Landmarks and Historic Districts in Buffalo - Table of Contents
Buffalo Preservation Board - Charter and Ordinances
Unofficial reprint from
Chapter XIII of the City of Buffalo Charter and Ordinances, 1974
Table of Contents:
- Preservation Board
- Designation of Landmarks and Districts
- Construction, Alteration, Removal or Demolition
- Additional Provisions
- GENERAL REFERENCES
ARTICLE I, Purpose; Definitions
§ 337-1. Purpose.
A. It is hereby declared as a matter of public policy that preservation, protection, conservation, enhancement, perpetuation and utilization of sites, buildings, improvements and districts of special character, historical or aesthetic interest or value are necessary and required in the interest of the health, education, culture, prosperity, safety and high quality of life of the people.
B. The purpose of this Preservation Code is to:
(1) Promote the intellectual, cultural and general welfare as well as the economic well-being of the people of the city.
(2) Safeguard the city's history and heritage as embodied and reflected in its landmarks, landmark sites and historic districts.
(3) Preserve, protect, perpetuate and utilize landmarks, landmark sites, historic districts, neighborhoods, areas, places, buildings, structures and improvements which have a distinctive character or are of historic, aesthetic, architectural, archeological or cultural interest or value to this city, state or nation.
(4) Stabilize and improve property values in the city.
(5) Avoid demolition of historically or architecturally important properties.
(6) Enhance the visual and aesthetic character, diversity and distinctiveness of the city.
(7) Enhance the city's attraction for residents, visitors, tourists and prospective residents.
(8) Preserve the economic and architectural integrity of vacant or underutilized landmark properties by means of substantial rehabilitation and adaptive reuse. [Added 7-31-1990, effective 8-16-1990]
§ 337-2. Definitions.
The following terms and phrases shall mean and include:
ADAPTIVE REUSE - Conversion of a building originally designed for a certain purpose to a different purpose.
ALTER - To change one (1) or more exterior architectural features of a landmark, an improvement on a landmark site or a structure within an historic district.
BUILDING - Any structure or part thereof having a roof supported by columns or walls for the shelter or enclosure of persons or property.
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS - A certificate issued by the Preservation Board or the Common Council approving plans for alteration, construction, removal or demolition of a landmark, an improvement on a landmark site or a structure within an historic district.
CERTIFICATE OF EXCEPTION - A certificate issued by the Preservation Board or the Common Council approving plans for alteration, construction, removal or demolition of a landmark, an improvement on a landmark site or a structure in an historic district where these plans do not meet the standards for a certificate of appropriateness.
CERTIFICATE OF NO EFFECT - A certificate issued by the Preservation Board or its Secretary indicating that proposed plans having no effect on the exterior of a landmark, an improvement on a landmark site or a structure within an historic district and that a certificate of appropriateness is not required.
CONSTRUCTION - Building an addition to an existing structure or building a new principal or accessory structure.
DEMOLITION - Destruction of a building, structure or improvement.
DESIGN GUIDELINE - A standard of appropriate activity that will preserve the historic, aesthetic, cultural and architectural character of a structure or area.
EXTERIOR - Architectural style, design, general arrangement and components of the outer surfaces of an improvement, building or structure as distinguished from the interior surfaces enclosed by said outer surfaces, including but not limited to the kind and texture of building material and the type and style of windows, doors, lights, signs and other such exterior fixtures.
HISTORIC DISTRICT - A geographically definable area, so designated pursuant to this code, or previously designated pursuant to the Landmark Code, which possesses a significant concentration, linkage or continuity of sites, buildings, structures or objects united historically by past events or united aesthetically by plan or development. An "historic district" may also comprise individual elements, separated geographically, but linked by association or history.
IMPROVEMENT - Any building, structure, place, parking facility, fence, gate, wall, work of art or other object constituting a physical betterment, or any part thereof.
LANDMARK - Property, object or structure, or any part thereof so designated pursuant to this code or previously designated pursuant to the Landmark Code.
LANDMARK SITE - A parcel or part thereof:
A. On which is situated a landmark, and any abutting parcel or part thereof used and constituting part of the premises on which the landmark is situated; or
B. Which has been designated as a "landmark site" pursuant to the provisions of this code or previously designated pursuant to the Landmark Code.
OWNER - A person, firm or corporation which owns the fee of property or a lesser estate therein, a mortgage or vendee in possession, a receiver, an administrator, an executor, a trustee or any other person, firm or corporation in control of property.
PRESERVATION - Retention of essential character of an improvement, object, building or structure as embodied in its existing form, integrity and material. This term includes the retention of the trees and vegetative cover of a site. This term may include temporary stabilization work as well as on-going maintenance of historic building materials.
PRESERVATION BOARD or BOARD - The Buffalo Preservation Board.
PROPERTY - Land and improvements thereon.
RECONSTRUCTION - Reproduction of the exact form and detail of a vanished building, structure, improvement or part thereof, as it appeared at a specific time.
REHABILITATION - Repair or alteration that enables buildings, structures or improvements to be efficiently utilized while preserving those features of buildings, structures or improvements that are significant to their historic, architectural and cultural values.
RESTORATION - Recovery of the form and details of a building, structure or improvement and its site during a particular time.
SITE - A plot or parcel of land.
STRUCTURE - Anything constructed or erected which requires permanent or temporary location on the ground or attachment to something permanently attached to the ground. This term shall include but not be limited to buildings, walls, fences, signs, billboards, lighting fixtures, screen enclosures, works of art and electronic transmission or reception devices.
ARTICLE II, Preservation Board
§ 337-3. Reconstitution; membership; terms; vacancies; compensation.
A. There is hereby reconstituted the Buffalo Preservation Board, which shall consist of eleven (11) members, each of whom shall have demonstrated a known interest in the history or architecture of the City of Buffalo.
(1) Nine (9) members of the Board shall be residents of Buffalo to be appointed by the Common Council or the Mayor as hereinafter provided. They may be selected from a list of nominees solicited by the Secretary of the Board from interested groups or organizations and reviewed by the Board. The Secretary shall transmit these nominees to the Mayor or Common Council.
(a) The Mayor shall appoint six (6) members of the Board, subject to confirmation by the Common Council:
 Three (3) members, one (1) from each of the following fields: architecture, architectural history and real estate. The Mayor shall designate one (1) of these initial appointees for a one-year term, one (1) for a two-year term and one (1) for a three-year term.
 One (1) member from any of the following fields: architectural history, historic architecture, planning, archaeology, landscape architecture or historic preservation or closely related discipline. The initial appointee shall serve a one-year term.
 Two (2) members chosen from the city at large. The Mayor shall designate one (1) of these appointees to serve a two-year term and one (1) to serve a three-year term.
(b) The President of the Council shall appoint three (3) members, as follows:
 One (1) member from a downtown historic district shall live, work or own property within the district to serve an initial two-year term. "Downtown" is defined as that tract or land bounded by Edward Street and Goodell Street on the north, Michigan Avenue on the east, the Buffalo River on the south and the Skyway and Elmwood Avenue on the west.
 One (1) member from a predominantly residential historic district who shall live, work or own property within the district who shall serve an initial three-year term.
 One (1) member from any other historic district who shall live, work or own property in the district who shall serve an initial one-year term.
(2) The two (2) remaining members of the Board shall be the director of the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society or his designee and the president of the Landmark Society of the Niagara Frontier or his designee.
C. All subsequent appointments shall be for three-year terms. In the event of a vacancy, the vacancy in the unexpired term shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. Members may not serve for more than two (2) consecutive full terms except that the aforementioned director and president or their designees shall serve during their terms of office. Members shall continue to hold office until the appointment of a successor. Members shall serve without compensation but may be reimbursed for expenses related to their duties. No member shall be an officer or employee of the City of Buffalo or of any related agency.
§ 337-4. Officers; staff; procedures.
A. Officers: Chairman, Vice Chairman. The Preservation Board shall elect from its membership a Chairman and Vice Chairman who shall each serve a term of one (1) year and shall be eligible for reelection. However, no member shall serve as Chairman for more than two (2) consecutive years. The Chairman shall preside over meetings. In the absence of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman shall perform the duties of the Chairman. If both are absent, a temporary Chairman shall be elected by those present.
B. Staff: Secretary. The Commissioner of Community Development of the City of Buffalo shall assign a Secretary to the Preservation Board, who shall serve without voting power (hereinafter referred to as the "Secretary"). The Secretary shall be responsible for duties enumerated under this code and such other duties that may be assigned by the Preservation Board. The Secretary shall maintain a record of all resolutions, proceedings and actions of the Preservation Board. The records of the Preservation Board shall set forth every determination made by the Preservation Board and the vote of every participating member and the absence of or failure to vote of every member. The proceedings of the Preservation Board shall be a matter of public record. The records of the Preservation Board shall be filed in the Secretary's office. The Secretary shall furnish a copy of the minutes of each meeting to each member of the Preservation Board and shall prepare an agenda for each meeting. The Secretary shall be responsible for proper public identification of landmarks, landmark sites and historic districts on a landmark and historic district map.
(1) A quorum shall consist of a majority of the members. All decisions or actions of the Preservation Board shall be made by a majority vote of the full membership.
(2) Meetings shall be held at regularly scheduled times to be established by the Preservation Board at the beginning of each calendar year or at any time upon the call of the Chairman. All meetings of the Preservation Board and its advisory committees shall be open to the public.
(3) No member of the Preservation Board shall vote on any matter materially or apparently affecting the property, income or business interest of that member.
§ 337-5. Powers and duties.
The Preservation Board shall have the following powers and duties:
A. To adopt such bylaws, rules and regulations as the Preservation Board deems necessary to carry out its responsibilities, consistent with the Code of the City of Buffalo, subject to the approval of the Common Council.
B. To conduct an ongoing survey and inventory of historically and architecturally significant properties, structures and areas that exemplify the cultural, social, economic, political or architectural history of the nation, state or city.
C. To document, propose, review and propose modifications, with due consultation with the applicant, and act on the designation of landmarks, landmark sites and historic districts in accordance with the purposes of this Preservation Code.
D. To develop and promulgate appropriate standards and guidelines to assist property owners in preservation, restoration, rehabilitation and reconstruction of landmarks, landmark sites and properties within historic districts and the design of contemporary structures within historic districts.
E. To prepare and update preservation plans to guide the preservation and future development of landmarks, landmark sites and historic districts.
F. To approve or disapprove certificates of no effect, certificates of appropriateness or certificates of exception for the erection, alteration, restoration, renovation, relocation, demolition or site improvement of any landmark, landmark site or of any building, structure or site within an historic district when the exterior of such property would be affected.
G. To advise and assist owners of landmarks, landmark sites and property or structures within historic districts on physical and financial aspects of preservation, renovation, rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of their property.
H. To advise and assist other city departments on matters pertaining to historic preservation.
I. To nominate landmarks, landmark sites and historic districts to the National Register of Historic Places and review and comment on any national nomination submitted to the Preservation Board.
J. To advise the Common Council concerning acceptance, acquisition, option, purchase and administration of property, development rights and easements pertaining to the purposes of this Preservation Code.
K. To apply for, accept and expend grants and funds for goods and services from private and public sources.
L. To increase public awareness and broaden knowledge of the value of historic architecture and cultural preservation within the city.
M. To establish advisory committees to advise and assist the Preservation Board in achieving the purposes of this code. Advisory committees shall perform such advisory duties and functions as the Preservation Board deems appropriate. Committee members need not be members of the Preservation Board. Members will be appointed by the Chairman and serve at the pleasure of the Preservation Board.
N. To undertake any other action or activity necessary or appropriate for the execution of its powers and duties or to further the purpose of this code.
ARTICLE III, Designation of Landmarks and Districts
§ 337-6. Application.
Any person, group of persons or association may request designation of a landmark, landmark site or an historic district by submitting an application for designation on a form furnished by the Preservation Board to the Secretary of the Preservation Board. The Preservation Board may also initiate proceedings for designation of a landmark, landmark site or historic district.
§ 337-7. Public hearing by Board.
A. The Preservation Board shall schedule a public hearing not more than sixty (60) days after receipt of a completed application for designation of a landmark, landmark site or an historic district.
B. Notice to owners. The owner of any parcel on which a proposed landmark or landmark site is situated or which is part of a proposed historic district shall be given notice of said public hearing relating to the designation of such proposed landmark, landmark site or historic district, the amendment to any designation thereof or the proposed recession of any designation. Such notice shall be mailed by the Secretary at least ten (10) days prior to the scheduled hearing and shall be addressed to the owners as their names and addresses appear in the records of the Department of Assessment in the City of Buffalo.
C. Publication. The Secretary shall publish a notice of public hearings to be held by the Preservation Board in an official newspaper or a newspaper of general circulation at least once ten (10) days before said hearings.
§ 337-8. Report and recommendation of Board.
A. The Preservation Board shall, within ninety (90) days of receipt of a completed application form, take its final action thereon, which shall be in the form of a recommendation to the Common Council. The recommendation may limit itself to the landmark, landmark site or historic district as described in the application or may include modifications thereto. Within ten (10) days of its adoption by the Board, its written recommendation shall be filed in the offices of the Director of the Division of Planning and the City Clerk. The recommendation shall be accompanied by a report containing the following:
(1) Explanation of the significance or lack of significance of the nominated landmark, landmark site or historic district as it relates to the criteria for designation.
(2) Explanation of the integrity or lack of integrity of the nominated landmark, landmark site or historic district.
(3) The relationship of the nominated landmark, landmark site or historic district to the on-going effort of the Preservation Board to identify and nominate all potential areas and structures that meet the criteria for designation.
(4) A map showing the location and boundaries of the nominated landmark, landmark site or historic district.
B. Said recommendation and report shall be made available for public inspection in the City Clerk's office and in the office of the Secretary.
§ 337-9. Referral to Committee on Legislation.
The City Clerk shall cause the Preservation Board's recommendation and report to be presented to the Common Council at its next stated meeting. The Common Council shall refer the recommendation and report to its Committee on Legislation.
§ 337-10. Public hearing by Committee.
A. The Committee on Legislation shall hold a public hearing thereon not more than sixty (60) days after receipt of the recommendation and report, except that the Common Council may, upon consent of the owner, waive the public hearing when an individual landmark or landmark site is being considered.
B. Notice to owner. The owner of any site on which a proposed landmark or landmark site is situated or which is part of a proposed historic district shall be given notice of said public hearing relating to the designation of such proposed landmark, landmark site or proposed historic district the amendment of any designation thereof or the proposed recession of any designation. Such notice by the City Clerk shall be served by mail at least ten (10) days prior to the scheduled hearing, addressed to the owner at his last known address as it appears in the records of the Department of Assessment of the City of Buffalo and as provided to the City Clerk by the Board.
C. Published notice. The City Clerk shall also give notice of the public hearing by publication in an official newspaper or a newspaper of general circulation at least once and at least ten (10) days immediately prior to the hearing.
§ 337-11. Action by Committee.
Within thirty (30) days of the public hearing required herein, the Committee on Legislation shall take action upon the recommendation and report of the Preservation Board and shall transmit same to the Common Council. The Committee may approve, disapprove or modify a designation. However, if a designation is modified, the Committee shall hold an additional public hearing prior to approval thereof.
§ 337-12. Final determination.
The Common Council may approve or disapprove the designation of a proposed landmark, landmark site or historic district and shall set forth its specific reasons for approval or disapproval.
§ 337-13. Recording of designation.
Upon designation of a landmark, landmark site or historic district, the Secretary shall file a description of said landmark, landmark site or historic district with the City Clerk, the Director of the Division of Planning and the Department of Public Works, who shall record same on appropriate maps. A description or map of said landmark, landmark site or historic district shall also be filed in the office of the Erie County Clerk by the Corporation Counsel in such form and manner as shall best provide notice to prospective buyers of affected property.
§ 337-14. Amendment or rescission of designation.
Designation of landmarks, landmark sites and historic districts may be amended or rescinded in the manner in which created.
§ 337-15. Criteria for designation.
A. The Preservation Board shall, upon such investigation as it deems necessary, make a determination as to whether a proposed landmark, landmark site or historic district meets one (1) or more of the following criteria:
(1) It has character, interest or value as part of the development, heritage or cultural characteristics of the city, state or nation.
(2) Its location is a site of a significant local, state or national event.
(3) It exemplifies the historic, aesthetic, architectural, archaeological, educational, economic or cultural heritage of the city, state or nation.
(4) It is identified with a person or persons who significantly contributed to the development of the city, state or nation.
5) It embodies distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style valuable for the study of a period, type, method of construction or use of indigenous materials.
(6) It is the work of a master builder, engineer, designer, architect or landscape architect whose individual work has influenced the development of the city, state or nation.
(7) It embodies elements of design, detailing, materials or craftsmanship that render it architecturally significant.
(8) It embodies elements that make it structurally or architecturally innovative.
(9) It is a unique location or contains singular physical characteristics that make it an established or familiar visual feature within the city.
B. Any structure, property or area that meets one (1) or more of the above criteria shall also have sufficient integrity of location, design, materials and workmanship to make it worthy of preservation or restoration.
ARTICLE IV, Construction, Alteration, Removal or Demolition
§ 337-16. Required certificates and permits.
A. Certificate required and building permit required. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to construct, alter, remove or demolish any improvement or structure which is a landmark, part of a landmark site or which is located in an historic district when such action will affect the exterior of such property without having first obtained a certificate of appropriateness or a certificate of no effect or a certificate of exception authorizing such work.
B. Building permit required, but no certificate required. Building permit applications for construction, alteration, removal or demolition involving any improvement or structure which is a landmark, part of a landmark site or which is located in an historic district when such action will not affect the exterior of such property do not require a certificate of appropriateness, a certificate of no effect, a certificate of exception or Board review. In such instances, the Department of Public Works shall stamp the building permit "Please note that an additional permit is required if exterior work is undertaken. "
C. Certificate required, but no building permit required. In a case where no building permit is required, application for permission to construct, alter, remove or demolish landmarks, improvements on landmark sites or structures within historic districts shall be made directly to the Preservation Board.
§ 337-17. Display of certificate.
A copy of the certificate as required herein shall be prominently displayed at the site during the execution of the work regulated hereunder. The Department of Public Works shall not issue building or demolition permits unless and until a certificate as required by this chapter shall been issued.
§ 337-18. Referral to Preservation Board.
The Department of Public Works shall, within seven (7) days of receipt, refer all building and demolition permit applications for work requiring a certificate hereunder, including the accompanying plans and specifications, involving landmarks, improvements on landmark sites or structures within historic districts to the Preservation Board for its action.
§ 337-19. Review by Board.
A. The Preservation Board shall consider properly completed applications at the regularly scheduled meeting following their filing and shall approve or deny all applications at the earliest possible date, but no longer than within forty-five (45) days.
B. The Preservation Board may, in its discretion, hold a public hearing on any application before it. Such hearing shall be preceded by notice to the applicant mailed at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing and publication of the notice of hearing in a newspaper of general circulation at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing. The holding of such public hearing shall not extend the forty-five-day period in which the Preservation Board must act.
C. An applicant may meet with the Secretary at any time during the review of his application.
§ 337-20. Criteria for review.
A. In considering an application for permission to construct, alter, remove or demolish any improvement or structure which is a landmark, part of a landmark site or which is located in an historic district, the Preservation Board shall be guided by the current edition of the Secretary of the Interior 's Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings as general criteria. A copy of this publication is accessible to the public in the office of the Secretary.
B. In addition, the Preservation Board may adopt design guidelines for the review of applications for each landmark, landmark site or historic district. These design guidelines, subject to the approval of the Common Council, shall not be inconsistent with the current edition of the Secretary of the Interior 's Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings and shall encompass the following architectural criteria:
(1) Height. The height of any proposed alteration or construction should be compatible with the style and character of the landmark and with surrounding structures in an historic district.
(2) Proportions of windows and doors. The proportions and relationships between doors and windows should be compatible with the architectural style and character of the landmark and with surrounding structures within an historic district.
(3) Relationship of building masses and spaces. The relationship of a structure within an historic district to the open space between it and adjoining structures should be compatible.
(4) Roof shape. The design of the roof should be compatible with the architectural style and character of the landmark and surrounding structures in an historic district.
(5) Landscaping. Landscaping should be compatible with the architectural character and appearance of the landmark and of surrounding structures and landscapes in historic districts.
(6) Scale. The scale of the structure after alteration, construction or partial demolition should be compatible with its architectural style and character and with surrounding structures in an historic district.
(7) Directional expression. Facades in historic districts should relate to other structures with regard to directional expression. Structures in an historic district should be compatible with the dominant horizontal or vertical expression of surrounding structures. The directional expression of a landmark after alteration, construction or partial demolition should be compatible with its original architectural style and character.
(8) Architectural details. Architectural details, including materials, colors and textures, should be treated so as to make a landmark compatible with its original architectural style and character and to preserve and enhance the architectural style or character of a landmark, landmark site or historic district.
§ 337-21. Certificate of appropriateness.
A. The Preservation Board may issue a certificate of appropriateness for work where the plans for construction, alteration, removal or demolition conform to the provisions of this code and to design guidelines adopted in accordance with this code.
B. Written notice of the Preservation Board 's decision shall be provided the applicant and the Department of Public Works within seven days of the decision. If approved, the certificate of appropriateness shall accompany the notice.
C. In case of a denial of an application, the Preservation Board shall state the reasons therefor and shall make recommendations concerning changes in the applicant 's proposed action that would be grounds for reconsideration of the application. An applicant may amend an application or reapply at any time.
§ 337-22. Certificate of no effect.
Where it is determined by the Preservation Board that proposed plans contained in an application have no effect upon the exterior of a landmark, an improvement on a landmark site or a structure within an historic district, it shall issue a certificate of no effect. The Preservation Board may delegate to the Secretary the authority to approve and issue a certificate of no effect. Written notice of the issuance of a certificate of no effect shall be provided the applicant and the Department of Public Works within seven days of the decision, which shall be accompanied by the certificate.
§ 337-23. Certificate of exception.
A. The Preservation Board shall have the power to vary or modify adherence to the standards and criteria of this code and issue certificates of exception in lieu of the certificates otherwise required herein. This power may be exercised by the Preservation Board where, by reason of particular site conditions and restraints or unusual circumstances relating solely to a particular applicant, strict enforcement of this code would result in undue hardship to the applicant. The applicant shall have the burden of proving undue hardship.
B. An applicant seeking to prove undue hardship shall prove the following facts:
(1) Reasonable return. The land or improvement in question cannot yield a reasonable return without the requested construction, alteration, removal or demolition in the case of commercial or business properties or properties held for investment purposes.
(2) Unsuited for reasonable use. The land or improvement in question cannot be put to a reasonable use without the requested construction, alteration, removal or demolition, in the case of residential properties.
(3) Prevention of purpose. The land or improvement in question, without the requested construction, alteration, removal or demolition, may not be used without physically or financially preventing or seriously interfering with the carrying out of the charitable purpose in the case of properties held for charitable, religious or nonprofit purposes.
C. In granting a certificate of exception, the Preservation Board shall limit variation or modification of the code to the minimum required to effect substantial justice and may prescribe conditions that it deems necessary or appropriate. The Preservation Board shall provide written notice of the grant of the certificate of exception to the applicant and to the Department of Public Works within seven days of its decision which shall be accompanied by the certificate.
§ 337-24. Demolition or removal. [Amended 7-22-2003, effective 8-4-2003]
A. Where an application to the Preservation Board seeks approval of demolition or removal of a landmark, improvement on a landmark site or a structure within an historic district, the Board shall evaluate the application in accordance with the provisions set forth in this code. Where the Board denies permission to commence immediate demolition, it is empowered to make determinations that the structure or improvement sought to be demolished or removed is of such importance that alternatives to demolition should be pursued and that a hardship under § 337-23 exists. Where these determinations are made, the Preservation Board may delay demolition for a maximum period of 180 days after the initial forty-five-day period provided by § 337-19 herein. In cases where these determinations are not made, no automatic right of demolition shall exist.
B. During any such period, the Board may take such steps as it deems necessary to avoid demolition of the structure or improvement, including but not limited to preparation, publication and receipt of requests for proposals; solicitation of prospective developers; consultation with civic groups, public agencies and interested citizens; and recommendations for acquisition of the property by others.
C. In the event that the Board refuses to approve demolition during or after this period of delay, occasioned by the Board 's findings of hardship and architectural importance set forth in Subsection A, the applicant may appeal the Board 's action to the Common Council. The Common Council shall issue the appropriate certificate for demolition either at the end of the delay period or within 60 days of the filing of the appeal, whichever is later.
D. In the event that the Board refuses to approve demolition but does not find hardship and architectural importance, any appeal to the Common Council shall be in accordance solely with § 337-26 herein.
E. During any such period, the owner shall prevent further deterioration of the structure or improvement, and the owner shall act in good faith and shall allow the Board reasonable access to the structure and improvement, and permit reasonable inspection of the information about the structure or improvement, if requested by the Board.
F. The Preservation Board will conduct public hearings for all properties in locally designated or nationally registered historic districts, local landmarks, properties listed in the National Register for Historic Places and national historic landmarks.
(1) Notice and hearing. The Preservation Board shall publish a notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the City of Buffalo, setting forth the name of the applicant, the location and owner of the property, and the time and place of a public hearing to be held by the Preservation Board on no sooner than five business days after the day of publication. Upon an application for a demolition permit, the Preservation Board shall also serve 10 days - notice of the time, place and object of such hearing upon all owners and occupants of properties having a frontage on both sides of the public highway or highways within 300 feet in both directions along such highway or highways from the nearest side line, or nearest side line extended, of the premises to be demolished and also upon the owners and occupants of all properties located within 50 feet of the rear or side line of any premises to be demolished. Such notice shall also indicate that the demolition permit application is available for public inspection at the Preservation Board 's office prior to such hearing. The Preservation Board shall make available for public inspection prior to such hearing the demolition permit application.
(2) Public hearings may also be had for properties that come to the attention of the Preservation Board which could be deemed significant and worthy of preservation after applying the criteria for review as provided in § 337-20 of the Code.
§ 337-24. 1. Adaptive reuse agreements. [Added 7-31-1990, effective 8-16-1990]
(1) Under conditions described in this section, the Preservation Board may recommend that certain buildings be substantially rehabilitated for adaptive reuse in accordance with an agreement.
(a) The Board has determined that a building sought to be demolished is of such architectural or historical significance that alternatives to demolition should be pursued as set forth in § 337-24 despite findings of undue hardship under § 337-23; or
(b) An application for a permit to demolish a landmark otherwise referred to the Board under the provisions of this chapter is denied or delayed due to a determination of architectural or historical significance despite findings of undue hardship.
(2) Recommendation for adaptive reuse may be made upon an application of a vendee under a contract of sale, owner or other party in interest of such building where the applicant can demonstrate hardship as set forth in § 337-23, but in no case shall such application alone constitute proof of undue hardship.
B. Notice. A recommendation for adaptive reuse shall take the form of written notice to be provided the applicant and the relevant governmental enforcement agency (the Department of Public Works or the Department of Inspections and Community Revitalization) within seven days of a denial or delay of demolition and shall stay any appeal otherwise pending before the Common Council.
C. Action upon recommendation. In consultation with the applicant and with the assistance of the Department of Community Development, the Division of Planning, the Department of Assessment and the Board shall endeavor to devise a plan for adaptive reuse in accordance with preservation standards. As provided (documented) in an appraisal acceptable to the Department of Community Development, such plan shall provide for substantial rehabilitation which shall improve the building in an amount of at least twice the prerehabilitation assessment value of the property upon which such building is situate.
D. Compensation. The Council shall review said recommendations and may provide as compensation an abatement of local real property taxes which shall in no case exceed 50% of the total postrehabilitation assessment value for a duration not to exceed 20 years. Such compensation shall at all times be calculated as a portion of total postrehabilitation tax liability and shall in no case result in a negative tax liability.
E. Execution. Upon certification by the Department of Community Development, approval of the Common Council and agreement of the applicant, an adaptive reuse plan above described shall be binding upon the applicant and subsequent owners to maintain the property upon which such building is situate in accordance with all terms, conditions and specifications of such plan and shall expressly provide that every deed conveying the property or any part or portion thereof shall contain a covenant incorporating all terms and conditions of the agreement. Such covenant shall continue for the duration of the agreement as stated herein and may exceed but in no case be less than the certified and approved schedule of abatement of local real property taxes provided in the agreement. Such agreement shall be in a form recordable among the land records of the County of Erie and shall be recorded and filed by the City at the applicant 's expense in the office of the Erie County Clerk, and such duly approved, recorded and filed agreement shall take effect on the next taxable status date following the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.
F. Rescission. Landmark designation of any building rehabilitated and maintained in accordance with an adaptive reuse agreement shall in no case be rescinded prior to the expiration of the term of any compensation certified and approved in the manner herein provided. The duration of any abatement herein certified and approved shall be contingent upon continued compliance with all conditions of the adaptive reuse agreement providing such compensation.
G. Regulations in accordance with the intent of this chapter may be issued pursuant to § 337-5A to provide for the administration of this section.
§ 337-25. Deviations.
Any notice or certificates issued pursuant to this code shall relate solely to proposed plans accompanying the application or otherwise submitted for the Preservation Board 's consideration. It shall be unlawful to deviate from the proposed plans or any modifications required thereto as approved by the Preservation Board.
§ 337-26. Appeals.
A. Jurisdiction. The Common Council shall have jurisdiction to decide all appeals from action of the Preservation Board brought by aggrieved applicants.
B. Procedure. All such appeals shall be fixed with the City Clerk, who shall cause the appeals to be presented to the Common Council at its next stated meeting. The Common Council shall refer such appeals to the Committee on Legislation. The Committee shall set the matter down for a public hearing, as provided in §§ 337-6 through 337-14 herein, unless such hearing is waived by consent of the applicant. After hearing the parties, the Committee shall recommend to the Common Council the action to be taken.
C. Determination. The Committee shall forward its recommendation to the Common Council, which may affirm, reverse, modify or amend the Preservation Board 's recommendation within sixty (60) days of the date of the filing of the appeal. The Common Council shall set forth its reasons for such action.
ARTICLE V, Additional Provisions
§ 337-27. Ordinary maintenance and repair.
A. Nothing in this code shall be construed as preventing the ordinary maintenance or repair of any landmark, improvement on a landmark site or structure in an historic district which does not involve a change of design or material or other exterior effect and which does not require a building permit.
B. Every owner, operator or agent of a landmark, landmark site or structure in an historic district shall keep in good repair all portions of such improvements which, if not so maintained, may cause the exterior portions of such improvements to deteriorate, decay or become damaged or otherwise fall into a state of disrepair.
§ 337-28. Dangerous conditions.
A. Official order. Where a governmental enforcement agency shall order or direct the construction, removal, alteration or demolition of any improvement on a landmark site or structure in an historic district to remedy emergency conditions, determined to be imminently dangerous to life, health or property, compliance with the order or directive may be undertaken without prior issuance of a certificate or notice. Where feasible, notice of the order shall be given to the Preservation Board.
B. Notice to the Preservation Board. In instances where danger to life, health and property is not imminent, the enforcement agency shall give the Preservation Board written notice of any proposed order or direction which affects or may affect the exterior appearance of a landmark or landmark site or property within an historic district. The enforcement agency shall give the Preservation Board ten (10) days in which to comment after receipt of such notice prior to taking further action.
C. Power of Preservation Board. The Preservation Board shall have the power to require that demolition not occur or that corrective work not materially change the exterior appearance of a landmark, where danger to life, health or property may be abated without detracting from the exterior appearance of a landmark.
§ 337-29. Extensions of time.
Whenever, under the provisions of this Article, the Preservation Board or the Committee on Legislation is required, within a prescribed period of time, to make any determination or perform any act in relation to an application, the applicant may agree to extend such period of time by filing a statement with the Preservation Board or the Committee on Legislation.
§ 337-30. Injunctions and orders.
Upon request of the Preservation Board or the Common Council or where otherwise necessary to prevent or abate violations of this code, the Corporation Counsel is empowered to seek an injunction or other appropriate order of a court and to bring further proceedings for enforcement of such injunctions or orders.
§ 337-31. Fees.
A. The Preservation Board may establish fees for review of nominations, issuance of certificates and other operating procedures subject to the prior approval of the Common Council.
B. Any such application, except by a governmental agency, shall be accompanied by a filing fee as provided in Chapter 175, Fees.
§ 337-32. Penalties for offenses.
A violation of this code is punishable by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500. ) or by imprisonment not exceeding fifteen (15) days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, or by penalty of not more than five hundred dollars ($500. ) to be recovered by the City of Buffalo in a civil action. Every day of such violation may be held to constitute a separate offense.
- Building construction and demolition; fire prevention 'see Ch. 103.
- Moving of buildings 'see Ch. 107.
- Unsafe buildings 'see Ch. 113.
- Housing standards 'see Ch. 242.
- Property maintenance 'see Ch. 341.
- Zoning 'see Ch. 511.