Hammond, LA Code of Ordinance - Historical Preservation
Note: Current as of January 2015. Please see the Code of Ordinances for the most up-to-date version.
Sec. 17.3-1. - Commission established.
There is hereby created a commission to be known as the Historic District Commission of the City of Hammond.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 1, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-2. - 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.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 2, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-3. - 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.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 3, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-4. - 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.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 4, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-5. - 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.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 5, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-6. - 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.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 6, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-7. - 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 corner 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 corner 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.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 7, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-8. - Commission enforcement powers; criminal penalty; continuing violations.
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.
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).
For violations other than demolition without a certificate of appropriateness, each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 8, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-9. - Injunctions.
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.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 9, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-10. - 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 therefor 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.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 10, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-11. - Certificate of appropriateness, commission recommendation and action thereon.
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 meets.
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 therefor. 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.
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 authority.
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.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 11, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-12. - Appeals.
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.
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.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 12, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-13. - 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.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 13, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-14. - 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.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 14, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-15. - 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.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 15, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-16. - 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.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 16, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-17. - 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.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 17, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-18. - Signs.
Definitions.The following terms, as used in this section, are hereby defined as follows:
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 trade marks 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.
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.
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.
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 therefor, 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.
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 premises.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 therefor may be issued.
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.
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.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 18, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-19. - 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.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 19, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-20. - Prohibition against demolition by neglect.
Demolition by neglect.
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 following defects:
Deterioration to the extent that it creates or permits a hazardous or unsafe condition as determined by the city building inspector.
Deterioration, as determined by the building inspector, of a building characterized by one or more of the following:
Those buildings which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure persons or property;
Deteriorated or inadequate foundations;
Defective or deteriorated floor supports that split, lean, list, or buckle due to defective material, workmanship, or deterioration;
Members of walls or other vertical supports that split, lean, list, or buckle due to defective material, workmanship, or deterioration;
Members of walls or other vertical, supports that are insufficient to carry imposed loads with safety;
Members of ceilings, roofs, ceiling and roof supports, or other horizontal members which sag, split, or buckle due to defective material, workmanship, or deterioration;
Members of ceilings, roofs, ceiling and roof supports or other horizontal members that are insufficient to carry imposed loads with safety;
Fireplaces or chimneys which list, bulge, or settle due to defective material, workmanship, or deterioration; or
Any fault, defect, or condition in the building which renders the same structurally unsafe or not properly watertight.
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 therefor, 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:
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
If the above mailing procedure is not successful, notice shall be posted in a conspicuous, protected place on the resource.
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.
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:
Date the property was acquired by its current owner;
Price paid for the property (if acquired by purchase) and the relationship (if any) between the buyer and the seller of the property;
Mortgage history of the property, including current mortgage;
Current market value of the property;
Equity in the property;
Past and current income and expense statements for a two (2) year period;
Past capital expenditures during ownership of current owner;
Appraisals of the property obtained within the previous two (2) years;
Income and property tax factors affecting the property; and
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 rehabilitation purposes.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 20, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-21. - Minimum maintenance requirements.
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.
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 consecutively.
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 follows:
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
If the above mailing procedure is not successful, notice shall be posted in a conspicuous, protected place on the resource.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 21, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-22. - No grandfather clause.
No "grandfather clause" shall be applicable to this chapter.
(Ord. No. 2535, C.S., § 21, 5-20-98)
Sec. 17.3-23. - Historic district fund.
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").
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.
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.
(Ord. No. 10-5193, C.S. §§ 1—3, 3-2-10)