The Historic Preservation Commission was established by the City Council by authority of Chapter 160A, Article 19, Part 3B of the North Carolina General Statutes. The Commission consists of nine members appointed by the City Council. The commission serves without monetary compensation. In establishing the commission and making appointments to it, the City Council may seek the advice of such state or local historical agencies, societies, or organizations as it may deem appropriate.
Qualifications of Members
All members of the commission must be residents of the territory subject to the zoning jurisdiction of the City, and a majority of the members shall have demonstrated special interest, experience or education in history or architecture.
Members of the commission serve overlapping terms of three years.
Attendance. Any member of the commission who misses more than three consecutive regular meetings or more than one-half the regular meetings in a calendar year will lose his or her status as a member of the commission and will be replaced or reappointed by the City Council pursuant to subsection a. of this section. Absence due to sickness, death in the family or other emergencies of like nature will be recognized as approved absences and will not affect the member's status on the commission, except that in the event of a long illness or any other such cause for prolonged absence, the member will be replaced.
Regular meetings of the commission are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. at the Operations Center located at 305 Williams Street, Hendersonville, NC. If needed, the Design Review Committee meets the first Wednesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. All meetings of the commission are open to the public.
Rules of procedure; annual report
The Commission has adopted rules of procedure for the conduct of its business, and an annual report is prepared and submitted by March 1 of each year to the Planning Board and the City Council. The report includes a comprehensive and detailed review of the activities, problems and actions of the commission as well as any budget requests or recommendations. The commission keeps a record of its members' attendance and of its resolutions, findings, and recommendations, which is a public record.
The commission is authorized and empowered to undertake such actions reasonably necessary to the discharge and conduct of its duties and responsibilities as outlined in this chapter and Part 3B, Article 19 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes, including but not limited to the following:
Undertake an inventory of properties of historical, architectural and/or archeological significance.
Recommend to the City Council buildings, structures, sites, areas or objects within its zoning jurisdiction to be designated by ordinance as historic districts or landmarks.
Acquire by any lawful means the fee or any lesser included interest to any such historic properties, to hold, manage, preserve, restore and improve the same, and to exchange or dispose of the same by public or private sale, lease or otherwise, subject to covenants or other legally binding restrictions which will secure appropriate rights of public access and promote the preservation of the property.
Restore, preserve and operate such historic properties.
Recommend to the City Council that designation of any building, structure, site, area or object as a historic property be revoked or removed.
Conduct an educational program with respect to historic properties within its jurisdiction.
Cooperate with the state, federal and local governments in pursuance of the purposes of this chapter. The City Council, or the commission, when authorized by the City Council, may contract with the state or the United States of America or any agency of either, or with any other organization, provided the terms are not inconsistent with state or federal law.
Enter, solely in performance of its official duties and only with the express consent of the owner or occupant, upon private lands for examination or survey thereof.
Responsibilities and advisory functions. The Commission has the following additional responsibilities and advisory functions:
Prepare and recommend the official adoption of a preservation element as part of the municipality's comprehensive plan.
Review and act upon proposals for alterations, demolitions, or new construction within historic districts, or for the alteration or demolition of designated landmarks, pursuant to this chapter.
Negotiate at any time with the owner of a building, structure, site area, or object for its acquisition or its preservation when such action is reasonably necessary or appropriate.
Accept funds granted to the commission for preservation purposes from private individuals and organizations.
Adopt by rule design guidelines whose purpose is to insure, insofar as possible, that changes in designated historic properties shall be in harmony with the reasons for their designation.
Adopt rules of procedure for the conduct of its business.
Receipt and expenditure of funds
The Commission, within the limits of funds appropriated for its use, may expend funds for the operation of the commission affairs and for the acquisition, restoration, preservation, operation and management of historic buildings, structures, sites, areas or objects designated as historic properties, or of land on which historic buildings or structures are located or to which they may be removed.
Staff and technical services
The Commission may recommend to the City Council suitable arrangements for the procurement or provision of staff or technical services to the commission.