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A. Purpose. The purpose of a Certificate of Appropriateness is to ensure against the loss of a designated historic landmark of historic significance. Further, it ensures that prior to consideration of a demolition that alternatives have been explored and that mitigation, if appropriate, is required.

B. Scope.

1. Unless exempted by subsection (C) of this section, Exceptions, a Certificate of Appropriateness shall be required prior to any of the following taking place: any alteration that would affect a significant feature of a designated historic landmark, any addition to a designated historic landmark, moving a designated historic landmark, or demolition of a designated historic landmark.

2. Where a recognized religious group owns a site or structure and uses that site or structure for worship or religious education, the decision on a Certificate of Appropriateness shall be advisory.

C. Exceptions. A Certificate of Appropriateness shall not be required for the following:

1. Ordinary repairs and maintenance to designated historic landmarks that do not alter the appearance of a significant feature as defined under King County Code Chapter 20.62 and does not use substitute materials. Ordinary repair shall include painting to match the original color or a color consistent with the integrity of the historic landmark and applied in a manner that protects significant features.

2. Emergency repair work necessary to prevent destruction or dilapidation to real property or parts of a structure that are immediately threatened or damaged by fire, flood, earthquake, or other disaster.

3. Excavations of graves in a cemetery.

4. Interior improvements or alterations made in order to accommodate the needs of a tenant or different use that:

a. Do not affect a significant feature;

b. Do not alter or obscure from view a significant feature;

c. During the course of construction, remove, catalog, and restore the original feature in the original location; and

d. Do not use substitute materials.

D. Procedure. The following procedures shall be established for the actions listed in subsection B. The level of review shall depend upon the action requested. The levels have been established based on the potential of the action to affect the historic landmark.

1. Level I Certificate of Appropriateness shall apply to restorations and repairs that utilize identical materials except repair exempted by subsection C, Exceptions, for new or replacement signs, and for minor utility system changes. Level I Certificate of Appropriateness shall follow the procedures established in RZC 21.76.050.F, Type I Review.

2. Level II Certificate of Appropriateness shall apply to additions, for replacement of historic materials with alternate materials, or for painting or covering historic materials or surfaces except painting exempted by section C.1, above, Exceptions. Should the Landmark Commission and the applicant agree in writing to a proposal for this work, a certificate may be issued following a Type II Review. If such an agreement cannot be reached, a hearing shall be held under a Type III Review.

3. Level III Certificate of Appropriateness shall apply to demolitions, in whole or in part, or for filling, grading, or excavation on or to an archaeological site, paving or building in or over an archaeological site, or moving a structure (See RZC 21.30.070, Archaeological Sites, of this chapter). Level III Certificate of Appropriateness shall follow the procedures established in RZC 21.76.050.H, Type III Review.

4. Evaluation of Economic Impact for Demolitions. At the time of application, the property owner, or a person authorized by the owner, may request consideration of evidence pertaining to the economic impact on the owner or a denial or a partial denial of a Certificate of Appropriateness. The application submitted shall include documentation as set by the Administrator. In no case shall a certificate be denied, in whole or in part, when it is established that the denial or partial denial will deprive the owner of a reasonable economic use of the landmark given the following:

a. There is no viable and reasonable alternative that would have less impact on the features of significance; and

b. Moving the resource has been evaluated as an alternative; and

c. That the economic analysis showed that the use of all available incentives would not change the economic impact to the owner.

E. Decision Criteria. The Administrator or the Landmark Commission shall use the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties together with generally accepted preservation practices as guidance in making decisions concerning a Certificate of Appropriateness. (Ord. 2982)

Effective on: 1/2/2020