TITLE 17. LIBRARIES AND CULTURAL RESOURCES
Title of Regulation: 17VAC5-30. Evaluation Criteria and Procedures for Designations by the Board of Historic Resources (amending 17VAC5-30-100, 17VAC5-30-110, 17VAC5-30-120, 17VAC5-30-160).
Statutory Authority: § 10.1-2205 of the Code of Virginia.
Effective Dates: September 14, 2015, through March 14, 2017.
Agency Contact: Jennifer Pullen, Executive Assistant, Department of Historic Resources, 2801 Kensington Avenue, Richmond, VA 23221, telephone (804) 482-6085, FAX (804) 367-2391, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The purpose of the emergency amendments is to address the owner objection process to properties nominated for designation by the Board of Historic Resources for inclusion in the Virginia Landmarks Register. An emergency exists because the process for property owners objecting to a designation to the Virginia Landmarks Register is unclear. Confusion has resulted from the current regulations about the time frames in which to operate and the amount of detail and formality necessary in owner objection letters. This confusion has negatively affected both the ability of Department of Historic Resources staff to perform their duties and the ability of property owners to exercise their rights. Staff should have clear rules, regulations, and processes to state to property owners; likewise, property owners should have a firm and detailed set of guidelines and procedures to follow in order to exercise their rights as property owners.
In current regulations, there is no time restriction or deadline on the director receiving formal letters of objection to a property being considered for designation on the Virginia Landmarks Register. Also, property owners are not required to state the subject property address or parcel number in a formal objection letter nor is it required that the letter be attested. Current regulations do not require a copy of the recorded deed evidencing transfer of ownership to the objecting party. Lastly, in the current regulations, there is neither a time restriction nor a deadline for the director to receive letters for reconsideration.
The amendments to the existing regulations add clarifying language that written notification of the nomination and written notification of the public hearing will be sent to property owners as shown on "current" real estate tax assessments books. In addition, property owners who wish to object to a designation must submit their formal objection seven business days prior to the board meeting. The amendments also add that in addition to the letter being notarized, it must be attested and reference the property by address or parcel number, or both. Also, in order to be counted by the director as a property owner, if the objecting party was not listed on the real estate tax assessment list, then a copy of the recorded deed evidencing transfer of ownership must be submitted along with the attested and notarized statement. Lastly, formal designations may be reconsidered at a subsequent board meeting if the director receives, at least 30 days prior to the next scheduled board meeting, written, attested, and notarized statements stating that there is no longer an objection.
Public Notice and Public Hearings
17VAC5-30-100. Written notice of proposed nominations.
In any county, city, or town where the board proposes to designate property for inclusion in the Virginia Landmarks Register, the department shall give written notice of the proposal to the governing body and to the owner, owners, or the owner's agent (i) of property proposed to be designated as a historic landmark building, structure, object, or site, or to be included in a historic district, and
to the owners, or their agents, (ii) of all abutting property and property immediately across the street or road or across any railroad or waterway less than 300 feet wide. The list of such owners shall be obtained from either the official land recordation records or tax records, whichever is more appropriate, within 90 days prior to the notification of the proposal.
17VAC5-30-110. Public hearing for historic district; notice of hearing.
Prior to the designation by the board of a historic district, the department shall hold a public hearing at the seat of government of the county, city, or town in which the proposed historic district is located or within the proposed historic district. The public hearing shall be for the purpose of supplying additional information to the board. The time and place of such hearing shall be determined in consultation with a duly authorized representative of the local governing body, and shall be scheduled at a time and place that will reasonably allow for the attendance of the affected property owners. The department shall publish notice of the public hearing once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper published or having general circulation in the county, city, or town. Such notice shall specify the time and place of the public hearing at which persons affected may appear and present their views, not less than six days or more than 21 days after the second publication of the notice in such newspaper. In addition to publishing the notice, the department shall give written notice of the public hearing at least five days before such hearing to the owner, owners, or the owner's agent of (i) each parcel of real property to be included in the proposed historic district
, and to the owners, or their agents, of (ii) all abutting property and property immediately across the street or road or across any railroad or waterway less than 300 feet wide pursuant to 17VAC5-30-100. Notice required to be given to owners by this section may be given concurrently with the notice required to be given to the owners by 17VAC5-30-100. A complete copy of the nomination report and a map of the historic district showing the boundaries shall be sent to the local jurisdiction for public inspection at the time of notice. The notice shall include a synopsis of why the district is significant. The department shall make and maintain an appropriate record of all public hearings held pursuant to this section.
17VAC5-30-120. Mailings and affidavits; concurrent state and federal notice.
The department shall send the required notices by first class mail to the last known address of each person entitled to notice
, as shown on the current real estate tax assessment books pursuant to 17VAC5-30-100. A representative of the department shall make an affidavit that the required mailings have been made. In the case where property is also proposed for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places pursuant to nomination by the director, the department may provide concurrent notice of and hold a single public hearing on the proposed state designation and the proposed nomination to the National Register.
17VAC5-30-160. Owner objections.
Upon receiving the notification required by 17VAC5-30-100, any owner or owners of property proposed for designation by the board shall have the opportunity to concur in or object to that designation. Property owners who wish to object to designation shall submit to the director
a at least seven business days prior to the meeting of the board at which the property is considered for designation a written, attested, and notarized statement referencing the subject property by address, parcel number, or both and certifying that the objecting party is the sole or partial owner of the property, as appropriate, and objects to the designation. If an owner Any objecting party whose name did not appear on the current real estate tax assessment list official land recordation records or tax records used by the director pursuant to 17VAC5-30-120 certifies in a must submit with such written, attested, and notarized statement that an attested and notarized copy of the party is the sole or partial owner of a nominated property, such owner recorded deed evidencing transfer of ownership to such objecting party. Only upon such submission shall such objecting owner be counted by the director in determining whether a majority of the owners has objected. Such statement must be received by the director at least seven business days prior to the meeting of the board at which the property is considered for nomination. The board shall take no formal action to designate the property or district for inclusion in the Virginia Landmarks Register if the owner of a property, or the majority of owners of a single property with multiple owners, or a majority of the owners in a district, have has objected to the designation. These objections must be received prior to the meeting of the board at which the property is considered for designation. Where formal designation at a board meeting has been prevented by owner objection, the board may reconsider the property for designation at a subsequent board meeting upon presentation to the director, at least 30 days prior to the next scheduled meeting of the board, of written, attested, and notarized statements sufficient to indicate that the owner or majority of owners no longer object objects to the designation. In the case of a proposed reconsideration, the notification procedures set out in Part IV (17VAC5-30-100 et seq.) shall apply.
Each owner of property in a district has one vote regardless of how many properties or what part of one property that party owns and regardless of whether the property contributes to the significance of the district.
VA.R. Doc. No. R16-4259; Filed September 14, 2015, 12:52 p.m.