(a) The Old and Historic Fredericksburg District (HFD) is established for the purpose of promoting the general welfare, education, and recreational benefit of the public through the recognition of this area of the city as having historic, architectural, and cultural significance.
*Cross reference--Advisory board of regents of the Mary Washington Monument. § 3-46 et seq.; architectural review board, § 3-46 et seq.
State law references-Historic resources, Code of Virginia. § 10.1-2200 et seq.; Virginia Historic Preservation Foundation, Code of Virginia. § 10.1-2400 et seq.
Regulations of the HFD are intended to protect, restore, and preserve the architectural integrity of existing structures, to create an atmosphere for compatible growth for the future, to prevent the intrusion of environmental influences adverse to such purposes, and to ensure that new structures and uses will be in keeping with the character of the HFD.
(b) The HFD is also intended to recognize, protect, and preserve the abundant evidences of the city's industrial history, including, but not limited to, mill sites, canals, locks, dams, and similar structures located along the Rappahannock River, both within and outside the designated HFD.
(c) The criteria for inclusion in the HFD are districts, structures, and sites that:
(2) Are associated with the lives of persons significant in the past;
(3) Embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, that represent the work of a master, that possess exceptional artistic value, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or
(4) Have yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history. (Ord. No. 90-9, § I, 3-27-90)
(a) The boundaries of the Old and Historic Fredericksburg District shall be those established for the Fredericksburg District on the National Register of Historic Places except as otherwise provided by this section. The southern boundary of the HFD shall be as shown on the 40-block HFD map, with the centerlines of Dixon and Dunmore streets serving as a portion of the boundary and the southernmost property lines of HFD properties constituting the remainder of the southern boundary of the HFD. The northern boundary shall be the centerlines of Hawke and Canal Streets, as depicted on the HFD boundary map. The western boundary shall be the property lines of those properties within the HFD that are on or adjacent to the western side of Prince Edward Street. The eastern boundary shall be the Rappahannock River.
(b) The boundaries of the HFD, as set forth in this section, shall be delineated on tax maps of the city and as an overlay on the official zoning map of the city. (Ord No. 90-9, § I, 3-27-90)
(a) A building permit shall be required for all reconstruction. exterior addition or alteration, exterior restoration, razing, relocation, or demolition of any building or structure within the Old and Historic Fredericksburg District. A building permit shall also be required for all new construction within the HFD.
(b) A zoning permit shall be required in lieu of a building permit for all accessory structures, (e.g., fences, walls, dish antennas) not requiring a building permit pursuant to this section. Such permit shall be issued by the director of code compliance upon approval of a certificate of appropriateness by the architectural review board.(Ord. No. 90-9, I, 3-27-90) Cross reference--Building code, § 6-21 et seq.
There shall be an architectural review board for the city. Such body shall have the duty to implement the provisions of this division, in accordance with the provisions of section 3-46 et seq. of this Code. (State law reference--Historical preservation, Code of Virginia, § 15.1-503.2.)
(a) No building permit shall be issued for the construction, reconstruction, exterior addition or alteration, exterior restoration, razing, relocation, or demolition of any building or structure within the Old and Historic Fredericksburg District unless and until a certificate of appropriateness has been approved by the architectural review board in accordance with the guidelines in this section pertaining to existing structures within the HFD.
(b) No building permit shall be issued for any sign unless and until a certificate of appropriateness has been approved by the architectural review board in accordance with the requirements of this division pertaining to proposed signs within the HFD. (Ord. No. 90-9, § I, 3-27-90)
(a) All applications for building permits and certificates of appropriateness shall be made to the Office of Planning and Community Development. When the community development coordinator has determined that the application is complete, then the application shall be forwarded to the architectural review board for review.
(b) The architectural review board or the community development coordinator may request any or all of the following information in order for the application to be deemed complete:
(2) Statement of estimated construction time;
(3) Photographs, maps, and drawings relating the proposed use to surrounding properties;
(4) Site design drawings showing building configuration, topography, and relationship to site improvements, color, and building materials;
(5) Architectural drawings to scale showing the plan and elevation of the erection, reconstruction, exterior addition or alteration, restoration, razing, relocation, or demolition of existing buildings;
(6) Landscaping plan;
(7) Plan of exterior signs, lighting, and graphics, including a description of materials. (Ord. No. 90-9, § I, 3-27-90)
The community development coordinator shall advertise that each application for a certificate of appropriateness will be the subject of a public hearing to be held at either a regular or special meeting of the architectural review board. Such hearing notice shall be published once a week for two (2) successive weeks in a newspaper published or having general circulation in the city. Such notice shall specify the time and place of the hearing at which persons affected may appear and present their views, not less than six (6) days nor more than twenty-one (21) days after the second advertisement shall appear in such newspaper. The term "two successive weeks," as used in this paragraph, shall mean that such notice shall be published at least twice in such newspaper with not less than six (6) days elapsing between the first and second publication. (Ord. No. 90-9, § I, 3-27-90)
The architectural review board shall promptly review each application for a permit. In reviewing applications, the architectural review board shall consider only those design features subject to view from the public right-of-way and shall not make any requirements except for the purpose of encouraging development that is architecturally compatible with the historic aspects of the HFD. (Ord. No. 90-9, § I, 3-27-90)
(a) The architectural review board shall base its decisions on the U.S. Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation, as may be amended from time to time, in determining the appropriateness of any application for approval pertaining to existing structures, as follows:
(2) 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 historical material or distinctive architectural features should be avoided when possible.
(3) All buildings, structures, and sites shall be recognized as products of their own time. Alterations that have no historical basis and which seek to create an earlier appearance shall be discouraged.
(4) Changes which 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.
(5) Distinctive stylistic features or examples of skilled craftsmanship which characterize a building, structure, or site shall be treated with sensitivity.
(6) 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. Replacement of missing architectural features should be based on historic, physical, or pictorial evidence rather than on conjectural designs or the availability of different architectural elements from other buildings or structures.
(7) The surface cleaning of structures shall be undertaken with the gentlest means possible. Sandblasting and other cleaning methods that will damage the historic building materials shall not be undertaken.
(8) Every reasonable effort shall be made to protect and preserve archeological resources affected by or adjacent to any project.
(9) Contemporary design for alterations and additions to existing properties shall not be discouraged when such alterations and additions do not destroy significant historical, architectural or cultural material, and such design is compatible with the size, scale, color, material, and character of the property, neighborhood or environment.
(10) Wherever possible, new additions or alterations to structures shall be done in such a manner that if such additions or alterations were to be removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the structure would be unimpaired.
(2) The proportions between the height of a building, its bulk, and the nature of its roof line (i.e., is its appearance predominantly horizontal or vertical?);
(3) The nature of the open spaces around buildings, including the extent of setbacks, the existence of any side yards and their size, and the continuity of such spaces along the street;
(4) The existence of trees and other landscaping, and the extent of paving;
(5) The nature of the openings in the facade (primarily doors and windows), their location, size and proportions;
(6) The type of roof (flat, gabled, hip, gambrel, mansard, etc.);
(7) The nature of projections from the buildings, particularly porches;
(8) The nature of the architectural details and the predominant architectural style;
(9) The nature of the materials;
(11) The details of ornamentation. (Ord. No. 90-9, § I, 3-27-90)
In determining the appropriateness of any application for a certificate of appropriateness pertaining to new structures the architectural review board shall consider the application's relatedness to existing historic district structures and characteristics, including the following elements:
(2) Proportion of buildings' front facades;
(3) Proportion of openings within the facade;
(4) Relationship of solids to voids in front facades;
(5) Spacing of buildings on street;
(6) Relationship of entrance and porch projections;
(7) Relationship of materials;
(8) Relationship of textures;
(9) Relationship of architectural details;
(10) Relationship of roof shapes;
(11) Walls of continuity;
(12) Relationship of landscaping;
(13) Ground cover;
(15) Directional expression of front elevation;
(16) Appropriateness of the new structure to its historic setting.
(Ord. No. 90-9, § I, 3-27-90)
(a) In determining the appropriateness of any application for the demolition (including demolition which occurs through neglect), removal or relocation of a structure in the HFD, the architectural review board shall consider the following review criteria:
(2) The historical significance of the structure;
(3) The significance of the structure to the streetscape;
(4) The significance of the structure in furthering the comprehensive plan's goals for historic preservation and HFD development;
(5) The significance of the structure with regard to tourism;
(6) Effect on surrounding properties;
(7) Inordinate hardship. To establish inordinate hardship under this section the applicant must submit evidence that rehabilitation of the structure is impractical, that the structure is inappropriate for the proposed use desired by the owner, and that the applicant cannot make reasonable economic use of the property. Such evidence may include proof of consideration of plans for adaptive reuse, attempts to sell, rent or lease the property, and information regarding annual income and expenses. Any hardship created by action of the applicant shall not be considered in reviewing any application.
(2) The owner has, for the period of time set forth in the time schedule contained in this section and at a price reasonably related to its fair market value, made a bona fide offer to sell such landmark, building, or structure and the land pertaining thereto to the city or to any entity which gives reasonable assurance that it is willing to preserve and restore the landmark, building, or structure and the land pertaining thereto; and
(3) That no bona fide contract, binding upon all parties thereto, shall have been executed for the sale of any such landmark, building, or structure and the land pertaining thereto, prior to the expiration of the applicable time period set forth in the time schedule contained in this section. Any appeal which may be taken to court from the decision of the Council, whether instituted by the owner or by any other proper party, notwithstanding the provisions heretofore stated relating to a stay of the decision appealed from, shall not affect the right of the owner to make the bona fide offer to sell referred to above. No offer to sell shall be made more than one (1) year after a final decision by the Council, but thereafter the owner may renew his request to the Council to approve the razing or demolition of the historic landmark, building, or structure. The time schedule for offers to sell shall be as follows:
b. Four (4) months when the offering price is twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) or more but less than forty thousand dollars ($40,000.00);
c. Five (5) months when the offering price is forty thousand dollars ($40,000.00) or more but less than fifty-five thousand dollars ($55,000.00);
d. Six (6) months when the offering price is fifty-five thousand dollars ($55,000.00) or more but less than seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000.00);
e. Seven (7) months when the offering price is seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000.00) or more but less than ninety thousand dollars ($90,000.00); and
f. Twelve (12) months when the offering price is ninety thousand dollars ($90,000.00) or more. (Ord. No. 90-9, I, 3-27-90)
The architectural review board shall consider the following in determining the appropriateness of any application for a sign proposed within the HFD):
b. Placement should not obscure significant architectural features or details of the building;
c. A sign should be placed only at a location within the HFD at which the announced business or activity takes place.
b. The style and lettering of the sign should be appropriate to the structure, the business and the streetscape.
c. The lettering size should be in proportion both to the sign and the building.
b. The sign should not have so many colors that they detract from the strength of the visual image.
b. All signs shall meet the requirements of division 3 of this article. (Ord. No. 90-9, § I, 3-27-90) (State law reference-Outdoor advertising in sight of public highways, Code of Virginia, 33.1-351 et seq.)
The architectural review board shall adopt standards, including design examples, for signs deemed acceptable in the HFD and shall cause such standards to be published or made available to the public. The zoning administrator shall have the right to issue ninety day temporary certificates for any sign which he deems to meet these standards. Applicants for such temporary certificates must file applications with the architectural review board for permanent approval within sixty (60) days of the issuance of a temporary certificate. (Ord. No. 90-9, § I, 3-27-90)
Four (4) types of signs in the HFD shall not require review or approval by the architectural review board but may be approved through the sign permitting process by the zoning administrator, as set forth in division 3 of this article. Each sign shall be made by a professional sign maker or sign painter who is regularly engaged in the production of signs. Size, area, placement, and related dimensional aspects of such signs shall continue to be governed by division 3 of this article. The four (4) types of signs are:
(2) Professional wall sign. A professional wall sign shows the name and occupation of a building tenant or occupant. It shall be limited to lettering only, without pictorial or similar types of representations. The size of such signs shall be limited to a maximum size of twelve (12) inches by twenty-four (24) inches and one-half inch minimum thickness, and it shall be constructed of durable, substantial, and generally accepted professional sign material. Examples of approved professional wall signs shall be maintained in the office of planning and community development.
(3) Temporary sign. A temporary sign is one which announces construction or real estate information. Such sign shall be allowed for a period of no more than twelve (12) months and shall be limited to a maximum size of twenty-four (24) inches by forty-eight (48) inches. Examples of approved temporary signs shall be maintained in the office of planning and community development.
(4) Entablature or panel sign. An entablature or panel sign is one which is limited to one (1) color lettering painted onto an existing architectural panel or similar physical feature of a building. Examples of approved entablature or panel signs shall be maintained in the office of planning and community development. (Ord. No. 90-9, § I, 3-27-90)
A record of architectural review board actions and procedures shall be maintained and available to the general public. Any photograph, drawing, map, description, etc., submitted with an application, together with any certificate issued, shall be a part of the public record and maintained as such. (Ord. No. 90-9, I, 3-27-90)
After appropriate review, the architectural review board shall act to
(2) approve with modification, or
(3) deny any request or application within thirty (30) days of submission of a complete application.
(2) An extension has been granted by the architectural review board, which shall not exceed six (6) months. (Ord. No. 90-9, § I, 3-27-90)
(a) Any person aggrieved by a decision of the architectural review board may appeal such decision to the Council, provided such appeal is filed in writing within fourteen (14) days from the date of notification of the architectural review board's decision. The Council shall consult with the architectural review board in relation to any appeal and may require documentation of any architectural review board's decision prior to hearing the appeal. The Council may affirm, reverse, or modify the architectural review board's decision and shall notify the community development coordinator of its actions.
(b) Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Council may appeal such decision to the circuit court of the city by filing a petition at law setting forth the alleged illegality of the action of the Council, provided such petition is filed within thirty (30) days after the final decision is rendered by the Council. The filing of the petition shall stay the decision of the Council pending the outcome of the appeal to the circuit court, except that the filing of such petition shall not stay the decision of the Council if such decision denies the right to raze or demolish a historic landmark, building, or structure. The court may affirm, reverse, modify the decision of the Council, in whole or in part, if it finds upon review that the decision of the Council is contrary to law or that its decision is arbitrary and constitutes an abuse of discretion. (Ord. No. 90-9, § I, 3-27-90) (Cross reference--Administration, Ch. 2.)
(a) All uses shall be permitted in the HFD that are allowed in the underlying zoning district in which the property is located.
(b) The architectural review board may review and make recommendations to the planning commission about any application for a special use permit located in the Old and Historic Fredericksburg District.
(c) Nothing in this division shall be construed to prevent the application of the building code or other laws and ordinances applicable thereto.
(d) The provisions of this division shall not apply to property owned by either the city, the commonwealth, or the United States of America and used or to be used for public purposes.
(e) Parking and loading shall be in accordance with the provisions of division 4 of this article. (Ord. No. 90-9, § I, 3-27-90)
The Council may adopt ordinances delineating one (1) or more Old and Historic Fredericksburg Districts containing
(ii) other buildings or structures within the city having important historic, architectural, archaeological, or cultural significance, or
(iii) any other historic areas within the city, as defined by Code of Virginia, 15.1430(b).
Last Update: 9/16/96
Name: Gary Stanton, Dept of Historic Preservation