(a) Before the Mayor may issue a permit to construct a building or structure in an historic district or on the site of an historic landmark, 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 on the permit application required by subsection (f) of this section, the Mayor may refer the 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, 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 any case where the Mayor deems appropriate, or in which the applicant so requests, the Mayor shall hold a public hearing on the permit application.
(f) The permit shall be issued unless the Mayor, after due consideration of the zoning laws and regulations of the District of Columbia, finds that the design of the building and the character of the historic district or historic landmark are incompatible; provided, that in any case in which an application is made for the construction of an additional building or structure on a lot upon which there is presently a building or structure, the Mayor may deny a construction permit entirely where he finds that any additional construction will be incompatible with the character of the historic district or historic landmark. Notwithstanding a finding of incompatibility, the Mayor may find that issuance of the permit is necessary to allow the construction of a project of special merit.
1981 Ed., § 5-1007.
1973 Ed., § 5-827.
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, in subsec. (f), inserted “Notwithstanding a finding of incompatibility, the Mayor may find that issuance of the permit is necessary to allow the construction of a project of special merit.”
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(d) 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.