(a) Before the Mayor may issue a permit to alter the exterior or site of an historic landmark or of a building or structure in an historic district, the Mayor shall review the permit application in accordance with this section and § 6-1108.03, and, for applications that will be submitted to the Historic Preservation Review Board or the Commission of Fine Arts for a public hearing, place notice of the application in the District of Columbia Register and on the website for the Historic Preservation Office.
(b) Prior to making the finding required by subsection (f) of this section, the Mayor may refer the permit application to the Historic Preservation Review Board for a recommendation, but shall so refer all applications that are not subject to review by the Commission of Fine Arts under the Old Georgetown Act (§ 6-1201 et seq.) or the Shipstead-Luce Act (§ 6-611.01). The Mayor shall consider any recommendation by the Review Board or by the Commission of Fine Arts pursuant to such referral.
(c) Within 120 days after the Review Board receives the referral pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the Mayor shall make the finding required by subsection (f) of this section.
(d) If the Review Board recommends against granting the application, it shall promptly notify the applicant in writing of its recommendation and the reasons therefor. If the Commission of Fine Arts recommends against granting the application, the Historic Preservation Office shall notify the applicant of the Commission of Fine Arts’ recommendation.
(e) In cases in which a claim of unreasonable economic hardship or special merit is made and in any other case he deems appropriate or in which the applicant so requests, the Mayor shall hold a public hearing on the permit application.
(f) No permit shall be issued unless the Mayor finds that such issuance is necessary in the public interest or that a failure to issue a permit will result in unreasonable economic hardship to the owner.
(g) The owner shall submit at the hearing such information as is relevant and necessary to support his application. In any instance where there is a claim of unreasonable economic hardship, the owner shall comply with the requirements of subsections (f) and (g) of § 6-1104.
(h) If the Mayor finds that an alteration is necessary to allow the construction of a project of special merit, a permit shall not be issued unless the owner demonstrates the ability to complete the project.
(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-144, § 6, 25 DCR 6939; May 10, 1989, D.C. Law 7-231, § 20, 36 DCR 492; Nov. 16, 2006, D.C. Law 16-185, § 2(h), 53 DCR 6712; Apr. 30, 2015, D.C. Law 20-249, § 2(b), 62 DCR 1512.)
1981 Ed., § 5-1005.
1973 Ed., § 5-825.
Effect of Amendments
D.C. Law 16-185, in subsec. (d), inserted “If the Commission of Fine Arts recommends against granting the application, the Historic Preservation Office shall notify the applicant of the Commission of Fine Arts’ recommendation.”; and added subsec. (h).
The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-249 would have rewritten (a).
Applicability of D.C. Law 20-249: § 3 of D.C. Law 20-249 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(b) of D.C. Law 20-249 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.