17.32.070 – Historic district designation procedures

  1. The Historic Preservation Commission shall conduct a survey, or surveys, to identify potential historic districts within the corporate limits of the City of St. Charles. Such surveys shall identify buildings, structures and sites having architectural or historic significance, as well as buildings, structures and sites which contribute to the historic or architectural significance of the area as a whole. Based on the outcomes of those surveys, the Historic Preservation Commission may nominate an area for designation as an historic district or districts, and may recommend additions to or deletions from any existing historic district. Nominations may also be made by any property owner in St. Charles; such nominations must be accompanied by a petition supporting the nomination signed by the owners of record of at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the properties within the proposed district.
  2. Within thirty (30) days of receiving or initiating a nomination, the Historic Preservation Commission shall schedule a public hearing to consider the eligibility of an area for designation as an historic district.
    1. Notice of the time and place of the public hearing shall be provided by the Director of Community Development not more than thirty (30) days, or less than fifteen (15) days, before such hearing by mail to all owners of property within the proposed historic district and by publication in one (1) or more newspapers published in the City.
    2. At the hearing, the Historic Preservation Commission will take testimony presented by the nominator, property owners and any other interested parties who wish to comment on the application in relation to the criteria for designation as an historic district. The nominator shall be responsible to make the case for designation and supply such supporting evidence of eligibility as can be made available.
  3. The Historic Preservation Commission shall evaluate the proposed district for its eligibility as an historic district based on its overall historic and/or architectural significance, and the extent to which it meets the following criteria:
    1. The area contains one (1) or more buildings, structures or sites meeting the criteria for landmark designation, and may also include other buildings, structures or sites which, although they may not qualify for individual landmark designation, contribute to the overall visual character of the area and to its architectural or historic significance.
    2. The area is historically, economically or culturally significant to the development of St. Charles.
    3. The area has sufficient integrity to convey the sense of a particular period in the history of the community.
  4. Within thirty (30) days after the conclusion of the public hearing, the Historic Preservation Commission shall make a recommendation regarding the proposed historic district designation. The Commission’s determination shall be made by resolution, which shall include its findings and reasoning. The Director of Community Development shall forward a copy of the resolution to the applicant and the City Council.

    If a petition signed by at least 51% of the electors residing within the proposed historic district and by at least 51% of the owners of record of land included within the proposed historic district is filed with the City Clerk within 60 days following the final adjournment of the public hearing, the historic district shall not be created or enlarged except by a favorable vote of 2/3 of the aldermen then holding office.

  5. After the Commission makes a recommendation regarding designation as an historic district, and before the City Council approves or disapproves the nomination application, no permit shall be issued for alteration, construction, removal or demolition of any building within the proposed historic district unless a Certificate of Appropriateness is issued. However, if the City Council does not approve or disapprove the nomination application within sixty (60) days of the Commission’s recommendation, a Certificate of Appropriateness shall not be required after expiration of this sixty (60) day period.
  6. Historic districts, and additions or modifications to their boundaries, shall be made by ordinance, which shall include the legal description of the area to be included within the historic district.  Historic district boundaries shall be shown on the official St. Charles Zoning Map.
    (Ord. 2010-Z-4 § 2.)
  7. Historic district designation may be rescinded by the same procedures and according to the same criteria set forth herein for historic district designation. No nomination application relating to the same property will be entertained by the Historic Preservation Commission for six (6) months following City Council disapproval.