Breaking News Amplifier

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Certificate of Appropriateness Public Hearing in Marshfield

Marshfield News-Herald report:

Certificates of Appropriateness
The City of Marshfield Plan Commission will be holding a public meeting at 7:00 pm, Tuesday, March 15, 2011, Council Chambers, Lower Level, City Hall Plaza, to discuss the Certificates of Appropriateness requirements. The way the ordinance is currently written (Sec. 18-135 of the Marshfield Municipal Code), property owners within a historic district are not permitted to reconstruct, move or make any alteration of all or any exterior portion of a historic structure, site, or a property within a historic district unless the Historic Preservation Committee and the Plan Commission approve of such work. Upon approval of the Plan Commission, a Certificate of Appropriateness is issued by the Building Inspector.
Changes to the Certificates of Appropriateness (COA) requirement are being made to simplify the application and review process. Discussion of the proposed COA requirement changes will occur at the scheduled meeting date. Historic District property owners are encouraged to attend. Citizen input and involvement is valued greatly.
For more information please contact Josh Miller, Planner/Zoning Administrator by phone at (715) 486-2075, or by email at

Summary of an Ordinance Creating a Historic Preservation Commission for a Municipality

This information is from


To recognize, preserve and enhance areas, 
sites and structures that contribute
 to a municipality’s distinctive environment, 
through the creation of a Historic Preservation Commission 
with preservation responsibilities. 
The ordinance would establish a statutory commission 
which would provide a comprehensive preservation 
program, would coordinate preservation related activities undertaken
 ]by private organizations and municipal 
departments and would develop additional functions
 necessary for a serious local preservation program, 
including coordination with the 
state and federal preservation programs.

The Commission

The commission would consist of seven (or nine) members 
appointed by the mayor and confirmed
 by city council (or village board). A majority of the commissioners 
would be experienced as historians, 
architects, architectural historians, or historic preservationists, 
if possible, and have knowledge of 
historic preservation. 
The commission would be provided with staff by the planning department.

Designations by the Commission

The commission would have the power to designate, for preservation purposes, 
those areas, sites, and structures that are of historical,
prehistorical, architectural or cultural value located in the municipality. 
Designations would be made according to the following categories: 
1. Historic buildings or sites: any physical feature or 
improvement having significance 
to the city, state or nation. This category most often 
would be used for individual buildings, 
as well as archeological sites.
2. Historic district: an area containing physical features 
or improvements which are of 
significance to the city, state or nation and cause 
such area to constitute a distinctive section of the community.

Process of Designation

First, a report or nomination would be prepared that describes
the significance of the building or 
area under consideration. If a historic district is nominated, 
the report describes boundaries and 
the standards and criteria for reviewing subsequent changes. 
A public hearing is held, following 
at least three weeks notice to all affected parties. 
Following the hearing the commission decides 
whether or not to make a designation. Additionally, the city council may or may not be required 
to approve the designation for districts.

Regulatory Functions

The commission would be empowered 
to review proposed changes including requests for building permits. 
The commission would be authorized to 
approve or disapprove, or at least delay,
changes to the physical environment of 
designated buildings and districts. 
Changes to be reviewed by the commission could include: 
new construction, demolition, and 
alteration of exterior architectural features. 
No building permit would be issued for changes to 
designated properties unless the application for permit is accompanied by a 
Certificate of Appropriateness from the commission.

Other Functions of the Commission

The commission would assist with local 
preservation planning efforts, often in conjunction
 with the planning department. The commission 
would conduct or supervise an on-
going survey to identify and evaluate properties of historical, prehistorical 
or architectural interest, prepare reports of
its findings, and sponsor educational activities in the community.

Historic Building Code Certification

A municipality (city, village, town or county) 
may apply to have its historic preservation ordinance
 certified to allow use of the 
Wisconsin Historic Building Code 
by owners of locally designated historic buildings. 
This code, designed to facilitate the 
rehabilitation and restoration of historic structures, 
is administered by the Safety and 
Building Division of the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. 
Certification of local ordinances is done by the 
Division of Historic Preservation 
of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Certified Local Government Program 

A municipality with a historic preservation ordinance
 may apply for Certified Local Government (CLG) status, 
which provides eligibility to apply for 
special CLG grant funds to assist in carrying out the local preservation program. 
The requirements for the CLG program are described in 
“Procedures for Certification of Local Governments in Wisconsin,” 
which is available from the Division of Historic Preservation. CLGs are 
automatically certified for purposes of the Historic Building Code.
The CLG program is a federal-state- local partnership designed 
to recognize and assist grass-roots preservation programs.

A model ordinance is available from the Division of Historic Preservation.

No comments: