Kent County Boards and Committees

Historic Preservation Commission (Term 3 years)

Elizabeth Beckley, Chairman 12/31/16 Carolyn G. Brooks 01/01/16
Robert Busler, 11/31/16 Susan M. Debnam 01/01/16
Barton Ross 03/31/14 Max E. Ruehrmund, III 01/01/16
VACANT  
Date indicates expiration of term.

187-3. Historic Preservation Commission.

A. Historic Preservation Commission.  The County hereby creates a commission to be called the Kent County Historic Preservation Commission.

B. Membership.  The Historic Preservation Commission shall consist of seven (7) members appointed by the County Commissioners.  At least six (6) members of the Commission shall be residents and/or property owners of Kent County.  All members shall possess a demonstrated special interest, specific knowledge, or professional or academic training in such fields as history, architecture, architectural history, planning, archeology, anthropology, curation, conservation, landscape architecture, historic preservation, urban design, or related disciplines.

A non-resident appointee to the Commission must possess professional or academic qualifications.

At least two (2) members of the Commission shall possess professional or academic training in one or more of the above-listed fields in accordance with the minimum professional requirements of the United States Department of the Interior for certifying local governments under 36 C.F.R. Part 61.  A good-faith effort to locate and appoint such professionals will be made and documentation as to how this effort was accomplished shall be retained by the County.

C. The County Commissioners may consult other private societies or agencies to request the names of possible members on the Commission.  Geographic diversity within the County shall be a goal. Commission Membership Qualification Criteria.  The requirement for Commission membership under the category of demonstrated special interest may be satisfied by formal training in one or more of the fields listed in paragraph B.  The requirement for membership under the category of specific knowledge may be satisfied by formal post secondary education, employment or practical experience in one or more of the above-listed fields.  The requirement for Commission membership under the category of professional or academic training may be satisfied by, at a minimum, two years experience as a professional or a Bachelor's degree in one or more of the above-listed fields.

D. Terms. Commission members shall be appointed for terms of three (3) years, except that the terms of the initial appointments shall be staggered so that three (3) members shall serve terms of three (3) years, two (2) members shall serve terms of two (2) years, and two (2) members shall serve terms of one (1) year, so that not more than three (3) appointments shall expire in a given year.  Commission members may be reappointed.

E. Commission Officers.  The Commission shall elect, from its membership, a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson.  The Chairperson and Vice Chairperson shall serve for one (1) year terms and shall be eligible for reelection.

F. Vacancy.  Any vacancy in the membership of the Commission caused by the expiration of a term, resignation, death, incapacity to discharge duties, removal for cause, or any other reason, shall be filled for a new term, or for the remainder of the term for which there is a vacancy, as the case may be, in the same manner as provided herein for the appointment of the initial members of the Commission.  Any vacancy on the Commission shall be filled by the appointing authority within sixty (60) days.  In the case of expiration of term, a member may continue to serve until the member's successor is appointed.  Unexcused absence at three (3) consecutive meetings shall constitute resignation by the member and shall create a vacancy.

G. Removal for Cause.  A member may be removed from the Commission for cause, upon written charges, and after a public hearing, by the County Commissioners.

H. Compensation.  The Board of County Commissioners shall determine from year to year what, if any, expenses and/or salaries shall be paid the Commission members, and what, if any, budget shall be set.

I. Meetings. The Commission shall hold such regular meetings and hearings as necessary to discharge its duties.

L. Staff.  Consistent with the County's policies and procedures, employees may be assigned to the Commission, and such services and facilities shall be made available as the County deems necessary or appropriate for the proper performance of its duties.

187-4. Powers and Duties.

A. As part of its powers and duties, the Historic Preservation Commission:

(1) Shall adopt rules for the organization and conduct of meetings;
(2) Shall act upon applications for Certificates of Appropriateness;

(3) Shall inform the citizens of the County concerning the historic and architectural heritage of the County;

(4) May conduct an ongoing survey to identify historically and architecturally significant sites, properties, structures and areas that exemplify the cultural, social, economic, political or architectural history of the nation, state and county;

(5) Shall review all petitions for designation to the Kent County Register of Historic Places and submit recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners;

(6) Shall keep a register of all properties, sites and structures that have been designated as landmarks or historic districts, including all information required for each designation;

(7) For areas which are located within a designated Historic Site, Structure, or District, or which have preservation easements, the Commission shall review any application for a special exception, variance, site plan or subdivision, and any legislation or other proposals, including preparation and amendment of master plans, and may make recommendations thereon to the appropriate authorities;

(8) Shall be able to accept and use gifts and services for the exercise of its functions which are given to the Board of County Commissioners specifically for use by the Historic Preservation Commission;

(9) Shall recommend for adoption rehabilitation and new construction design guidelines and criteria for construction, alteration, reconstruction, repair, moving and demolition of property in designated districts or individually designated sites or landmarks which are consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Treatment of Historic Properties. Guidelines may include design characteristics intended to meet the needs of particular types of sites, structures, and districts, and may identify categories of changes that do not require review by the Commission because they are minimal in nature and do not affect historic, archaeological, or architectural significance. These design guidelines shall be used in the Historic Preservation Commission’s review of applications for Certificates of Appropriateness;

(10) May determine an appropriate system of markers and make recommendation for the design and implementation of specific markings of the street and routes leading from one site, landmark, or historic district to another. May confer recognition upon the owners of landmarks, sites or property or structures within historic districts by means of certificates, plaques or markers;

(11) May advise and assist owners of landmarks, sites, historic properties or structures within historic districts on physical and financial aspects of preservation, reconstruction, restoration, renovation, rehabilitation, and reuse, and on procedures for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

(12) May, with the written permission of the property owner(s), nominate landmarks, sites and historic districts to the National Register of Historic Places and review and comment on any National Register nomination submitted to the Commission for review;

(13) May consider applications for economic hardship that would allow the performance of work for which a certificate of appropriateness has been denied;

(14) May research sources of funding for historic preservation projects and recommend to the board of County Commissioners the acceptance of any grant, loan or aid, in any form, from federal, state or private sources on behalf of the County;

(15) May, at the request of an owner or applicant, offer consultation with respect to changes to interior features; and

(16) Shall review and recommend for action by the Board of County Commissioners the acquisition of historic preservation easements on designated landmarks, structures, or sites and, when deemed appropriate by the Commission, sites or structures located in, or adjacent to, a designated district, consistent with the County’s ordinances, resolutions, local public law, policies and procedures.

B. In addition, the Historic Preservation Commission shall have all the powers and authority enumerated in the Annotated Code of Maryland, Article 66B, Sections 8.01-8.17., as presently codified and as may be amended from time to time.