Certificate of Appropriateness

Requirement for a Certificate of Appropriateness

A certificate of appropriateness from the board shall be required before a person may undertake the following actions affecting a landmark or a property in a historic district:

  • Alteration of the exterior part of a building or structure that is visible to the public
  • New Construction
  • Demolition
  • Relocation

Application for Certificate of Appropriateness.

Application to the Board

The building inspector and/or the codes enforcement officer shall refer to the board any person who proposes to undertake an exterior alteration visible to the public, new construction, a demolition or a relocation affecting a landmark or a property in a historic district. The person shall supply the board with the information it requests in order to reach a decision on his application for a certificate of appropriateness. The applicant shall provide, where applicable, drawings of the proposed work, photographs of the existing building or site and adjacent properties, and information about the building materials to be used.

Stop-Work Order; Injunction

In the event work is being performed without the required certificate of appropriateness, the board shall direct the building inspector to issue a stop-work order. All work shall cease on the designated property. No additional work shall be undertaken as long as such stop-work order shall continue in effect. The board shall meet with the owner or his agent to resolve the problem. The city attorney may seek in circuit court an injunction and any other appropriate relief in order that the intent of this ordinance shall be carried out. The procedures authorized in this subsection may also be used in the event work is being performed which is not in accordance with the certificate of appropriateness issued by the board.

Action by the Danville Architectural Heritage Board; Notice

  • The board shall hold a public hearing on each application for a certificate of appropriateness within forty-five days after a completed application is received by the board. The board shall make a decision on the application within forty-five days after the receipt of a completed application; provided that the board may extend the time for decision an additional sixty days when the application is for demolition or new construction. The board shall approve or disapprove each application, and it shall give its reasons for its decision using the criteria contained in this section and in its guidelines. The board may suggest modifications to an application and where the suggested modifications are agreed upon by the owner or his agent, the board may then approve a certificate of appropriateness providing for revisions in the plans submitted. If the board fails to decide on an application within the specified time period, the application shall be deemed approved.
  • Applicants shall be given notice of the public hearings and meetings relating to their application and shall be informed of the board's decision. When an application has been approved, the applicant shall be given a certificate of appropriateness. Advertised notice of the public hearing shall be given, including conspicuous posting on the property for five consecutive days immediately prior to the hearing.

5. Criteria in deciding on applications. In making a decision on an application, the board shall use its guidelines. The board shall consider:

  • The effect of the proposed work on the landmark or the property in the historic district upon which such work is to be done; and
  • The relationship between such work and other adjacent or nearby buildings and property. In evaluating the effect and the relationship, the board shall consider historical and architectural significance, architectural style, design, texture, materials, and color. The certificate from the board shall not relieve the applicant from complying with the requirements of other state and local laws and regulations.

6. Consultation with applicants. Before an applicant prepares his plans, he may bring a tentative proposal to the board for its comments. The board shall be aware of the importance of finding a way to meet the current needs of the applicant. The board shall also recognize the importance of approving plans that will be reasonable for the applicant to carry out.

7. Routine alterations; ordinary maintenance and repairs.

  • The board may prepare a list of routine alterations that may receive immediate approval without a public hearing when an applicant complies with the written guidelines of the board. At each meeting, the board shall be informed of the certificates of appropriateness that have been issued under this provision. The board shall not regulate the color of paint used on designated property, but it may prepare and distribute the material on paint colors appropriate for different types and styles of buildings.
  • Ordinary maintenance and repairs may be undertaken without a certificate of appropriateness provided this work on a landmark or a property in a historic district does not change its exterior appearance in any way that is visible to the public. Every person in charge of a landmark or a property in a historic district shall keep in good repair:
  • All of the exterior portions of such buildings or structures; and
  • All interior proportions thereof which, if not so maintained, may cause such buildings or structures to deteriorate or to become damaged or otherwise to fall into a state of disrepair. The purpose of this provision is to prevent a person from forcing the demolition of his building by neglecting it and by permitting damage to the building because of weather or vandalism.
  • No provision in this article shall be interpreted to require an owner or tenant to undertake an alteration or to restore his building to its original appearance. The provisions of this section shall be in addition to the provisions of the Kentucky Building Code requiring buildings and structures to be kept in good repair.

8. Meetings with owners about the condition of buildings. The board shall request a meeting with a property owner when his landmark or his building in a historic district is in poor repair, and the board shall discuss with the owner ways to improve the condition of his property. After this step, the board may request the building inspector to take action to require correction of defects in any building or structure designated under this article so that such building or structure shall be preserved in accordance with the purposes of this article. Action taken by the city may include boarding up the doors, windows, and other parts of the building and additional steps to stabilize walls, roofs, and other parts of the building or structure.

Emergency situations. In any case, where the building inspector determines that there are emergency conditions dangerous to life, health, or property affecting a landmark or a property in a historic district, he may order the remedying of these conditions without the approval of the board. When it is possible, he shall consult with the chairman or vice-chairman of the board about the action being taken. If consultation is not possible, the city shall notify the board of the action taken after the completion of the work.

10. Demolition of a landmark or a building or structure in a historic district.

  • When an applicant wishes to demolish a landmark or a building or structure in a historic district, the board shall negotiate with the applicant to see if an alternative to demolition can be found. The board may ask interested individuals and organizations for assistance in seeking an alternative to demolition and in obtaining estimates on rehabilitation costs for the threatened building. After its public hearing, the board may decide that a building or structure in a historic district may be demolished because it does not contribute to the historic district.
  • On all other demolition applications, the board shall study the question of economic hardship for the applicant and shall determine whether the landmark or the property in the historic district can be put to reasonable beneficial use without the approval of the demolition application. In the case of an income-producing building, the board shall also determine whether the applicant can obtain a reasonable return from his building. The board may ask applicants for additional information to be used in making these determinations. If economic hardship or the lack of a reasonable return is not proved, the board shall deny the demolition application unless the board finds grounds to grant the demolition application under the points contained in subsection 5.

11. Moving a landmark or a building or structure in a historic district. When an applicant wishes to move a landmark or a building or structure in a historic district or when an applicant wishes to move a building or structure to a lot containing a landmark or to a property in a historic district, the board shall consider:

  1. the contribution the building or structure makes to its present setting
  2. whether there are definite plans for the site to be vacated
  3. whether the building or structure can be moved without significant damage to its physical integrity
  4. the compatibility of the building or structure to its proposed site and adjacent properties. 

These considerations shall be in addition to the points contained in subsection 5.

12. Length of validity of certificate of appropriateness. A certificate of appropriateness shall remain valid for one year after it is issued. Work is required to start before the end of the one-year period. If actual work is not commenced within one year, the certificate shall expire on the one-year anniversary of issuance. Actual work is hereby defined to include the placing of construction materials in a permanent position and fastened in a permanent manner. Where excavation or demolition is required preparatory to rebuilding, such excavation or demolition shall be deemed to be actual work provided that it shall be carried out diligently.

13. Appeal of the board's decision. The applicant shall have an appeal to the board of commissioners of the City of Danville from a decision of the board of architectural review on an application for a certificate of appropriateness. An appeal shall be taken within thirty days of the action of the board