Certificates of Appropriateness

Overview
If the City Commission has designated by ordinance individual landmarks, landmark sites, and historic districts, then no person may undertake the following actions without first obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic New Smyrna Beach Preservation Commission (HPC) (┬ž50-8, Code of Ordinances):
  • Alterations of an archaeological site or the exterior part of a building or structure
  • New construction
  • Demolition
  • Relocation
Review of a new construction and alterations to designated buildings and structures shall be limited to exterior changes visible to the public. Ordinary repairs and maintenance that are otherwise permitted by law may be undertaken without a Certificate of Appropriateness provided this work on a designated landmark, a designated landmark site, or a property in a designated historic district does not alter the exterior appearance of the building, structure or archaeological site, or alter elements significant to its architectural or historic integrity.

Application & Fee
The chief building official shall forward to the HPC each application for a permit that would authorize an alteration, new construction, demolition, or relocation affecting a designated landmark, a designated landmark site, or a property in a designated historic district. The applicant shall complete an application form provided by the building department containing in part the following information:
  • Drawings of the proposed work;
  • Photographs of the existing building or structure and adjacent properties
  • Information about the building materials to be used
The city manager shall determine when an application is complete and may request additional information when such application is determined to be incomplete.

Development Services Fees
The City Commission shall establish, by resolution, a schedule of administration fees for a Certificate of Appropriateness. The applicant shall pay the required fees at the time the application is submitted. Administration fees shall be set and adjusted periodically by the City Commission. View the Complete List of Development Services Fees.

Review Process
The HPC shall hold a public hearing on each Certificate of Appropriateness within 30 days after receipt of a completed application. The commission shall approve, approve with conditions, or disapprove each application, based on the criteria contained in this section. The HPC shall act within 60 days after the close of the public hearing. If the HPC fails to decide an application within the specified time period, then the application shall be deemed approved.

General Criteria
In approving or denying applications for certificates of appropriateness for alterations, new construction, demolition or relocation, the HPC shall use the following general guidelines:
  • The effect of the proposed work on the landmark or the property upon which such work is to be done
  • The relationship between such work and other structures on the landmark site or other property in the historic district
  • The extent to which the historic, architectural or archaeological significance, architectural style, design, arrangement, texture, materials and color of the landmark or the property will be affected
  • Whether the denial of a Certificate of Appropriateness would deprive the property owner of reasonable beneficial use of his property
  • Whether the plans may be reasonably carried out by the applicant
Additional Guidelines for Alterations
  • In approving or denying applications for certificates of appropriateness for alterations, the commission shall also use the following additional guidelines, which are based on the United States Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Historic Preservation Projects
  • Every reasonable effort shall be made to provide a compatible use for a property that requires minimal alteration of the building, structure or site and its environment, or to use a property for its originally intended purpose
  • The distinguishing original qualities or character of a building, structure or site and its environment shall not be destroyed. The removal or alteration of any historic material or distinctive architectural features should be avoided when possible
  • All buildings, structures and sites shall be recognized as products of their own time. Alterations that have no historical basis and that seek to create an earlier appearance shall be discouraged
  • Changes that may have taken place in the course of time are evidence of the history and development of a building, structure or site and its environment. These changes may have acquired significance in their own right, and this significance shall be recognized and respected
  • Distinctive stylistic features or examples of skilled craftsmanship that characterize a building, structure or site shall be treated with sensitivity
  • Deteriorated architectural features shall be repaired rather than replaced, wherever possible. If replacement is necessary, the new material should match the material being replaced in composition, design, color, texture and other visual qualities. Repair or replacement of missing architectural features should be based on accurate duplications of features, substantiated by historical, physical or pictorial evidence rather than on conjectural designs or the availability of different architectural elements from other buildings or structures
  • The surface cleaning of structures shall be undertaken with the gentlest means possible. Sandblasting and other cleaning methods that will damage the historic building material shall not be undertaken
  • Every reasonable effort shall be made to protect and preserve archaeological resources affected by or adjacent to any acquisition, protection, stabilization, preservation, rehabilitation, restoration or reconstruction project
Additional Guidelines for New Construction
  • The height of proposed building shall be visually compatible with adjacent buildings
  • The relationship of the width of the building to the height of the front elevation shall be visually compatible to buildings and places to which it is visually related
  • The relationship of the width of the windows to height of windows in a building shall be visually compatible with buildings and places to which the building is visually related
  • The relationship of solids to voids in the front facade of a building shall be visually compatible with buildings and places to which it is visually related
  • The relationship of building to open space between it and adjoining buildings shall be visually compatible to the buildings and places to which it is visually related
  • The relationship of entrance and porch projections to sidewalks of a building shall be visually compatible to the buildings and places to which it is visually related
  • The relationship of the materials, texture and color of the facade of a building shall be visually compatible with the predominant materials used in the buildings to which it is visually related
  • The roof shape of a building shall be visually compatible with the buildings to which it is visually related
  • Appurtenances of a building such as walls, wrought iron fences, evergreens, landscape masses, building facades, etc., shall, if necessary, form cohesive walls of enclosures along a street, to ensure visual compatibility of the building to the buildings and places to which it is visually related
  • The size of a building, the mass of a building in relation to open spaces, the windows, door openings, porches and balconies shall be visually compatible with the buildings and places to which it is visually related
  • A building shall be visually compatible with the buildings and places to which it is visually related in its directional character, whether this be vertical character, horizontal character or nondirectional character
Additional Requirements for Demolitions
  • No Certificate of Appropriateness for demolitions shall be issued by the HPC until the applicant has demonstrated that no other feasible alternative to demolition can be found. The HPC may ask interested individuals and organizations for assistance in seeking an alternative to demolition. On all demolition applications, the HPC shall study the question of economic hardship for the applicant and shall determine whether the landmark or the property in the historic district can be put to reasonable beneficial use without the approval of the demolition application. In the case of an income-producing building, the HPC shall also determine whether the applicant can obtain a reasonable return from the existing building. The HPC may ask applicants for additional information to be used in making these determinations, including but not limited to evidence that the plans for a new building on the site will be implemented. If the applicant fails to establish the lack of a reasonable beneficial use or the lack of a reasonable return, the HPC shall deny the demolition application.
  • The HPC may grant a Certificate of Appropriateness for demolition even though the designated landmark, designated landmark site, or property within the designated historic district has reasonable beneficial use if the HPC determines that the property no longer contributes to a historic district or no longer has significance as a historic, architectural or archaeological landmark, that the demolition of the designated property is required by a community redevelopment plan or the Comprehensive Plan.
Additional Guidelines for Relocation
When an applicant seeks to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness for the relocation of a landmark, a building or structure on a landmark site, or a building or structure in an historic district, or wishes to relocate a building or structure to a landmark site or to a property in an historic district, the commission shall also consider the following:
  • The contribution the building or structure makes to its present setting
  • Whether there are definite plans for the site to be vacated
  • Whether the building or structure can be moved without significant damage to its physical integrity
  • The compatibility of the building or structure to its proposed site and adjacent properties
Appeals to City Commission
Within 15 days of the HPC decision, any person may appeal to the City Commission any decision of the HPC on an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness. The City Commission shall approve, approve with modifications, or disapprove the application within 60 days after receiving the appeal.

Emergency Conditions
In any case where the chief building official determines that there are emergency conditions dangerous to life, health or property affecting a landmark, a landmark site, or a property in an historic district, the official may order the remedying of these conditions without the approval of the commission or issuance of a required Certificate of Appropriateness. The chief building official shall promptly notify the chair of the commission of the action being taken.