Hammond, LA Code of Ordinance - Historical Preservation
Note: Current as of May 2018. Please check the City of Hammond Unified Development Code for the most up-to-date version available.
8.1 Hammond Historic District (-H)
8.1.1 Commission established
There is hereby created a commission to be known as the Historic District Commission of the City of Hammond as provided herein.
8.1.2 Recommendation and appointment of members
The commission shall consist of seven (7) members, all of whom shall be residents and electors of the City of
Hammond. They shall be appointed by the mayor, subject to approval by a majority vote of the city council. The
members of the commission shall be appointed by the mayor as follows: At least one (1) qualified architect and six
(6) other citizens of the City of Hammond. In making appointments, preference may be given as far as possible to
members of historic, cultural, educational, archaeological, etc. organizations.
8.1.3 Term; vacancies
Each of the members of the commission shall be appointed as follows: Two (2) members shall be appointed for an
initial term of two (2) years and five (5) members shall be appointed for an initial term of three (3) years.
Thereafter, commission members shall serve a term of four (4) years. Whenever the term of a member of the
commission expires, the mayor shall appoint his successor, subject to approval by the city council. The members
may serve consecutive terms. The commission shall elect annually from its own number a chairman, vice chairman
and any other officers it deems appropriate. All members shall serve without compensation.
8.1.4 Employees and committees
The commission may select existing city employees, with the mayor's approval, as may be necessary to carry out
the purposes for which it is created. The city attorney shall be ex-officio the attorney for the commission. The
commission may designate and appoint, from among its members, various committees with such powers and
duties as the commission may have and prescribe. Subject to appropriations by the city council, services of
compensated clerical and technical assistance may be retained.
8.1.5 Rules and regulations; meetings; report and recommendations
The commission shall make such rules and regulations as it may deem advisable and necessary for the conduct of
its affairs not inconsistent with the laws of the city and state. The commission shall meet at least quarterly, but
meetings may be held at any time by the commission on the written request of any of the seven (7) members or
on call of the chairman of the commission or the mayor. The commission shall make quarterly reports to the
mayor and council containing a statement of its activities. It shall make its recommendations for the future, but
recommendations may be made by the council to the commission at any time. Rules of Operation for the
Hammond Historic District Commission are located in Appendix D of this UDC.
8.1.6 Purpose of historical district
The Hammond Historical District shall have for its purpose the promotion of the educational, cultural, economic,
and general welfare of the public through the preservation and protection of all such buildings, sites, monuments,
and structures of historic interest or importance through their protection, maintenance, and development as
historic landmarks and their recognition as such in the history and traditions of the state and nation; to establish
and improve property values; and to foster the economic development of the areas affected.
8.1.7 Definition of historical district
The following area of the City of Hammond is hereby designated as the "Hammond Historical District," to-wit:
Beginning at the comer of West Morris and South Spruce Streets in the City of Hammond and thence running
northerly along Spruce Street to its intersection with West Charles Street and thence easterly along West Charles
Street to North Magnolia Street; thence northerly along North Magnolia Street to West Robert Street; thence.
easterly along Robert Street to North Cypress Street; thence southerly along North Cypress to East Charles Street;
thence easterly to North Cherry Street; thence southerly to East Morris Street, thence westerly along East Morris
Street to South Magnolia Street; thence southerly along South Magnolia Street to West Hanson Street; thence
westerly along West Hanson to South Spruce Street; thence northerly along Spruce Street to the .said point
beginning at the comer of West Morris and South Spruce Streets. The historical district above designated shall
include all building sites or lots and all structures, houses or other buildings facing any of the streets on the
perimeter of the area.
8.1.8 Commission enforcement powers; criminal penalty; continuing violations
A. The historic district commission shall have the power to institute suit in any court of competent jurisdiction to
prevent any unlawful action in violation of the provisions of Chapter 16 of Title 25 of the Louisiana Revised
Statutes, as amended from time to time, or of any of the rules and regulations adopted by the commission in
conformity with it.
B. Any owner, agent, lessee, or other person acting for or in conjunction with him, who shall violate the
ordinance or law or rules, regulations, or decision of the historic district commission shall for each offense be
fined not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100.00), or suffer imprisonment
for not more than thirty (30). days, or both fine and imprisonment. Any owner, agent, lessee, or other person
acting for or in conjunction with him. Who shall demolish a structure or edifice without having been issued a
certificate of appropriateness shall be fined a single fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1.000.00).
C. For violations other than demolition without a certificate of appropriateness, each day that a violation
continues shall constitute a separate offense.
Whenever any person has engaged in or is about to engage in any act or practice which constitutes or will
constitute a violation of this chapter or of any of the rules and regulations of the commission, the commission may
make application to the appropriate court for an order enjoining such act or practice, or requiring such person to
refrain from such prospective violation or to remedy such violation by restoring the affected property to its
previous condition. Upon a showing by the commission, the building inspector, or the city, that such person has
engaged or is about to engage in such act or practice, a permanent or temporary injunction, temporary restraining
order, or other appropriate action shall be granted without bond.
8.1.10 Submission of plans for exterior changes to commission
Before the commencement of any work in the erection of any new building or in the alteration or addition to, or
painting or repainting or demolishing of any existing building, any portion of which is to front on any public street
or alley in the Hammond Historical District application by the owner for a permit therefore shall be made to the
commission, accompanied by the full plans and specifications thereof so far as they relate to the proposed
appearance, color, texture or materials, and architectural design of the exterior, including the front, sides, rear and
roof of such building, alteration, addition and any outbuilding, party wall, courtyard, fence or other dependency
thereof. Proposed Improvements shall be in accordance with the Design Guideline for the Hammond Historic
District located in Appendix E of the UDC.
8.1.11 Certificate of appropriateness, commission recommendation and action thereon
A. Applications for certificates of appropriateness shall be considered' at a public hearing of the commission.
Notice of the time and place of said hearing shall be given by publication in the form of a legal advertisement
appearing in the official journal of the governmental unit or in a newspaper having general circulation in the
area served by the governmental unit, provided it has one at least seven (7) days before such hearing, and by
the posting of such notice on or near the main entrance of any hall or room where the commission usually
B. Within not more than forty-five (45) days after the filing of an application, the commission shall pass upon it
and shall give written notice of its decision to the applicant setting forth the reason therefore. Evidence of
approval shall be by certificate of appropriateness issued by the commission, and whatever its decision, notice
in writing shall be given to the applicant. The commission shall keep a record of all applications for certificates
of appropriateness and of all its proceedings.
C. No building permit shall be authorized by the governing body which affects a site or structure in the historic
preservation district without a certificate of appropriateness except as otherwise permitted by the governing
D. The commission shall have the right to make such recommendations for changes and modifications as it may
deem to be necessary in order to enable the applicant to meet with its requirements.
A. Any person or persons aggrieved by any decision, act, or proceeding of this commission shall have a right to
apply in writing to the governing body of the governmental unit for reversal or modification thereof. The chief
executive official, or presiding officer of the governing body, shall have the authority to stay all further action
until the governing body may affirm a decision of the commission by majority vote of all its members at any
regular or special meeting of said governing body. Any such appeal shall be taken within ten (10) days from
the date of decision and the governing body may consider said appeal at its next general or special meeting,
but in any event, not more than forty-five (45) days thereafter. The governing body shall have the right to
reverse, change, or modify any decision of the commission only by a majority vote of all its members.
B. Any person or persons aggrieved by any decision of the governing body affecting said historic preservation
district shall have the right to file a civil suit within thirty (30) days from date of decision in a court of
competent jurisdiction under the usual rules of procedure governing same, with the right to stay orders and
injunctive relief provided the situation warrants it.
8.1.13 Private floodlights
The public sidewalks, places and alleys, exteriors, roofs, outer walls and fences of buildings and other constructions
and signs visible from any Public Street, place or position in the Hammond Historical District shall not be
illuminated by privately-controlled floodlights or other illumination except by express approval of the historic
district commission. Compliance shall be effective within six (6) months after enactment of this chapter.
8.1.14 Overhang balconies
New or additional balconies may be erected if: (a) they are at least nine (9) feet above the level of the sidewalk;
and (b) conform to the distinctive architecture of the Hammond Historical District. The permits for all such new
construction or any renovation shall be subject to the requirements of this chapter.
8.1.15 Removal of sheds and marquees
There shall be no restrictions against the removal of sheds. These must be removed or repaired when in dangerous
condition. But any changes may be made only after first securing a written order or permit required by this chapter
and may be executed only in accordance therewith.
8.1.16 Stopping work commenced without permits
The building inspector shall promptly stop any work attempted to be done without or contrary to a permit issued
under this chapter and shall promptly prosecute any person responsible for such a violation of this chapter or
engaged in violation. Any officer or authorized agent of the historic district commission shall exercise concurrent or
independent powers with the building inspector in prosecuting violations of this chapter and stopping work
attempted to be done without or contrary to the permits required by this chapter.
8.1.17 Provisions of chapter prevail in case of conflicts
The provisions of this chapter shall govern and take precedence over any other provisions of any ordinances or
codes of the City of Hammond.
A. Definitions. The following terms, as used in this section, are hereby defined as follows:
(1) Sign shall include any symbol, device, image, poster, flag, banner, billboard, design or directional sign used
for advertising purposes, whether painted upon, attached to, erected on, or otherwise maintained on any
premises, containing any words, letters or parts of letters, figures, numerals, phrases, sentences, emblems,
devices, trade names or trademarks by which anything is made known, such as are used to designate an
individual, a firm, an association, a corporation, a profession, a business or a commodity or product, which
is visible from any public street and is used to attract attention.
(2) Display includes erect, paint, repaint, place, replace, hand, rehand, repair, maintain, paint directly upon a
building or other structure, inlay, embed in, or otherwise exhibit in public view.
B. General prohibition of miscellaneous signs. The display of signs visible from the public streets, highways and
alleys within the historical district of the city, except as otherwise provided for in this chapter and/or the rules
and regulation of the commission is prohibited.
C. Signs must conform to character of section. In addition to the prohibitions contained in this section, approval
of the display of a sign in the historical district of the city shall be granted by the commission only when such
signs and the plans therefore, so far as they relate to the appearance, color, size, position, method of
attachment, texture of materials and design, conform to the quaint and distinctive character of the historical
district and do not injuriously affect it or impair the value of the community of those buildings having
architectural or historical worth.
D. What signs may advertise. No sign of any character shall be displayed in the ·historical district unless such sign
advertises a bona fide business conducted in or on the premises and, if it does do so, not exceeding fifty (50)
per cent of the area of such sign may be used to advertise products or commodities actually sold on the
E. Signs no longer complying as advertisements to be taken down. Any sign displayed which no longer advertises
a bona fide business conducted upon the premises shall, upon the notification by the historic district
commission or its agent (who is hereby specifically authorized to so proceed) be taken down, removed or
obliterated within five (5) days after such notification.
F. No sign shall be displayed from any building, balcony, gallery, canopy, shed, roof, door or, window, or placed
in any manner whatsoever so as to disfigure or conceal any architectural feature or detail of any building.
G. Signs with interior illumination. No signs with interior illumination can be constructed or erected within the
historical district without the express approval of the historic district commission.
H. Building code applicable to signs. All signs under this section shall be further governed by the existing
regulations of the building code of the city which are not in conflict with this section.
I. Application for signs to be submitted to commission. All application for permits to display signs within the
historical district of the city shall be submitted to the building inspector for approval before a permit therefore
J. Form of application to display signs; accompanying drawings. Application for a permit to display signs in the
historical district of the city shall be made to the commission upon forms furnished by the commission. Such
an application shall also be accompanied by sketches and drawings in triplicate showing details of construction
and foundation when required by the Building Code of the City and shall delineate the size, shape, design,
coloring, lighting, and position in relation to the building for or upon which it shall be displayed.
K. Violating signs, etc., to be removed. Any sign or exterior illumination of walls, exteriors, roofs, or
appurtenances of buildings displayed after the effective date of this section and contrary to the provision of
this section are prohibited.
8.1.19 Prohibition of aerials and antennas
The construction of aerials or antennas of any type within the historical district are prohibited without the express
approval of the historic district commission.
8.1.20 Prohibition against demolition by neglect
A. Demolition by neglect.
(1) Any resource which is a landmark and all resources within the Hammond Historical District shall be
preserved by the owner or such other persons as may have the legal custody or control thereof against
decay and deterioration and free from unreasonable structural defects. The owner or other person having
legal custody and control thereof shall repair such resources if it is found to have one or more of the
(a) Deterioration to the extent that it creates or permits a hazardous or unsafe condition as determined by
the city building inspector.
(b) Deterioration, as determined by the building inspector, of a building characterized by one or more of the
(1) Those buildings which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure persons
(2) Deteriorated or inadequate foundations;
(3) Defective or deteriorated floor supports that split, lean, list, or buckle due to defective material,
workmanship, or deterioration;
(4) Members of walls or other vertical supports that split, lean, list, or buckle due to defective material,
workmanship, or deterioration;
(5) Members of walls or other vertical, supports that are insufficient to carry imposed loads with safety;
(6) Members of ceilings, roofs, ceiling and roof supports, or other horizontal members which sag, split, or
buckle due to defective material, workmanship, or deterioration;
(7) Members of ceilings, roofs, ceiling and roof supports or other horizontal members that are
insufficient to carry imposed loads with safety;
(8) Fireplaces or chimneys which list, bulge, or settle due to defective material, workmanship, or
(9) Any fault, defect, or condition in the building which renders the same structurally unsafe or not
(2) If the historic district commission makes a preliminary determination that a resource is being demolished by
neglect, it shall direct the city building official to notify the owner or owners of the resource of this
preliminary determination, stating the reasons therefore, and shall give the owner of record thirty (30) days
from the date of mailing of such notice or the posting thereof on the property, whichever comes later, to
commence work to correct the specific defects as determined by the historic district commission. Said
notice shall be given as follows:
(a) By certified mail, restricted delivery, mailed to the last known address of the record owner or owners as
listed on the city and/or parish tax rolls; or
(b) If the above mailing procedure is not successful, notice shall be posted in a conspicuous, protected place
on the resource.
(3) If the owner or owners fail to commence work within the time allotted as evidenced by a building permit,
the historic district commission shall notify the owner' or owners in the manner provided above to appear
at a public hearing before the district commission at a date, time, and place to be specified in said notice,
which shall be mailed or posted at least thirty (30) days before said hearing. For the purpose of insuring
lawful notice, a hearing may be continued to a new date and time. The historic district commission shall
receive evidence on the issue of whether the subject resource should be repaired and the owner or owners
may present evidence in rebuttal thereto. If, after such hearing, the historic district commission determines
that the resource is being demolished by neglect, it may make any and all appropriate recommendations,
including but not limited to the recommendation that the city building official should bring misdemeanor
charges against the owner or owners if the necessary repairs are not completed within ninety (90) days of
the determination by the commission that the subject building or resource is being demolished by neglect.
B. Unreasonable economic hardship. When a claim of unreasonable economic hardship is made due to the effect
of this section, the owner of record must present evidence sufficient to prove that as a result of the historic
district commission's action, he is unable to obtain a reasonable return or a reasonable beneficial use. The
owner of record shall submit by affidavit to the historic district commission for its review information which
shall include but not be limited to the following:
(1) Date the property was acquired by its current owner;
(2) Price paid for the property (if acquired by purchase) and the relationship (if any) between the buyer and the
seller of the property;
(3) Mortgage history of the property, including current mortgage;
(4) Current market value of the property;
(5) Equity in the property;
(6) Past and current income and expense statements for a two (2) year period;
(7) Past capital expenditures during ownership of current owner;
(8) Appraisals of the property obtained within the previous two (2) years;
(9) Income and property tax factors affecting the property; and
(10) Terms of any and all offers of such purchase of said property for past five (5) years, including name,
address, and telephone number of such offerors.
The historic district commission may require that an applicant furnish additional information relevant to its
determination of unreasonable economic hardship. The historic district commission may receive and
consider studies and economic analysis from other city agencies and from private organizations relating to
the property in question. Should the historic district commission determine that the owner's present return
is not reasonable, it must consider whether there are other uses currently allowed that would provide a
reasonable return and whether such a return could be obtained through investment in the property for
8.1.21 Minimum maintenance requirements
A. In order to insure the protective maintenance of landmarks and/or resources within the Hammond Historical
District, the exterior features of such properties shall be maintained to meet the requirements of the city's
minimum housing code and the city's building code.
B. The use of boarded openings is prohibited within the Hammond Historical District. The use of boards for
windows shall be permitted in cases of emergency for a period of time not to exceed fourteen (14) days
C. All property owners with boarded windows at the time of adoption of this section shall be notified in writing
that all such boards are to be removed within thirty (30) days of such notice. Said notice shall be given as
(1) By certified mail, restricted delivery, mailed to the last known address of the record owner or owners as
listed on the city and or parish tax rolls; or
(2) If the above mailing procedure is not successful, notice shall be posted in a conspicuous, protected place on
8.1.22 No grandfather clause
No "grandfather clause" shall be applicable to this chapter.
8.1.23 Historic district fund.
A. All fines collected by the historic district commission and all other funds appropriated by the city council for
the benefit of the Hammond Historic District shall be deposited into a dedicated fund for the purposes set
forth herein (the "historic district fund").
B. The historic district fund shall be used only for the promotion of the educational, cultural, economic, and
general welfare of the public through the preservation and protection of buildings, sites, monuments, and
structures of historic interest or importance situated in the area designated as the Hammond Historic District
through their protection, maintenance, and development as historic landmarks and their recognition as such
in the history and traditions of the city, state and nation; to establish and improve property values therein;
and to foster the economic development of areas affected by the Hammond Historic District.
C. The commission shall have control over the historic district fund and all disbursements made from the historic
district fund, however, the historic district fund shall be used exclusively for the purposes set forth above.