Policies & Procedures
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IHPC Policies and Procedures

Section One


CONTENTS

SECTION TWO (Rules of Procedure when the IHPC acts as Board of Zoning Appeals)

SECTION THREE (Outlines the levels of approval for various types of work)

SECTION ONE
INDIANAPOLIS HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION

APPROVED March 3, 1993
Prepared by the staff of the IHPC

 

INTRODUCTION TO IHPC PROCEDURES

The Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission researches, designates, and develops plans for local historic areas. Once adopted, the plans become the guide for decisions to preserve the unique historic character of each area and to provide the framework for neighborhood revitalization. This is accomplished through a review process for all exterior modifications, site improvements, and land use changes within the designated area. The Commission's concern in reviewing applications for a Certificate of Appropriateness is the preservation of historic fabric and enhancement of those features which caused the landmark or area to be designated.

When the Commission, or its designee, has found that the proposed work is appropriate, a Certificate of Appropriateness is granted. The applicant can then apply for a building permit, variance or rezoning. If, however, the proposed work is determined inappropriate, the Commission staff is available to assist the applicant to resolve as quickly and as equitably as possible the differences between the objectives of the owner and the goals of the Commission.

The Commission views each building and site within an area as unique. It also views each area as the product of the sum of its individual parts. For this reason, all existing buildings and all new development are deemed to contribute to the architectural character of the area and all are subject to the application and review process. In the interest of better defining how the Commission operates, the Commission has developed the following procedures.

APPLICATIONS FOR CERTIFICATES OF APPROPRIATENESS

NEED FOR CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

A Certificate of Appropriateness MUST be applied for and granted in order to construct any exterior architectural feature or reconstruct, alter, or demolish any exterior or designated interior structure or feature in an historic area.

A Certificate is required before work begins, before a building permit can be issued and before any variance of development standards, land use variance or rezoning can be granted.

The Commission strongly encourages the applicant to post the Certificate of Appropriateness, or a copy, at the work site and in a location visible from the street.

FILING DEADLINES

  1. FOR STAFF APPROVALS

    An application not requiring a hearing may be filed at any time.

  2. FOR HEARINGS (IHPC AND ADMINISTRATIVE)

    Completed applications are due in the IHPC office as follows:

    • IHPC HEARINGS:

      BY 5:00 P.M. ON THURSDAY, THIRTY-FIVE (35) DAYS PRIOR TO THE HEARING.

    • ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS:

      BY 5:00 PM ON THURSDAY, TWO (2) WEEKS PRIOR TO THE HEARING.

(Hearing schedules are available from the IHPC office)

NOTE: If the applicant needs assistance in filling out the application or has questions regarding the proposed work, the Commission staff is available for technical assistance. Applicants are encouraged to call for an appointment.

DOCUMENTATION OF APPLICATIONS

Applications for Certificate of Appropriateness must be fully documented (as outlined in the appendix of these procedures) to allow for proper and timely review. Applications not fully documented or for which full documentation is received late, are subject to delays in decisions or continuances of hearings. Summaries of documentation required for different types of applications are found in the appendix at the end of these PROCEDURES.

NOTICE REQUIREMENT

COMMISSION'S RESPONSIBILITY

  1. NOTICE BY PUBLICATION

    At least ten (10) days before a public hearing of the Commission or its hearing officer on any application for Certificates of Appropriateness, notice is published by the Commission.

  2. INDIANA OPEN DOOR LAW

    All other postings and notices required by the Indiana Open Door Law will be done by the Commission.

APPLICANT'S RESPONSIBILITY

  1. NOTICE TO SURROUNDING PROPERTY OWNERS

    Notice of each application for a Certificate of Appropriateness MUST be given by the applicant in the following manner:

    1. TYPE OF NOTICE: A letter from the applicant (or standard form available at the IHPC office) which must state:

      • the application number
      • substance of the application
      • the location by address of the subject property
      • the name and address of the applicant time and place the application will be heard
      • statement that the petition and file may be examined in the office of the Commission
    2. WHO TO NOTIFY: All OWNERS OF PROPERTY (not renters) within 660 feet of the subject property lines or two properties deep, whichever is less.

      NOTE 1: Subject property includes the parcel(s) subject to the application and any contiguous parcels owned by the applicant.

      NOTE 2: Notices DO need to be sent to property owners outside locally designated historic districts.

      NOTE 3: For large multi-unit condominium projects, notice may be given to the condominium association's president or its hired manager.

      NOTE 4: For the purpose of compliance with this rule, the owner of a property, and the owner's address, shall be the same as the records in the Township Assessor's office at the time notice is sent.

    3. HOW TO SEND: Notices may be delivered TO THE OWNER in ANY of the following ways:

      • by hand (the owner, not necessarily the occupant)
      • first class, registered or certified mail
      • FAX
    4. WHEN TO SEND:

      Commission Hearing - At least twenty-three (23) days prior to the date of the commission hearing.

      Administrative Hearing - At least fifteen (15) days prior to the date of the administrative hearing.

  2. NOTICE TO NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATIONS

    Notice MUST be given by the applicant to neighborhood organizations in the following manner:

    1. TYPE OF NOTICE: Same notice sent to property owners.

    2. WHO TO NOTIFY: Each neighborhood organization whose boundaries include the property within 100 feet of the subject property, as defined in the notice to property owners. Names of such organizations are available from the IHPC office.

      NOTE: This rule applies equally to individually designated properties, even if not in a district.

    3. HOW TO SEND: In the same manner as notices sent to property owners.

    4. WHEN TO SEND:

      Commission Hearing - At least twenty-three (23) days prior to the date of the commission hearing.

      Administrative Hearing - At least fifteen (15) days prior to the date of the administrative hearing.

  3. AFFIDAVIT OF NOTICE

    The applicant or his representative MUST furnish evidence of compliance with the above notice requirements by filing with the Commission a notarized statement listing the names and addresses of property owners and neighborhood organizations to whom notice was given. This notarized statement must be filed with the Commission prior to the case being heard at a public hearing.

    NOTE: Applicants are responsible for providing adequate notice to surrounding property owners and neighborhood organizations and are responsible for any errors in providing notice. Applications without completed affidavits WILL NOT be heard at a hearing.

  4. WAIVER OF NOTICE

    If proper notice to surrounding property owners and neighborhood organizations has not been given, the Commission or Hearing Officer may continue the case to a later date to allow time for the unnotified person to prepare for the hearing. Personal appearance shall waive any defect in personal notice unless said defect is raised at the hearing.

MEETINGS, HEARINGS AND STAFF APPROVALS

RULES FOR ALL MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

  1. MEETINGS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

    All meetings and hearings of the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission and all Hearing Officer hearings are open to the public (with the exception of Executive Sessions as allowed by the Indiana Open Door Law.) Both applicants and remonstrators have the right to give testimony in accordance with these rules.

  2. APPEARANCE IN PERSON, BY AGENT OR ATTORNEY

    At all hearings any party may appear in person, by agent, or by attorney. An attorney or other representative of any applicant or remonstrator, may testify and will be sworn in and subject to cross examination. The Administrator of the Commission has the right to appear in person, by agent, or attorney and present evidence, statements, and arguments in support of or in opposition of any case or other matter being considered.

  3. TESTIMONY UNDER OATH

    All testimony before the Commission is given under oath or affirmation, which is administered by a person qualified to administer oaths.

  4. TIME ALLOWED FOR TESTIMONY

    Applicants and remonstrators, respectively, are permitted a total of twenty (20) minutes for the presentation of evidence, statements, and arguments at the public hearing of every case before the Commission or Hearing Officer. A reasonable amount of additional time is then allowed by the Commission (or Hearing Officer) for questions, and for staff comments. The applicant may then be permitted ten (10) minutes for rebuttal. The Chairperson of the Commission or the Hearing Officer, respectively, may waive the above time limit.

  5. CONTINUANCES

    The Commission or its staff may request continuance of any application. One continuance at the request of the applicant will be granted as a matter of right and without cause shown. No other continuance will be granted at the hearing to applicants or remonstrators except for good cause shown.

RULES FOR COMMISSION HEARINGS

Upon hearing an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness, the Commission will determine whether the proposal is appropriate to the preservation of the area and to the furtherance and development of historic preservation OR, if not appropriate, whether a Certificate of Authorization is justified.

  1. TIME AND PLACE OF PUBLIC MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

    Regular meetings and public hearings of the Commission are held in the City-County Building, Indianapolis, Indiana (or at another announced location) at 5:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. If the regular meeting date falls on a legal holiday, the meeting will be held on the next day that is not a legal holiday.

  2. SPECIAL MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

    A special meeting of the Commission may be held if called by the President or by five members. Written notice of a special meeting is not required if the time of the special meeting is fixed at a previous regular meeting.

  3. QUORUM AND OFFICIAL VOTE

    A majority of the members of the Commission constitute a quorum, and the concurrence of a majority of the Commission is necessary to authorize any action.

  4. INDECISIVE VOTE

    In any case where a vote of the Commission does not result in official action of the Commission as set forth in the previous section, the application will automatically be redocketed and heard at the next regularly scheduled hearing of the Commission.

  5. DISMISSAL OF CASES

    The Commission may dismiss a case for want of prosecution or for lack of jurisdiction.

  6. WAIVER OF RULES

    The Commission shall have the right to waive the Rules of Procedure upon its own motion, or upon request of an interested party, for good cause shown.

  7. APPEALS OF COMMISSION DECISIONS

    Every determination of the Commission for a Certificate of Appropriateness is subject to review by certiorari upon petition to the Circuit or Superior Court of the county by an aggrieved person, following the requirements of the board of zoning appeals under IC-36-7-4, within 30 days of the date of the decision. Upon notice of the filing of the petition for writ of certiorari, all proceedings and work on the subject premises are automatically stayed.

RULES FOR HEARINGS BY HEARING OFFICER

The Hearing Officer designated by the Commission may conduct public hearings of applications for Certificates of Appropriateness, after which he or she will make a determination. The Hearing Officer may issue a Certificate of Appropriateness as allowed by statute and as so delegated by the Commission in its Policies.

  1. TIME AND PLACE OF ADMINISTRATIVE PUBLIC HEARINGS

    Regular public hearings of the Commission's Hearing Officer are held in the IHPC office, Suite 1825 in the City-County Building, Indianapolis, Indiana at 12:00 noon on every Tuesday. If a hearing day falls on a legal holiday, the meeting will be held on the following day which is not a legal holiday.

  2. HEARING OFFICER DECISION

    The Hearing Officer makes a determination on appropriateness after considering the application at the hearing but may not issue a certificate of appropriateness until the first business day after the hearing. A Certificate becomes effective upon issuance and constitutes the Commission's final decision.

    THE HEARING OFFICER MAY NOT ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORIZATION.

  3. APPEALS OF HEARING OFFICER DECISIONS

    APPLICANT APPEAL. The applicant may appeal any decision of the Hearing Officer pertaining to his or her application at any time.

    APPEAL BY REMONSTRATOR, ADMINISTRATOR, COMMISSIONER OR ANY OTHER INTERESTED PARTY. If an appeal is properly filed, the Commission will hold a de novo hearing and make a determination. If such an appeal is not filed, the determination of the Hearing Officer constitutes the final decision of the Commission.

    1. INTENT TO APPEAL: A written notice to the Hearing Officer by 5:00 p.m. on the day of the hearing stating that the party intends to appeal shall cause the Certificate of Appropriateness to not be issued until noon on the third business day after the hearing (provided an appeal is not properly filed by the deadline).

    2. PROPER FILING OF AN APPEAL: An appeal to a Hearing Officer decision must state the reason for the appeal and must be filed in the Commission office no later than 5:00 p.m. on the day of the decision (or by noon on the third business day after the decision if an INTENT TO APPEAL has been properly filed). On the date the appeal is filed, the applicant or remonstrator must mail or deliver a copy of the appeal to all remonstrators' attorneys (and the applicant in the case of an appeal by a remonstrator) who have appeared at the hearing.

      If none have appeared, the applicant must mail or deliver a copy of the appeal to the first two persons who spoke on behalf of the remonstrators.

      Upon notice of the filing of an appeal, all proceedings and work on the subject premises and directly related to the appeal are automatically stayed.

      Every properly filed appeal is placed on the agenda of the next regular public hearing of the Commission for which proper notice can be given.

RULES FOR STAFF APPROVALS

The staff of the Commission may approve and issue Certificates of Appropriateness as so delegated by the Commission in its Policies.

  1. TIME AND PLACE FOR STAFF APPROVALS

    An application requiring only a staff approval may be submitted at any time (no deadlines exist for staff approvals). Staff approval of a Certificate of Appropriateness may be given at any time and at any place when the staff determines that the proposed work is appropriate and all application procedures have been followed.

    Staff approval of a Certificate of Appropriateness does not require notices, a hearing or application deadline.

  2. STAFF DECISION

    A Certificate of Appropriateness approved by staff is effective immediately upon issuance.

  3. APPEALS OF STAFF DECISIONS

    If the staff cannot determine that the proposed work in an application is appropriate, the applicant may request that the application be heard by the Commission at its public hearing. If the applicant so requests, the application will be scheduled to be heard by the Commission at the next public hearing for which all of the requirements in "Rules for Commission Hearings" can be met. The Commission shall give the application a de novo hearing.

TIME LIMITATIONS AND EXTENSIONS FOR CERTIFICATES OF APPROPRIATENESS

EXPIRATION OF CERTIFICATES

Unless otherwise approved by the Commission, any Certificate of Appropriateness or Authorization issued by the staff, hearing officer or Commission shall expire and be void after one year unless one of the following actions occurs PRIOR TO THE CERTIFICATE'S EXPIRATION:

  1. for variances or rezonings: a petition for a variance or rezoning has been filed (and not withdrawn) with the Department of Metropolitan Development.

  2. for physical improvements: construction has begun and is substantially completed (80%).

RETROACTIVE CLAUSE: All outstanding Certificates of Appropriateness and Authorization granted prior to January 1, 1984 (the date procedures were first in place) are void unless extended by the procedures set forth in this document.

EXTENSION OF CERTIFICATES

  1. HOW TO APPLY

    Requests for extensions should be addressed to the Administrator and should include the following:

    1. The reason for requesting an extension

    2. A timetable for starting and completing work.

    3. Information regarding work completed, work still to be done, and any amendments requested to the work as originally proposed.

    Requests may be submitted at any time.

  2. WHO MAKES THE DECISION

    CERTIFICATES OF APPROPRIATENESS (NOT AUTHORIZATION) may have expiration dates extended by the Administrator if, upon request of the applicant, the Administrator determines the following:

    1. any changes in the proposed work are otherwise subject to staff approval, and

    2. approval of the items in the certificate are still appropriate when current standards, guidelines, policies and circumstances are considered.

    The Administrator may add stipulations to the extension.

    CERTIFICATES OF AUTHORIZATION can only be extended by the Commission following its rules for public hearing.

  3. EXTENSION TIME

    Extensions may be granted by the Administrator for any time period up to one year provided no combination of extensions exceeds a total of one year from the original expiration date.

  4. APPEAL OF ADMINISTRATOR'S DECISION

    The holder of an expired Certificate of Appropriateness may request that the Administrator's decision be heard by the Commission. If so. The requested extension shall be scheduled to be heard at the next public hearing for which all of the requirements in "Rules for Commission Hearings" can be met.

Contents | Section Two | Section Three