The HA Historic Area Overlay Zone is intended to protect, enhance and aid in the perpetuation of especially noteworthy examples or elements of Frederick County's cultural, social, economic, religious, political, agricultural, military, industrial or architectural history in order to:
Foster civic pride and an appreciation for historic values.
Maintain and improve property values by providing incentives for upkeep and rehabilitation.
Protect and enhance the County's attractiveness to tourists and visitors.
Provide for the education and general welfare of the people of the County.
Encourage nomination of qualified historic properties to the state and national registers.
HA Zones may be created by amending the Zoning Chapter as provided for in Article I of this chapter. Following a public hearing, the Historic Resources Advisory Board (HRAB) may initiate a proposal to the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors for amendments, including the establishment of HA Zones and the revision of existing HA Zones. A proposal for such amendment(s) may also be submitted by residents of an area that wish it to be designated as an historic area.
The HRAB or applicant shall submit a report to support the proposed amendment. The report shall suggest the historic boundaries as well as describe the historic and/or architectural significance of the buildings, structures or sites to be protected, current planning affecting the area, present development trends and conditions in the area and the public objectives for preservation.
A public hearing shall be held by the Board of Supervisors prior to adoption of a proposed zone. Notice shall be sent to all property owners within the boundaries of the proposed zone, indicating the time and place of the public hearing. The notice shall also state that residents may express their opposition to the proposed district in writing. The Board of Supervisors shall alter the boundaries of the proposed zone to exclude those property owners expressing opposition.
Any area to be designated as an HA Zone shall in fact include landmarks, buildings, structures or sites determined to be of historical and/or architectural significance. All stated recommendations of the HRAB which supplement or modify the general regulations of this Part 703 may be adopted by the Board of Supervisors and applied to the zone created.
At the time an overlay zone is established, the Board of Supervisors may create an additional position and appoint a member to the HRAB. The member appointed shall be the owner of property within the newly established zone and shall serve a term of two years.
The significance of an historic area shall be based on cultural, architectural and historical factors and shall be documented in a written report, which shall include a discussion of the following:
Presence of distinguishing characteristics of a recognized style.
Significance of architectural design.
Scale and/or interrelationship of structures and/or environmental features.
Significant patterns of development.
Quality of workmanship.
Amount of surviving original material.
Original location and/or use.
Remaining outbuildings or dependencies.
Surrounding environment, gardens, landscaping and walks.
Overall aesthetic quality.
Original integrity of the structure and its details.
A description of existing structures and uses likely to have an adverse effect on the character of the district, including those near and visually related to the district, with maps, photographs and other data indicating the reasons for such an effect.
A list of structures within the zone which notes which structures are contributing and which are not. Surviving building types and structures not historic in themselves but adding to the character of an historic area need to be looked at as potentially deserving preservation.
An analysis of lands not occupied by structures, including lands near and visually related to the district. For public lands, ownership, use and location shall be indicated. For private lands, assessed valuation shall be added as well as existing zoning and planned land use.
Recommendations concerning supplemental regulations to be applied to the historic area under consideration for the purpose of preventing changes which are incompatible with the buildings, structures or sites to be preserved. Such regulations may include permitted and prohibited principal and accessory uses and structures, minimum lot and yard requirements, maximum lot coverage by all buildings, maximum height of structures, off-street parking and loading requirements, control of signs and exterior illumination and the control of significant exterior alterations to existing buildings.
Within the Historic Area Overlay Zone, these regulations shall apply:
New construction, reconstruction and significant exterior alterations. No building or structure, including signs, shall be erected, reconstructed or substantially altered in exterior appearance unless the HRAB approves of the proposed activity's compatibility with the historic, cultural and/or architectural aspects of the zone and issues a certificate of appropriateness. All requests for construction, reconstruction and significant exterior alterations presented to the HRAB shall be in conformance with § 165-703.05, Guidelines for new construction and alterations.
Matters to be considered in passing upon the appropriateness of construction, reconstruction or significant exterior alteration of buildings or structures by the HRAB. The HRAB shall not consider interior alterations and shall only impose restrictions for the purpose of preventing development incompatible with the historic aspects of the area.
The HRAB shall consider the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and the following in evaluating the appropriateness of architectural features:
The extent to which the proposed action will affect the overall character and continuity of the area.
Whether elements of the general design, such as scale, height and proportion of the proposed work, are visually compatible with the surrounding area.
Whether the texture and materials proposed are compatible with existing structures in the area.
Demolition. No contributing building or structure within any HA Zone shall be demolished or removed, until a certificate of appropriateness is issued by the HRAB. The demolition or removal of a noncontributing structure may be authorized by the Zoning Administrator.
Matters to be considered in determining whether to grant a permit for razing or demolition. The HRAB shall consider any and all of the following criteria:
Is the historic resource of such architectural, cultural, or historical interest that its removal would be detrimental to the public interest?
Could the building only be reproduced at great expense or difficulty due to its unique or unusual texture, material or design?
Would demolition of the structure result in the loss of a significant historic place or resource in Frederick County?
Offer for sale. The owner of a building, structure or site in a historic district shall, by right, be entitled to demolish the same, provided that:
The property owner has applied for a demolition permit.
The property owner has made a bona fide offer to sell the structure and land on which it is located to an individual or group which makes reasonable assurances that it will preserve the landmark. The property shall be offered at a price reasonably related to its fair market value as determined by an independent appraisal for the period established by the schedule below:
Hazardous buildings or structures can be demolished without consideration by HRAB with written approval of the Zoning Administrator, stating the conditions which justify the demolition.
Moving or relocation. No landmark, building or structure within a district shall be removed or relocated if the move would be detrimental to the public interest or the historic integrity of the structure unless approved by the HRAB.
Uses permitted. Within the Historic Area Overlay Zone, general regulations and permitted uses shall be the same as provided within the respective underlying zoning districts except where such regulations are modified or amended by recommendation of the HRAB and adoption of the Board of Supervisors.
Exceptions. Where the strict interpretation of these regulations creates an undue hardship, the HRAB may make recommendations for reasonable exemptive relief.
New construction should speak of the historical era within the particular HA Overlay Zone and should not seek to replicate or reproduce existing features but complement the existing historic architecture and character. Franchise architecture should be avoided in HA Overlay Zones. All new construction should protect and preserve significant archaeological resources. The HRAB may use reasonable discretion in determining an applicant's degree of compliance, as long as a proposed design is consistent with the purpose and intent of the HA Zone.
New construction should maintain a height and scale which is compatible with adjacent buildings and other existing structures in the historic area.
Items such as mechanical equipment, meters, transformers, HVAC equipment and dumpsters should be visually screened from public view.
Freestanding signage shall conform to the requirements of § 165-201.06. Wall-mounted signs shall be limited to 20 feet in height above grade and only one building-mounted sign not to exceed 50 square feet shall be permitted per building face.
Parking areas should be designed to maintain the integrity of an area's historic nature by minimizing the dominance of the automobile and reducing the visual impact of parking areas. Parking areas should be placed as to not de-emphasize the main structures in the HA Overlay Zone. Parking areas within an HA Zone shall conform to the parking space and landscaping requirements of § 165-202.01 but shall not be subject to the surface materials and curbs and gutters requirements unless necessary for erosion and sediment control or stormwater management purposes. Parking areas within HA Zones shall be permitted to utilize brick, pavers, reinforced gravel systems or similar materials so long as a dust-free environment is maintained. Parking surfaces comprised solely of unfortified grass areas are not acceptable.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also renumbered former § 165-703.05, Administratioon, as § 165-703.06.
The Zoning Administrator. The Zoning Administrator shall not authorize a permit for any erection, reconstruction, significant exterior alteration, demolition or razing of a building, structure or site in the HA Historic Area Overlay Zone until the same has been approved and a certificate of appropriateness issued by the HRAB, following the procedures set forth below.
Upon receipt of an application for such a permit in the Historic Area Overlay Zone, the Zoning Administrator shall follow the procedures below:
Materials to be submitted for review. Twelve copies of all materials prepared in relation to the application shall be submitted by the applicant. The Zoning Administrator or the HRAB may require submission of any or all of the following: architectural plans, site plans, landscaping plans, design for proposed signs with appropriate detail as to character, proposed exterior lighting arrangements, elevations of all portions of structure with important relationships to public view (with indications as to visual construction materials, design of doors and windows and relationships to adjoining structures) and such other exhibits and reports as are necessary for these determinations.
Fees. The Board of Supervisors shall establish a schedule of fees for the submission and review of an application for a certificate of appropriateness.
Other approvals required. In any case in which an applicant's proposal also requires the approval of the Board of Zoning Appeals, approval by the Board of Zoning Appeals shall be obtained prior to action by the HRAB.
Action of the Historic Resources Advisory Board.
The HRAB shall return, within 60 days after submission of the completed application, its decision concerning granting a certificate of appropriateness for the erection, reconstruction, significant exterior alteration, restoration, razing or demolition or relocation of all or part of any building within the HA Zone. The HRAB shall apply the following criteria for its evaluation of any application:
Risk of substantial alteration of the exterior features of a historic resource.
Compatibility in character and nature with the historic, architectural or cultural features of the historic overlay district.
Exterior architectural features, including all signs.
General design, scale and arrangement.
Texture and material.
The relationship of the size, design and siting of any new or reconstructed structure to the landscape of the district.
If the HRAB grants a certificate of appropriateness, it shall authorize the Zoning Administrator to issue a permit for the work specified in the application. If the HRAB disapproves the application, the reasons shall be stated in writing and forwarded to the applicant, and the Zoning Administrator shall disapprove the application for the required permit. The disapproval shall indicate what changes in the plans and specifications would enable the proposal to meet the conditions for protecting and preserving the historical character of the HA Zone. If the applicant determines that he will make the suggested changes, he shall so advise the HRAB in writing, which shall act accordingly.
In the case of disapproval, the application shall not be resubmitted for consideration until 12 months have elapsed from the date of disapproval unless the indicated changes in plans and specifications have been incorporated into the reapplication. The applicant may appeal the disapproval to the Board of Supervisors.