Can designated historic properties be demolished?

Applications for demolition are also reviewed by the Architectural Review Commission (or the Community Development Authority if appropriate). In reviewing a demolition request, the Architectural Review Commission takes into consideration the effect that the proposed demolition would have upon the value of the resource to the cultural heritage of the Village. It weights these considerations against the owner’s right to a reasonable use of the property, the potential public benefit of the proposed project requiring the demolition, and the severity of the hardship that would be inflected upon the owner should the request be denied.

The Architectural Review Commission shall not issue a Certificate of Appropriateness for demolition unless the applicant has shown that it has made good faith efforts for a period of at least 60 days to secure a buyer who agrees to, or otherwise secures a means to, preserve, relocate, reuse, or otherwise rehabilitate the Historic Site or Structure utilizing a reasonable level of resources available to the owner or buyer. The Architectural Review Commission may impose such additional restrictions or requirements in the demolition permit as it deems reasonably necessary, including, but not limited to:

- The imposition of waiting or negotiation periods of up to 60 days

- The requirement of additional efforts to preserve or sell the property for periods of up to 60 days

- The salvage or recycling of historic artifacts

- The donation or sale of all or portions of the Historic Site or Structure for removal

- The measurement, recording, and photographing of the structure so as to make an historic record.

During the period the Architectural Review Commission is considering a demolition request, the owner is enjoined from taking any action that would damage or lead to further deterioration of the building. Any aggrieved person, including the owner, may appeal the decision from the Architectural Review Commission to the Village Board within thirty days. The Village Board shall render its decision based on the record and any additional evidence presented to it.

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1. What properties are eligible for designation as local historic structures or sites?
2. What are the advantages of having a property declared historic by the Village of Whitefish Bay?
3. Can designated historic properties be demolished?
4. Will owners be forced to restore or improve their historic properties if they are designated?
5. Will new construction be prevented at historic sites?
6. Will property taxes be increased as a result of historic designation?
7. How does one obtain an application to have a building or site dedicated historic or request permission to make a change to an already designated property?