The Historic Preservation Commission consists of nine members which are appointed by the Board of Alderman, each for a three (3) year term. Members may serve no more than two (2) consecutive terms, but are eligible to serve again after having been off the commission for at least two years.
Attendance at regular meetings is required by each commissioner unless notice is given to the chairman and the Commission administrator, preferably 48 hours prior to any meeting. Failure to attend three (3) consecutive meetings without an excused absence is sufficient reason for dismissal. By majority vote, the Commission can recommend to the Board of Aldermen to remove a commissioner for failure to attend regular meetings.
The Commission is responsible for: (1) defining the rules of procedure for how it conducts business; (2) determining the form used for the certificate of appropriateness application; (3) ultimately deciding if an application for certificate of appropriateness is complete; (4) ultimately deciding if the required data necessary to determine the nature of the application has been submitted; (5) reviewing and acting on a certificate of appropriateness application through a quasi-judicial hearing; (6) negotiating with property owners who propose to demolish or relocate contributing properties in a historic district; (7) prevention of demolition by neglect; and (8) following accepted best practices and rules of procedure and conduct for a quasi-judicial hearing.
Individual Commission members are responsible for: (1) being knowledgeable of all relevant state statutes and city ordinances related to preservation, historic guidelines, and HPC policies and rules of procedure; (2) reviewing each certificate of appropriateness application and relevant historic guideline sections before a hearing; (3) being familiar with any design reviews that have taken place for the application; and (4) disclosing any potential conflicts of interest or ex parte communication before a public hearing.
The Commission meets for design review at 5:30 p.m. and holds regular, official meetings at 5:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month, unless is the date is changed due to an observed holiday. The design review meetings are held in the Development Services Department conference room located at 303 First Street. The regular meetings are held in the second floor courtroom in City Hall.
- Review and approve all exterior changes to contributing historic structures in addition to infill development in the locally designated historic districts.
- Review and approve demolition of contributing structures and subsequent site redevelopment.
- Monitor demolition by neglect of contributing historic structures in the locally designated historic districts and take actions to prevent demolition by neglect.