City of Spokane

Spokane Municipal Code

Title 04
Chapter 04.35
Section 04.35.080

Title 04 Administrative Agencies and Procedures

Chapter 04.35 Landmarks Commission

Section 04.35.080 Duties

The commission sets historic preservation policies for the City and County of Spokane.

  1. The major responsibilities of the commission are to:

    1. identify and actively encourage the conservation of City and County historic resources;

    2. recommend the designation of historic landmarks and districts;

    3. raise community awareness of historic resources; and

    4. advise the council and board on matters of history, historic planning and preservation.  

  2. In carrying out these responsibilities the commission engages in, but is not limited to, the following activities:

    1. Registers of Historic Places.

      1. Submit nominations to the state and national registers of historic places.

      2. Review nominations to the Spokane register according to criteria in SMC 17D.040.090.

      3. Initiate and maintain the Spokane register of historic places to encourage efforts by owners to maintain, rehabilitate and preserve properties. This official register compiles buildings, districts, objects, sites and structures identified by the commission as having historic significance worthy of recognition by the council or board

      4. Review proposals (as provided in SMC 17D.040.200) to construct, change, alter, modify, remodel, move, demolish and significantly affect properties or districts on the register.

      5. Review all applications for alterations to buildings on which the City or county owns a facade easement, and make recommendations to the appropriate building officials concerning the approval or denial of a permit. The building official does not issue a permit for any alteration to a building which is encumbered by a facade easement until the commission or its designee has made its recommendation. The building official’s decision may be appealed to the hearing examiner.

      6. Review all applications for the special permit under SMC 11.19.270 and make recommendations concerning the approval or denial of the special permit and suggest conditions, if appropriate, to the Spokane hearing examiner.

    2. Public Plans and Programs.

      1. Conduct and maintain a comprehensive inventory of historic resources within the boundaries of the City and Spokane County and publicize and periodically update inventory results. Properties listed on the inventory are recorded on official zoning records but this designation does not change or modify the underlying zoning classification.

      2. Implement and maintain the City’s historic preservation plan, upon the direction of the city plan commission and council.

      3. Review and comment to the council or board on land use, housing and redevelopment, municipal improvement and other types of planning and programs undertaken by any agency of City or County government, other neighboring communities, the state or federal governments, as they relate to historic resources in Spokane and Spokane County

      4. Establish liaison support, communication and cooperation with federal, state and other local government entities which will further historic preservation objectives, including public education, within the City of Spokane and Spokane County.

    3. Tax Valuation.

      1. Serve as the local review board for special valuation of historic property in Spokane (Resolution 85-66, November 4, 1985), and:

        1. make determinations concerning the eligibility of historic properties for special valuation,

        2. verify that the improvements are consistent with the Washington State Advisory Council’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Maintenance,

        3. enter into agreements with property owners for the duration of the special valuation period as required under WAC 254-20-070(2),

        4. approve or deny applications for special valuation,

        5. monitor the property for continued compliance with the agreement and statutory eligibility requirements during the ten-year special valuation period, and

        6. adopt administrative rules and comply with all other local review board responsibilities identified in chapter 84.26 RCW.

    4. Public Education.

      1. Participate in, promote and conduct public informational, educational and interpretive programs pertaining to historic resources; and provide, by way of pamphlets, newsletters, workshops and similar activities, information to the public on methods of maintaining and rehabilitating historic properties.

      2. Be informed about and provide information to the public and city and county departments on the use of various federal, state, local and private funding sources available to promote historic resource preservation and other incentives for preservation of historic resources, including legislation, regulations and codes which encourage the use and adaptive reuse of historic properties.

      3. Officially recognize excellence in the rehabilitation of historic buildings, structures, sites and districts and new construction in historic areas; and encourage appropriate measures for such recognition.

    5. Historic Building Code Review.
      With certification of the state historic preservation officer, the historic preservation officer/landmarks commission is the local government historic preservation program for reviewing qualified historic rehabilitation projects.

    6. Other.

      1. Provide for the review, either by the commission or its staff, of all applications for approvals, permits, environmental assessments or impact statements and other similar documents pertaining to identified historic resources or adjacent properties.

      2. Advise the council or board generally on matters of City of Spokane and Spokane County history and historic preservation.

      3. Conduct all commission meetings in compliance with chapter 42.30 RCW, the Open Public Meetings Act, to provide for adequate public participation.

      4. Perform other related functions assigned to it by the board or council.

      5. Provide historic preservation services pursuant to interlocal cooperation agreements entered into by the city council and county commissioners.

Date Passed: Monday, February 9, 2015

Effective Date: Sunday, March 15, 2015

ORD C35214 Section 1