or her or its refusal to accept all of the conditions, the approval, with all conditions, shall stand as granted.
D. 
Legal Status of City Council's decision. Any building permit, sign permit or demolition permit issued pursuant to a certificate of appropriateness shall be subject to any conditions made part of the certificate of appropriateness issued by the City Council. Failure of the applicant to meet all conditions shall subject him or her or it to revocation of the building permit and to all sanctions and penalties as provided for in § 155.16.1, Notice of violation, and § 155-16.2, Enforcement.
A. 
General procedure. Applications for certificates of appropriateness shall be filed with the Building Official by the owner, equitable owner or authorized agent. The application shall be accompanied by information and documentation required in § 155-11B, Demolition, § 155-11C, Alterations and appurtenances, and/or § 155-11D, New construction. Applications filed after the submittal deadline will be scheduled for the following month's HARB meeting. All applications shall be in writing on a form provided by the City staff or downloaded from the City of Lancaster website. Incomplete applications shall not be accepted and shall be returned to the applicant for completion.
B. 
Demolition.
(1) 
Applications for certificates of appropriateness to authorize demolition shall be accompanied by information required by the City or HARB, which may include but not be limited to the following:
(a) 
Name and address of property owner;
(b) 
Date of acquisition by current owner;
(c) 
Name and address of equitable owner, if applicable;
(d) 
Current use of property, and, if vacant, number of years vacant and year and description of most recent use;
(e) 
Color photographs of the building or structure proposed for demolition;
(f) 
Photographic evidence and written description of the exterior and/or interior deteriorated condition of the building or structure;
(g) 
Reason(s) for the demolition;
(h) 
Explanation why rehabilitation, reuse, plan alteration, or stabilization is not feasible or desirable, including financial feasibility and a minimum of two current, market-value cost estimates of alternatives, if appropriate;
(i) 
Proposed future use of the lot or part thereof occupied by the building or structure proposed for demolition;
(j) 
Design of any proposed construction;
(k) 
Timeline for construction and occupancy of proposed future use;
(l) 
Statement on disposition of architectural features/building materials; and
(m) 
Any additional information required by the HARB as relevant to its decision.
(2) 
No building permit for the proposed demolition shall be issued prior to the City Council issuance of a certificate of appropriateness for any new building or structure proposed on the property, and/or, if applicable, approval of a new land use or development by appropriate City officials, and, in the case of plans requiring City Planning Commission approval, unconditional approval of plans. Building permits issued without a certificate of appropriateness or other necessary approvals due to administrative or clerical error shall be voided.
C. 
Alterations and appurtenances.
(1) 
Applications for certificates of appropriateness to authorize alterations or installation of appurtenances shall be accompanied by the following:
(a) 
Name and address of property owner;
(b) 
Color photographs of building or structure proposed for alteration;
(c) 
Color photographs of location on building or structure where alteration is to occur;
(d) 
Drawing or other illustration of proposed alteration or appurtenance; and
(e) 
Reason(s) for proposed alteration or appurtenance.
(2) 
No building permit for any proposed alteration or appurtenance nor sign permit for any proposed sign shall be issued prior to the City Council issuance of a certificate of appropriateness. Building or sign permits issued without a certificate of appropriateness due to administrative or clerical error shall be voided.
D. 
New construction.
(1) 
Applications for construction permits shall be accompanied by the following:
(a) 
Scaled, dimensioned plot plan and drawings with appropriate notes indicating proposed materials and conformity with the design standards listed below in § 155-12;
(b) 
Color photographs of the lot or structure where the construction is to occur and streetscapes adjacent to and directly across the public street from the proposed construction activity; and
(c) 
Reason(s) for any deviations from design standards listed in § 155-12, including financial feasibility and a minimum of two current, market-value cost estimates of alternatives, if appropriate.
(2) 
No building permit for any proposed construction shall be issued prior to the City Council issuance of a certificate of appropriateness, and/or, if applicable, approval of a new land use or development by appropriate City officials, and, in the case of plans requiring City Planning Commission approval, unconditional approval of plans. Building permits issued without a certificate of appropriateness or other necessary approvals due to administrative or clerical error shall be voided.
A. 
The general design, arrangement, texture, and material of a new building or structure, an addition to or alteration of an existing building or structure and the relation of such factors to similar features of buildings or structures in the immediate neighborhood and in the Historic District shall be detailed in the application. New buildings or additions to existing buildings should be designed in a manner that clearly distinguishes the new building or addition from existing buildings. Consideration shall be given but not limited to the following:
(1) 
Size, scale, proportion. New construction shall relate to the dominant proportions, size and scale of buildings and structures of the streetscape.
(2) 
Rhythm and patterns. Design elements of principal facades should reflect neighborhood patterns. Examples include prevalent number of bays; door and window placement; floor-to-floor and cornice heights; spacing between windows and doors and between windows and cornices or rooflines; and dimensions of the facade's base and cornice. Where the use of the structure prevents maintaining the prevalent rhythms and patterns, incorporation of detailing to suggest them is recommended.
(3) 
Materials and textures. Building materials, textures and treatments shall be compatible with those of surrounding buildings. Where traditional materials, such as brick, wood or stone are common in the immediate neighborhood, use of these materials on front facades and secondary facades on corner properties is recommended.
(4) 
Architectural details. Use of architectural details reflecting the character-defining features of the streetscape is recommended.
(5) 
Streetscapes. New construction should reflect prevailing setbacks, orientation, and physical elements that define streetscapes.
(6) 
Secretary of the Interior's Standards. New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy historic materials that characterize the property and shall be undertaken in such a manner that, if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the historic property and its environment would be unimpaired. The new work shall be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with the massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect the historic integrity of the property and its environment.
B. 
The HARB shall consider the proposed activity's consistency with the design standards set forth above in Subsection A when deliberating and counseling the City Council regarding the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness.
A. 
All buildings and structures within the Historic District shall be maintained in good repair, structurally sound, and reasonably protected against decay and deterioration, as per the City of Lancaster Property Maintenance Code (Chapter 223, Property Maintenance).
B. 
Any unresolved notice of violation to the property owner shall be considered prima facie evidence of demolition by neglect.
When a claim of unreasonable economic hardship is made due to the effect of this article, the property owner must prove that he cannot realize a reasonable return on the property. The public benefits obtained from retaining the cultural resource must be analyzed and duly considered by the City Council.
A. 
Recommended denial of demolition application. When the applicant desires to make a claim of unreasonable economic hardship due to the recommendation of the HARB, the owner of record must file with the City Clerk 14 days prior to the Council's consideration of the application sufficient evidence to prove that the HARB's recommendation will prevent him or her from obtaining a reasonable return or a reasonable beneficial use from the property. The property owner shall submit to the City Council the following information, if applicable:
(1) 
Name and address of property owner.
(2) 
Date property was acquired by current owner.
(3) 
Purchase price.
(4) 
Name and address of equitable owner and sale price, if applicable.
(5) 
Equity in the property by current property owner.
(6) 
Assessed value.
(7) 
Current market value of the property.
(8) 
Property expense and income statements for previous two years.
(9) 
Evidence of consideration of alternatives to demolition, including alteration of plans or change of use.
(10) 
Efforts to lease or sell the property during the previous 12 months.
(11) 
Estimated future costs of retaining the structure and maintaining it in accordance with City codes.
(12) 
Any other information the applicant considers appropriate.
B. 
Recommended denial of alteration or appurtenance. When a claim of unreasonable economic hardship is made due to a recommendation of denial of an alteration or appurtenance, the applicant must present sufficient evidence to the City Council to prove that as a result of the HARB's recommendation, he or she will be unable to undertake the alteration or install the appurtenance as recommended by the HARB or obtain a reasonable return or reasonable beneficial use from the property. The property owner shall submit to the City Council, prior to the Council's consideration of the application, the information below, if applicable:
(1) 
Name and address of property owner.
(2) 
Date property was acquired by property owner.
(3) 
Purchase price.
(4) 
Assessed value.
(5) 
Two bona fide estimates of cost of alteration or installation of appurtenance as proposed by owner.
(6) 
Two bona fide estimates of cost of alternative treatment recommended by HARB.
(7) 
Any other information the applicant considers appropriate.
C. 
Recommended denial of construction application. When a claim of unreasonable economic hardship is made due to a recommendation of denial of a construction application, the applicant must present sufficient evidence to the City Council to prove that as a result of the HARB's recommendation, he or she will be unable to undertake the construction activity and/or obtain a reasonable return or reasonable beneficial use from the property. The applicant shall submit to the City Council, prior to the Council's consideration of the application, the information below, applicable:
(1) 
Name and address of property owner.
(2) 
Date property was acquired by current owner.
(3) 
Purchase price.
(4) 
Name and address of equitable owner and sale price, if applicable.
(5) 
Two bona fide estimates of total costs of project as proposed by owner.
(6) 
Two bona fide estimates of total costs of project with revisions recommended by HARB to meet the design standards.
(7) 
Maximum feasible cost for proposed project, based on market values, available financing, estimated sale or lease revenues, or other acceptable criteria.
(8) 
Any other information the applicant considers appropriate.
D. 
The City Council may require that an applicant furnish additional information relevant to its determination of unreasonable economic hardship.
E. 
The City Council may receive and consider studies, economic analyses, and proposals to relieve the owner's economic hardship from other interested parties.
F. 
Should the applicant prove to the satisfaction of the City Council that he or she will suffer an unreasonable economic hardship if a certificate of appropriateness is not approved, and should the City Council be unable to develop a solution which can relieve the owner's economic hardship, which may include consultation with appropriate local, statewide and national organizations, foundations, groups or individuals, the City Council must approve the application and issue a certificate of appropriateness for the proposed work, subject to any modifications requested by the City Council and accepted by the applicant.
In the event that the subject building has been rendered unfit for habitation because of fire, explosion or other similar causes, the terms of this article may be waived to the extent that the applicant can proceed to secure, protect or render the subject property habitable under the terms of the Building Code of the City. However, any permanent exterior changes visible from the public right-of-way must be approved in accordance with this article.
A. 
Any person aggrieved by failure of the Building Official or Zoning Officer to issue a permit for the activity proposed by his or her application for a certificate of appropriateness by reason of the disapproval of the City Council may appeal the nonissuance of the permit as follows and in accordance with City ordinances: for nonissuance of a building permit, the appeal is made to the City of Lancaster Building Code Board of Appeals; for the nonissuance of a zoning permit, the appeal is made to the City of Lancaster Zoning Hearing Board.
B. 
Any person desiring to appeal the City Council's disapproval of a certificate of appropriateness may file an appeal to the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas as provided for by laws of the commonwealth.
A. 
The Building Official or the Historic Preservation Specialist shall serve a notice of violation on any person in violation of this chapter. The Building Official and the Historic Preservation Specialist shall be authorized to issue a notice to stop all work on a property that is in violation of this chapter.
B. 
Actions that would result in a notice of violation or stop-work order to be issued include:
(1) 
Failure to apply for a certificate of appropriateness through submittal of an application for a building or sign permit and an application for HARB review as required for the alteration, reconstruction, erection or demolition of a building or structure that can be seen from a public right-of-way.
(2) 
Commencement of exterior work prior to completion of a review of the work by the HARB and final action by the City Council authorizing issuance of a certificate of appropriateness.
(3) 
Failure to comply with specific conditions related to design and/or material specifications cited in the HARB recommendation to the City Council or the certificate of appropriateness issued by the City Council.
(4) 
Performing work outside of the scope of the work approved in the certificate of appropriateness.
C. 
Such notice of violation shall indicate all measures required to abate said violation and shall be in addition to, but not in lieu of, the Building Official's enforcement powers specified in § 155-16.2 of this article, and any penalties or remedies directed by the Building Official relevant to violations of this chapter and Chapter 116 of the City Code, as amended.
The Building Official shall have the power to institute any proceedings at law or in equity necessary for the enforcement of this article in the same manner as in his enforcement of the Building Code and the Property Maintenance Code of the City of Lancaster as presently enacted and as the same may from time to time be amended. In addition, the Historic Preservation Specialist shall have the power to institute any proceedings at law or in equity necessary for the enforcement of this article.
[Adopted 11-9-1999 by Ord. No. 6-1999]
A. 
This Heritage Conservation District is created pursuant to the authority granted by the Act of June 13, 1961, P.L. 282, as amended, 53 P.S. § 8001 et seq. (Act 167) entitled: "An Act authorizing counties, cities, boroughs, incorporated towns and townships to create historic districts within their geographic boundaries; providing for the appointment of Boards of Historical Architectural Review; empowering governing bodies of political subdivisions to protect the distinctive historical character of these districts and to regulate the erection, reconstruction, alteration, restoration, demolition or razing of buildings within the historic districts."
B. 
Section 8002 of Act 167[1] specifically provides: "For the purpose of protecting those historical areas within our great Commonwealth, which have a distinctive character recalling the rich architectural and historical heritage of Pennsylvania, and of making them a source of inspiration to our people by awakening interest in our historic past, and to promote the general welfare, education and culture of the communities in which these distinctive historical areas are located, all counties, cities, except cities of the first or second class, boroughs, incorporated towns and townships, are hereby authorized to create and define, by ordinance, a historical district or districts within the geographic limits of such political subdivisions."
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 8002.
A. 
Short title. This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Heritage Conservation District Ordinance."
B. 
Compliance. No building or structure located within the Heritage Conservation District shall hereafter be erected or demolished, in whole or in part, without full compliance with the terms of this article and/or other applicable regulations.
It is the purpose of this article to:
A. 
Effect and accomplish the protection, enhancement and perpetuation of historic buildings and areas within the Heritage Conservation District which represent distinctive elements of the City's cultural, social, economic, political and architectural history.
B. 
Safeguard the City's historic, aesthetic and cultural heritage, as embodied and reflected in such historic buildings and areas.
C. 
Foster civic pride in the accomplishments of the past.
D. 
Protect and enhance the City's attraction to visitors thereby providing support and stimulation for the City's economy.
E. 
Promote the use of historic buildings and areas for the education, pleasure and welfare of the people of the City.
F. 
Preserve and protect the cultural, historical and architectural assets of the City which have been determined to be of local, state and/or national significance.
A. 
For the purpose of this article, all words used in the present tense include the future tense. All words in the plural number include the singular number, and all words in the singular number include the plural number, unless the natural construction of the word clearly indicates otherwise. The masculine gender includes the feminine and neuter genders, and the feminine gender includes the masculine and neuter genders. The word "shall" is mandatory. The word "used" includes "designated, intended, built, or arranged to be used." Words not defined below shall have the meanings given in the most recent edition of Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
ACCESSORY BUILDING
A structure constructed as a secondary, subordinate building on a lot containing a principal structure.
ADDITION
An increase in building area, aggregate floor area, height or number of stories of a structure.
ALLEY, COMMON
A right-of-way intended to be used primarily for vehicular and/or pedestrian access to the side or rear of a property and which is neither privately owned nor included in the Official City (Street) Plan.
ALLEY, PUBLIC
A minor right-of-way which is used primarily for vehicular access from a public street to the side or rear of a property and which is included in the Official City (Street) Plan.
ALTERATION
Any visual or physical change to a building, including the repair, painting or replacement of any exterior structural element or the repair, replacement or installation of any decorative or accessory element or feature. The exemption of alterations, as referenced in § 155-27C(2), does not include the removal of character-defining porches, balconies, cornices, dormers, or roofs, the enclosure of porches, balconies, or decks, or the resurfacing, concealment, or reconstruction of character-defining exterior walls or cornices.
[Amended 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005; 4-22-2014 by Ord. No. 2-2014]
APPURTENANCE
A subordinate component or structural feature attached or affixed to a principal structure or erected on a lot. The exemption of appurtenances, as referenced in § 155-27C(3), does not include porches, balconies, decks, dormers, or walls exceeding four feet in height.
[Amended 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
AUTHORIZED AGENT
An individual granted written permission by a property owner to file an application on his or her behalf and to represent the owner at public meetings, or the registered or licensed architect or engineer employed in connection with the proposed work.
[Added 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
BALCONY
A roofed or unroofed elevated platform projecting from the wall of a building, enclosed by a railing, balustrade or parapet wall.
BUILDING
A structure, enclosed and isolated by exterior walls and roof and permanently affixed to the land, that is used for residential, commercial, institutional, industrial or public purposes, including principal and accessory buildings or structures.
BUILDING OFFICIAL
A municipal employee of or individual retained by the City designated as the individual who enforces compliance of the City of Lancaster Building Code[1] and issues permits for the construction or demolition of all or part of any building or structure within the City, including a qualified person designated by the Building Official to perform such functions as delegated by this article to the Building Official.
BUILDING PERMIT
An approval document signed by the Building Official authorizing the construction or demolition of all or part of any building or structure.
BUILDING PERMIT APPLICATION
The request filed by a property owner, equitable owner or developer with the Building Official/Inspector or Codes Administrator seeking authorization to Construct or Demolish all or part of any building or structure.
BUILDING WALL
An exterior wall of a building permanently affixed to the land.
[Added 4-22-2014 by Ord. No. 2-2014]
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
The approval statement signed by City Council which certifies the historical appropriateness of a proposed regulated activity.
CHARACTER-DEFINING
Architectural design, materials, details, forms, workmanship, or components that are important elements reflecting the distinctive design or physical characteristics of the original historical building or structures. In certain instances, changes to a building or structure occurring more than 50 years ago may acquire historical significance and be considered character-defining elements as well, for example, a Victorian porch added to a Federal-style building.
[Amended 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
COMPLETED APPLICATION
An application for a certificate of appropriateness that conforms to submittal requirements for Historical Commission review.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Use by a public official of the authority of his/her office or any confidential information received through his/her holding public office for the private pecuniary benefit of himself/herself, a member of his/her immediate family, or a business or organization with which he/she or a member of his/her immediate family is associated. Conflict of interest also includes the employment or holding of office by a public official or a member of his/her immediate family with the applicant and/or owner whose property is the subject of the application before the Historical Commission.
[Added 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
CONSTRUCTION
The erection, assembling, or building from components or materials of a new building or structure, or part thereof, including the extension in height or area of an existing building or structure, the introduction of new elements or additions to existing buildings and structures, including porches, balconies, dormers, decks, and building walls or portions thereof, and the reconstruction or restoration of a demolished or destroyed building or structure or part thereof.
[Amended 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005; 4-22-2014 by Ord. No. 2-2014]
CORNICE
A projecting horizontal band at or near the top of a wall or building or at the top of a storefront window, often with decorative elements including one or more of the following: brackets, modillions, dentils, and molding.
[Added 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
DECK
A flat, floored, roofless structure adjoining a building or built as a structural part of it and accessible from the ground.
DEMOLITION
The dismantling, tearing down or razing of a building or structure, in whole or part, including the permanent removal of character-defining elements.
[Amended 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
DEMOLITION BY NEGLECT
The absence of routine maintenance and repair which leads to structural weakness, decay and deterioration in a building or structure to the point where the building or structure meets criteria for condemnation.
DORMER
A roofed structure projecting through the sloping roof of a building and containing a window set vertically in the structure.
[Added 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
ENCLOSURE
The addition of panels, windows, screens or any other material exceeding 42 inches in height above the floor surface on one or more sides of a porch, balcony or deck, but excluding the addition of awnings or retractable or roll-up shades.
[Added 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
ERECTION
Construction, assembling, or installation of a building or structure, or part thereof, on the ground or onto an existing building or structure.
FENCE
A structure constructed of posts with wire or rails or with boards not exceeding 12 inches in width.
[Added 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
HERITAGE CONSERVATION DISTRICT
That geographic area of the City of Lancaster, identified and delineated by City Council, pursuant to Section 8002 of Act 167,[2] as set forth on the Official City of Lancaster Heritage Conservation District Map which shall be located in the office of the Building Official. The provisions of this article shall be applied to all land, buildings, and structures located within the boundaries of the Heritage Conservation District.
HISTORICAL COMMISSION
The official review board appointed by City Council pursuant to Section 8003 of Act 167[3] which is charged with the responsibility to recommend to City Council, following deliberations at public meetings, the approval, approval with conditions or denial of certificates of appropriateness for regulated activities which City Council is required to issue pursuant to this article and Act 167.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION SPECIALIST
A municipal employee or individual retained by the City meeting the professional and educational qualifications of 36 CFR 61, as required by the Certified Local Government Program, and designated as an individual responsible for enforcing compliance with the provisions of this chapter, Articles I and II, and for advising the HARB, Historical Commission and applicants/property owners regarding regulated activities within the Historic District and Heritage Conservation District.
[Amended 4-9-2013 by Ord. No. 1-2013]
LANCASTER HISTORIC DISTRICT
That geographic area of the City of Lancaster created by City of Lancaster Ordinance No. 41-1967, as amended (City of Lancaster Codified Ordinances, Article 155)[4] wherein any and all changes to buildings or structures, or part thereof, visible from a public way are subject to review and approval by City Council.
[Amended 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
LANCASTER NATIONAL REGISTER HISTORIC DISTRICT
That geographic area of the City of Lancaster accepted by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, as a historic district listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
[Amended 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
MAINTENANCE
Work that does not alter the exterior fabric or features of a building or structure and has no material effect on the historical, architectural or cultural significance of a building or structure.
MEETING
Any proceeding before either the Historical Commission or City Council or any committee thereof at which any participant presents information by way of recommendations, testimony, photographs, plans, drawings or otherwise with respect to an application under consideration. Where “Council meeting” is stipulated in the text, this proceeding shall refer to a meeting of the full seven-member City Council, or a quorum thereof. A meeting of a committee of Council shall not be considered as a Council meeting.
[Added 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES
The federal listing, administered by the United States Department of the Interior, of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects significant to American history and culture for their architecture, archaeology, contribution to the broad patterns of history or association with lives of persons significant in the nation's past.
OWNER
Any person, corporation, or institution having a legal or equitable interest in the property; or recorded in the official records of the state, county or municipality as holding title to the property; or otherwise having control of the property, including but not limited to a trustee, a guardian of the estate of any such person, or an executor or administrator of the estate of such person.
[Added 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
PORCH
A covered entrance to a building, often large enough to serve as an outdoor seating or walking space, including a colonnaded portico.
PLOT PLAN
A drawing or map, drawn to scale, showing existing and proposed structures and other improvements.
PRESERVATION
Actions taken to prevent the deterioration, decay or degradation of a structure.
PRINCIPAL STRUCTURE
Building or structure in which has been, is, or will be conducted the principal use or uses of a lot.
PUBLIC STREET
A public right-of-way that has been placed on the Official City (Street) Plan, but excluding public alleys.
REGULATED ACTIVITY
Any activity requiring review and recommendation by the Historical Commission and approval by City Council for the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness in the Heritage Conservation District.
REPAIR
The process of rehabilitation which warrants additional work beyond maintenance. Repair includes, but is not limited to, patching, piecing in, splicing, consolidating or otherwise reinforcing materials.
REPLACEMENT
To install new materials or components in place of existing materials or components, regardless of whether the same material and design or a different material and design is utilized.
RESTORATION
The process of accurately recovering the form and details of a property as it appeared at a specific period of time by means of removal of later work and the replacement of work missing from that period.
ROOF
The flat or sloped covering element of a building. Character-defining roofs include, but are not limited to, gable, gambrel, hipped and mansard roofs.
[Added 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR'S STANDARDS
Federal standards developed by the U.S. Department of the Interior to guide work undertaken on buildings listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Separate standards exist for acquisition, protection, stabilization, preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction.
SETBACK
The distance from a property line of a lot or parcel to the principal or secondary facade of a building or edge of a structure.
STREETSCAPE
The overall view of a public street, including front and side yards visible from a public street, its component elements, and the relationships of building setbacks, rhythms, height, shapes, spacing and textures, that give the public street or neighborhood its distinctive visual character or image.
STRUCTURE
That which is built or constructed, or a portion thereof, excluding paved areas.
[Amended 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
USE
The specific purpose for which a land, structure, building or a unit within a structure or building is arranged, designed, intended, occupied or maintained.
WALL
A structure, not including building walls, intended to mark a boundary, serve as an enclosure, provide a barrier, or hold back earth or other material; excluding fences.
[Added 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 116, Construction Codes, Uniform.
[2]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 8002.
[3]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 8003.
[4]
Editor's Note: See Art. I of this chapter.
A. 
The Heritage Conservation District shall consist of that geographic area of the City of Lancaster coterminous with the geographic area designated as the Lancaster National Register District, but excluding the geographic area included in the Lancaster Historic District.
B. 
Any change to the geographic area listed in the Lancaster National Register District shall result in automatic change to the Heritage Conservation District, effective as of the date of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission's letter of notification regarding such change.
[Amended 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
C. 
Any change to the geographic area of the Lancaster Historic District shall result in an automatic change to the Heritage Conservation District in that any property added to the geographic area of the Lancaster Historic District shall be automatically removed from the geographic area of the Heritage Conservation District, and any property removed from the geographic area of the Lancaster Historic District shall be automatically added to the geographic area of the Heritage Conservation District.
D. 
Regardless of the existence of purported copies of the Official Heritage Conservation District Map which may from time to time be published, the Official Heritage Conservation District Map which shall be located in the office of the Building Official.
A. 
Upon receipt of a certifying resolution from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission referred to in § 155-31 hereof, City Council shall appoint an Historical Commission in accordance with Section 8002 of Act 167.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 8002.
B. 
Pursuant to Section 8003 of Act 167,[2] the Historical Commission shall consist of at least seven members, of whom one shall be a registered architect, one shall be a licensed real estate broker, and one shall be a Building Official. The remaining members shall be persons with knowledge of and interest in historic preservation and neighborhood conservation or revitalization. All members of the Historical Commission, with the exception of the registered architect, licensed real estate broker and the Building Official, must own property or reside in the Lancaster National Register Historic District, as defined in Chapter 155, Article II, § 155-20, Definitions and word usage.
[Amended 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005; 4-22-2014 by Ord. No. 2-2014; 1-24-2017 by Ord. No. 01-2017]
[2]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 8003.
C. 
The term of each member shall be three years, or until his or her successor is appointed, except that the terms of the members first appointed pursuant to this article shall be staggered so that no more than three members shall be reappointed or replaced during any one calendar year.
D. 
Any member appointed in his or her capacity as an architect, real estate broker, Building Official or resident of the Heritage Conservation District who ceases to fulfill a requirement of membership shall be automatically removed, and his or her position shall be considered vacant. Such vacancy shall be filled by City Council for the unexpired portion of the term.
E. 
A majority of the appointed members shall constitute a quorum, and action taken at any meeting shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of the members present at the meeting. Except that, if one or more positions are vacant at the time of official action, a quorum shall be no less than three people; and, in the case of an even number of members present because of vacancy or absence, a tie vote shall indicate denial.
F. 
It shall be the duty of each member to publicly announce any conflict of interest, including but not limited to a personal financial interest, in connection with any application or other official action before the Commission. When a conflict of interest has been identified, the member shall not participate in the deliberation or vote on the matter.
G. 
Any member may be removed for misconduct or wrongdoing, unlawful execution of this article or failure to perform his or her responsibilities pursuant to this article or for other just cause by a majority vote of City Council, but not before he or she has been given the opportunity of a hearing before an executive session of City Council to defend himself or herself against any alleged infractions of this article.
A. 
Recommendations regarding certificates of appropriateness. The Historical Commission shall give counsel to City Council regarding the advisability of issuing any certificate of appropriateness which City Council is required to issue pursuant to this article and Section 8003 of Act 167,[1] and shall hold such meetings and render such reports as required by § 155-25 herein. In determining the recommendation to be given to City Council, the Historical Commission shall consider only those matters that are pertinent to the preservation of the historic aspect and nature of the Historic Conservation District, including when relevant:
(1) 
Standards promulgated by the Secretary of the Interior.
(2) 
Historical and/or architectural significance of the building or structure.
(3) 
Appropriateness of exterior architectural features which can be seen only from a public street, including compatibility with the design standards listed in § 155-27D of this article.
(4) 
Effect that the proposed change will have upon the general historical and architectural character of the area.
(5) 
Consistency with the City's Comprehensive Plan.
(6) 
Written report of the Historic Preservation Specialist regarding the appropriateness of proposed regulated activity.
(7) 
Applicant's justification for the proposed regulated activity, including financial feasibility and cost estimates.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 8003.
B. 
Bylaws. The Historical Commission shall adopt rules and regulations for its own organization and procedure, provided that they are consistent with the laws of the commonwealth and provisions of this article.
C. 
Annual reports. The Commission shall make an annual report to City Council and to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, summarizing actions and accomplishments for the previous calendar year.
D. 
Compensation. Commission members shall serve without compensation; however, costs for training or local travel shall be compensated by the City if prior approval has been granted.
E. 
Meetings. The Historical Commission shall meet publicly at regularly scheduled meetings, and, if determined necessary, at special meetings, advertised in accordance with the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, Act of October 15, 1998, P.L. 729, 65 Pa.C.S.A. § 701 et seq.
A. 
Permits and certificate required. No person shall commence any regulated activity within the Historic Conservation District, without first obtaining a certificate of appropriateness with respect thereto from City Council.
B. 
Duty of Building Official. The Building Official, or such other person or agency charged by City Council with the issuance of building permits, shall not issue a building permit for any regulated activity until City Council has issued a certificate of appropriateness.
C. 
The application for a certificate of appropriateness for any regulated activity shall be filed with the Building Official by the owner, equitable owner or authorized agent. The application shall be accompanied by information required in § 155-27A, Demolition, Subsection A(2) and/or in § 155-27B, New Construction, Subsection B(2) in order to be accepted by the Building Official as a complete application. Following the application submission, the Historic Preservation Specialist shall review the application, inspect the subject property, interview the applicant, if necessary, and prepare a written report for the Historical Commission evaluating the appropriateness of the proposed regulated activity. A copy of the written report shall be provided to the applicant prior to the Historical Commission meeting.
[Amended 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
[Amended 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
A. 
Public meeting. At the time the application is accepted as complete, the applicant shall be informed in writing of the time and place of the Historical Commission meeting at which his or her or its application will be considered. The applicant shall be advised to appear before the Historical Commission to explain the application. The recommendation of the Historical Commission shall be rendered within 75 days of the meeting at which the application is first considered, unless the applicant agrees, in writing, to grant the Commission additional time to render a decision. Failure of the Historical Commission to make a recommendation within this seventy-five-day period or any extension thereof shall be considered a recommendation of unconditional approval.
B. 
Public notification. Public notification is required for all applications. The applicant shall be provided with a placard announcing the date of the Historical Commission meeting when the application will be considered. The applicant shall post the property where the regulated activity is to occur with the placard provided by the City at least 10 days prior to the Historical Commission meeting. Failure on the part of the applicant to post the placard in a location easily seen by the public shall be grounds for postponing consideration of the application. Continuing failure on the part of the applicant to post the property shall be grounds for recommending against approval of the application within the Commission’s seventy-five-day review period, which shall begin to run on the meeting date set forth on the placard. In addition, the City shall provide the Lancaster Newspapers, Inc., with the agenda of each Historical Commission meeting for publication prior to the Historical Commission meeting.
C. 
Recommendation to City Council. At the time of its decision on the application, the Historical Commission shall orally advise the applicant of its recommendation and shall also advise the applicant of the time and place of the meeting of City Council when the application will be considered. The Historical Commission, following the meeting or meetings provided for in Subsection A, shall submit to City Council, in writing, its recommendation concerning the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness. A copy of the recommendation and the time and place of the Council meeting shall be sent to the applicant at the time the recommendation is forwarded to City Council. The Commission shall recommend one of the following:
(1) 
The issuance of a certificate of appropriateness authorizing the issuance of a building permit for the proposed regulated activity.
(2) 
The issuance of a certificate of appropriateness subject to specified changes and conditions not included in the application as submitted, but which, in the opinion of the Historical Commission, would protect the distinctive historic character of the building, structure or area which is proposed to be changed.
(3) 
The denial of the application for a certificate of appropriateness with respect to the proposed regulated activity.
D. 
Acceptance of conditions. In the event that the recommendation for a certificate of appropriateness is subject to conditions and the applicant indicates his or her or its refusal to accept all conditions, the Historical Commission shall be deemed to have recommended against the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness. If the applicant accepts all of the said conditions, the recommendation of conditional approval shall stand as stated in the recommendation.
E. 
Withholding recommendation of denial. In the event that the Historical Commission recommends against the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness, the Historical Commission shall withhold its written recommendation to City Council if the applicant agrees to appear before the Historical Commission at its next regularly scheduled meeting with a revised application for its consideration. The applicant shall also submit a written extension of the seventy-five-day review period.
[Amended 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
A. 
Deliberations of City Council. The Historic Preservation Specialist shall submit the Historical Commission’s written recommendation, referencing the appropriate standards of the Secretary of the Interior with which the proposed regulated activity complies, to the City Council for consideration. City Council may consider the report of the Historical Commission, any additional presentation by representatives of the Historical Commission, and the presentation of evidence by the applicant at a regularly scheduled meeting. In its discretion, City Council may refer the matter to such City Council committee or committees as it deems appropriate either before or after its first consideration of the application at a Council meeting. The committee or committees to which the matter is referred shall consider the recommendation of the Historical Commission, any additional presentations by the Historical Commission, and evidence by the applicant at a public meeting of the committee. The committee shall make a report or recommendation to the full City Council at its next regularly scheduled meeting. City Council may schedule a presentation of committee reports or recommendations, the presentation of testimony or documents from all interested parties and, if deemed necessary, from the public, at such meeting or meetings as it shall consider appropriate.
B. 
Decision of City Council. City Council shall, within 60 days following the Council’s first consideration of the application at a Council meeting, either:
(1) 
Issue a certificate of appropriateness authorizing a building permit for the proposed regulated activity.
(2) 
 Issue a certificate of appropriateness subject to specified changes and conditions not included in the application as submitted, but which would protect the distinctive historic character of the building, structure or area which is proposed to be changed.
(3) 
Issue a written denial to the applicant, with a copy to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, setting forth the reasons for the denial.
C. 
Notification to applicant. Within 30 days following the decision of City Council, the City shall send written notification to the applicant of the decision of City Council. Failure of the City to so act within the said period shall be deemed to constitute a decision in favor of the applicant and a certificate of appropriateness shall thereupon be issued. In the event that approval is granted subject to conditions, the applicant may, within 15 days after receiving a written copy of the decision, give written notice of his, her or its refusal to accept all of the conditions, in which case City Council shall be deemed to have denied a certificate of appropriateness. In the event the applicant does not, within the said period, notify City Council in writing of his or her or its refusal to accept all of the conditions, the approval, with all conditions, shall stand as granted.
D. 
Legal status of City Council’s decision. Any building permit issued pursuant to a certificate of appropriateness shall be subject to any conditions made part of the certificate of appropriateness issued by City Council. Failure of the applicant to meet all conditions shall subject him or her or it to revocation of the building permit and to all sanctions and penalties as provided for in § 155-30, Notice of violation; violations and penalties, of this article.
A. 
Demolition.
(1) 
Demolition activity impacting the streetscape, including demolition of any character-defining porch, balcony, deck, cornice, dormer, roof, or building wall, shall require the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness by City Council, unless specifically listed as exempt below.
[Amended 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005; 4-22-2014 by Ord. No. 2-2014]
(2) 
Applications for certificates of appropriateness to authorize demolition shall be accompanied by information required by the City or Historical Commission, which may include, but not be limited to, the following:
[Amended 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
(a) 
Name and address of owner.
(b) 
Date of acquisition by current owner.
(c) 
Name and address of equitable owner, if applicable.
(d) 
Current use of property, and, if vacant, number of years vacant and year and description of most recent use.
(e) 
Thirty-five millimeter (required for demolition only) photographs of the building or structure proposed for demolition.
(f) 
Photographic evidence and written description of the deteriorated condition of the building or structure.
(g) 
Reason(s) for the demolition.
(h) 
Explanation why rehabilitation, reuse, plan alteration or stabilization with the intent to market and sell the property is not feasible or desirable, including financial feasibility and a minimum of two current, fair market value cost estimates of alternatives, if appropriate.
(i) 
Proposed future use of the lot or part thereof occupied by the building or structure proposed for demolition.
(j) 
Design of any proposed construction.
(k) 
Timeline for construction and occupancy of proposed future use.
(l) 
Statement on disposition of architectural features/building materials.
(m) 
Any additional information required by the Commission as relevant to its decision.
(3) 
A building permit for the proposed demolition shall not be issued by the Building Official prior to and where applicable:
(a) 
The issuance of a certificate of appropriateness by City Council for any new building or structure.
(b) 
Recording of an approved subdivision or land development plan for the lot where the demolition is proposed.
(c) 
Issuance of any necessary zoning approvals.
B. 
Construction.
[Amended 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005; 4-22-2014 by Ord. No. 2-2014]
(1) 
Construction of buildings or structures, including a porch, porch enclosure, balcony, deck, cornice, dormer, roof, or wall, and including installation of new exterior wall materials over existing building walls or portions thereof, impacting the streetscape shall require a certificate of appropriateness, unless specifically listed as exempt below.
(2) 
Applications for building permits to authorize construction shall be accompanied by information required by the City or Historical Commission, which may include, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) 
Scaled, dimensioned drawings with appropriate notes indicating conformity with the design standards listed below in Subsection D.
(b) 
Colored photographs (any film type permitted) of the lot or structure where the construction is to occur and streetscapes adjacent to and directly across the public street from the proposed construction.
(c) 
Reason(s) for any deviations from design standards listed in Subsection D, including financial feasibility and a minimum of two current, fair market value cost estimates of alternatives, if appropriate.
C. 
Exemptions. The following activities shall be exempt from the provisions of this article:
(1) 
Demolition or construction of any building or structure not visible from a public street, including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) 
Rear accessory buildings or structures.
(b) 
Rear additions.
(c) 
Rear appurtenances.
(2) 
Maintenance, repair or alteration of a building or structure or part thereof.
(3) 
Installation of appurtenances and accessory elements of a decorative or ancillary nature, regardless of visibility from a public street, including but not limited to the following:
(a) 
Storm windows and doors, awnings and shutters.
(b) 
Signs, banners and flags.
(c) 
Downspouts and gutters.
(d) 
Flower boxes, light fixtures and mailboxes.
(e) 
Heating or cooling units, including solar heating fixtures.
(f) 
Fences, walls not exceeding four feet in height, gates, arbors and trellises;
[Amended 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
(g) 
Antennas and satellite dishes.
(h) 
Other ancillary or decorative elements.
(4) 
Demolition of any structure deemed by the Building Official to be in imminent danger of failure or collapse and where the Building Official orders the demolition in order to protect public health, safety and welfare.
[Added 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
D. 
Design standards. The general design, arrangement, texture and material of a new building or structure and the relation of such factors to similar features of buildings or structures in the immediate neighborhood and in the Heritage Conservation District shall be detailed in the application. Consideration shall be given, but not limited to, the following:
(1) 
Size, scale, proportion. New construction shall relate to the dominant proportions, size and scale of buildings of the streetscape.
(2) 
Rhythm and patterns. Design elements of principle facades should reflect neighborhood patterns. Examples include prevalent number of bays; door and window replacement; floor-to-floor and cornice heights; spacing between windows and doors and between windows and cornices or rooflines; and dimensions of the facade's base and cornice. Where the use of the structure prevents maintaining the prevalent rhythms and patterns, incorporating detailing to suggest the same is recommended.
(3) 
Materials and textures. Building materials, textures and treatments shall be compatible with those of surrounding buildings. Where traditional materials, such as brick, wood or stone, are common in the immediate neighborhood, use of these materials on front facades and secondary facades on corner properties is recommended.
(4) 
Architectural details. Use of architectural details reflecting the character-defining features of the streetscape is recommended.
(5) 
Streetscapes. New construction should reflect prevailing setbacks, orientation and physical elements, which define streetscapes.
E. 
The Historical Commission shall consider the proposed regulated activity's consistency with the design standards set forth above in Subsection D when deliberating and counseling City Council regarding the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness.
A. 
All buildings and structures located within the boundaries of the Heritage Conservation District shall be maintained in good repair and kept structurally sound, and reasonably protected against decay and deterioration, as Chapter 223, Property Maintenance.
B. 
Any deteriorated condition of the building or structure resulting from the failure of the owner to maintain the property in good repair, structurally sound and reasonably protected against decay and deterioration shall not be permitted as evidence in support of an application for a certificate of appropriateness for demolition, as set forth in § 155-27A(2) of this article.
[Added 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also redesignated former Subsection B as Subsection C, which follows.
C. 
Any unresolved notice of violation to the property owner shall be considered prima facie evidence of demolition by neglect.
A. 
Recommended denial of a building permit for demolition. When the applicant desires to make a claim of unreasonable economic hardship based upon the recommendation of the Historical Commission to deny a building permit for demolition, the applicant must file with the City Clerk, prior to City Council's consideration of said application, sufficient evidence to prove that the Historical Commission's recommendation will prevent the applicant from obtaining a reasonable return or a reasonable beneficial use from the property. The applicant shall submit to the City Council the information set forth below, which shall include the following when relevant:
(1) 
Name and address of owner of record.
(2) 
Date property was acquired by current owner.
(3) 
Name and address of equitable owner.
(4) 
Purchase price.
(5) 
Current equity in the property of owner of record.
(6) 
Assessed value.
(7) 
Estimated current fair market value of the property.
(8) 
Property expense and income statements for previous two years.
(9) 
Evidence of consideration of alternatives to demolition, including alteration of plans or change of use.
(10) 
Efforts to lease or sell the property during previous 12 months.
(11) 
Estimated future costs of retaining structure and maintaining it in accordance with City codes.
(12) 
Any other information the applicant considers appropriate.
B. 
Recommended denial of a building permit for construction. When the applicant desires to make a claim of unreasonable economic hardship based upon the recommendation of the Historical Commission, the applicant must file with the City Clerk, prior to City Council's consideration of said application, sufficient evidence to prove that the Historical Commission's recommendation will prevent the applicant from obtaining a reasonable return or a reasonable beneficial use from the property. The applicant shall submit to City Council the information set forth below, which shall include the following where relevant:
(1) 
Name and address of owner of record.
(2) 
Date property was acquired by current owner.
(3) 
Name and address of equitable owner.
(4) 
Purchase price.
(5) 
Total net project costs, reflecting any tax reductions through credits, deductions or abatement.
(6) 
Anticipated project income from sale or lease.
(7) 
Maximum feasible cost for proposed project, based on market values, available financing or other acceptable criteria.
(8) 
Evidence of consideration of alternatives to construction plans, including a minimum of two bona fide cost estimates of construction as originally proposed and construction of revised plans meeting design standards.
(9) 
Any other information the applicant considers appropriate.
C. 
City Council may require that an applicant furnish additional information relevant to its determination of unreasonable economic hardship.
D. 
City Council may receive and consider studies, economic analyses and proposals to relieve the owner's economic hardship from other interested parties.
E. 
Should the applicant prove to the satisfaction of City Council that he will suffer an unreasonable economic hardship if a certificate of appropriateness is not issued, and should City Council be unable to develop with appropriate local, statewide and national organizations, foundations, groups or individuals a solution which can relieve the applicant's economic hardship, City Council must approve the application and issue a certificate of appropriateness for the proposed work, subject to any modifications requested by City Council and accepted by the applicant.
[Amended 2-22-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005; 4-9-2013 by Ord. No. 1-2013]
A. 
The Building Official or the historic preservation specialist shall serve a notice of violation on any person in violation of this chapter. The Building Official and the historic preservation specialist shall be authorized to issue a notice to stop all work on a property that is in violation of this chapter.
B. 
Actions that would result in a notice of violation or stop-work order to be issued include:
(1) 
Failure to apply for a certificate of appropriateness through submittal of an application for a building permit and an application for Historical Commission review as required for the alteration, reconstruction, erection or demolition of a building or structure that can be seen from a public right-of-way.
(2) 
Commencement of exterior work prior to completion of a review of the work by the Historical Commission and final action by City Council authorizing issuance of a certificate of appropriateness.
(3) 
Failure to comply with specific conditions related to design and/or material specifications cited in the Historical Commission recommendation to City Council or the certificate of appropriateness issued by City Council.
(4) 
Performing work outside of the scope of the work approved in the certificate of appropriateness.
C. 
Such notice of violation shall indicate all measures required to abate said violation and shall be in addition to, but not in lieu of, the Building Official’s enforcement powers specified in § 155-16.2 of this chapter and any penalties or remedies directed by the Building Official relevant to violations of this chapter and Chapter 116 of the City Code, as amended.
D. 
Violations of this article by any person, property owner, occupant, firm or contractor shall be addressed in the manner set forth in Chapter 116, Construction Codes, Uniform.
Immediately upon the adoption of this article, the City Clerk shall forward a copy thereof to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. This article shall not take effect until:
A. 
The Commission has certified, by resolution, to the historical significance of the City of Lancaster Heritage Conservation District; and
B. 
It has been duly advertised in a newspaper of general circulation in the City of Lancaster, as required by law.