Modify, Demo, Relocate Landmarks
If a historically landmarked structure is to be modified with new construction or repair, demolished, or relocated, the changes are to be done in a historically appropriate manner that maintains the character, integrity, and safety of the structure.
Certificate of Appropriateness
Decisions about modifications, demolitions, and relocations are made in the process to seek a 'Certificate of Appropriateness'. Certain criteria must first be met for repairs and modifications, relocation, and demolition.
In reaching all decisions concerning applications for Certificates of Appropriateness of repairs and modifications, the Erie Historic Preservation Advisory Board and the Board of Trustees apply the following criteria:
- The effect on the general historic and architectural character of the structure and property;
- The architectural style, arrangement, texture, and material used in the existing and proposed structures and their relation to and compatibility with other structures;
- The size of the structure, its setbacks, location, and the appropriateness thereof when compared to existing structures and the site;
- The compatibility of accessory structures and fences with the main structure on the site, and other structures;
- The effects of the proposed work in creating, destroying, or otherwise impacting the exterior architectural features of the structure upon which such work is done;
- The condition of existing improvements and whether they are a hazard to public health and safety;
- The effects of the proposed work on the protection, enhancement, perpetuation of the use of the property; and,
- Compliance with the United States Secretary of the Inferior's "Standards for Rehabilitation".
In reaching all decisions concerning applications for Certificates of Appropriateness of relocating a structure, the Erie Historic Preservation Advisory Board and the Board of Trustees will apply the following criteria:
Concerning the original site of the structure:
- Documentation showing the structure cannot be rehabilitated or reused on its original site to provide for any reasonable beneficial use of the property;
- The contribution the structure makes in its present setting;
- Whether plans are specifically defined for the site to be vacated and have been approved by the Town Administrator;
- If the structure can be moved and re-sited without significant damage to its physical integrity, and the applicant can show the relocation activity is the best preservation method for the character and integrity of the structure; and,
- Whether a structural report submitted by a licensed structural engineer adequately demonstrates the soundness of the structure proposed for the relocation.
Concerning the proposed new location of the structure:
- Whether the building or structure is compatible with its proposed site and adjacent properties, and if the receiving site is compatible in nature with the structure or structures proposed to be moved;
- The structure' architectural integrity and its consistency with the character of the neighborhood;
- Whether the relocation of the structure would diminish the integrity or character of the neighborhood of the receiving site; and,
- If a relocation plan has been submitted and approved by the Town Administrator to ensure the safe relocation, preservation, and repair of the structure, site preparation, and infrastructure connections as provided in applicable codes of the town.
The Town may require that applicants post a performance bond for the purpose of ensuring that the relocated structure is re-established on its new site according to Town codes.
In reaching all decisions concerning applications for Certificates of Appropriateness for partial or total demolition, the Erie Historic Preservation Advisory Board and the Board of Trustees will apply the following criteria:
- The structure proposed for demolition is not structurally sound despite evidence of the owner's efforts to maintain the structure;
- The structure cannot be rehabilitated or reused on-site to provide beneficial use of the property;
- The structure cannot be practically moved to another site in the town; and,
- The applicant demonstrates that the proposal mitigates to the greatest extent possible that:
- Any impacts that occur to the visual character of the neighborhood where demolition is proposed to occur;
- Any impact on the historic importance of the structure or structures located on the property and adjacent properties; and,
- Any impact on the architectural integrity of the structure and structures located on the property and adjacent properties.
- The partial demolition is required for the renovation, restoration, or rehabilitation of the structure; and,
- The applicant has mitigated, to the greatest extent possible, and at the applicant's own cost:
- Impacts on the historic importance of the structure or structures located on the property;
- Impacts on the architectural integrity of the structure or structures located on the property.
Upon reviewing the criteria above for a Certificate of Appropriateness, an applicant is invited to complete the online, fillable Application for a Certificate of Appropriateness.
The Erie Historic Preservation Advisory Board (EHPAB) reviews the applications within 60 days and after a 30-day review timeframe, the Advisory Board issues a recommendation to the Board of Trustees to approve, modify and approve, or disapprove the application.
Next, the Board of Trustees reviews the recommendation by EHPAB and the application for a Certificate of Appropriateness within 60 days of receipt. Within 30 days of ending its review, the Board of Trustees determines if the application is approved or denied.
Upon approval by the Board of Trustees, the Town issues the Certificate of Appropriateness. If the Board of Trustees denies the application, then no person may submit a new application for a Certificate of Appropriateness that is the same or substantially the same as the denied application for a period of one year after the date of denial.
- If the Board of Trustees denies an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness, the owner of the landmarked structure may request a hardship exemption. See below for further details.
- The EHPAB reserves the right to extend its review period by up to 90 days in cases of moving or demolishing historic structures if the original application does not meet certain criteria.
- The Board of Trustees, when approving an application, may set a time limit in which the owner must apply for a building permit that is compatible with the Certificate of Appropriateness.
If the Board of Trustees denies an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness, the owner of the landmarked structure may request an exemption for economic hardship or a health and safety hardship. The owner may request an exemption based on the above criteria by applying to the Board of Trustees, submitting documentation of the reasons. The Board of Trustees will review and make decisions using the same process as for the review of original applications for Certificates of Appropriateness. No consideration by the Erie Historic Preservation Advisory Board is necessary.
Economic Hardship: The exemption can be granted if the owner can demonstrate that they are unable to obtain a reasonable return on investment.
Health and Safety Hardship: The exemption can be granted if the owner can demonstrate that applying the criteria for appropriateness would cause a situation that would be substantially inadequate to meet the owner's needs because of health or safety issues that were not created by action or inaction of the owner.