202 - Historic Preservation - City of Lodi

Ordinance #202

Historic Preservation - City of Lodi

LANDMARKS AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF LODI, WISCONSIN (Being Section 16.16 of the General Ordinances of the City of Lodi)




It is the intent of this section to officially designate and regulate landmark sites, landmark structures and historic districts for the following purposes:

1. To protect, maintain, enhance and perpetuate the distinctive character of the landmark site, landmark structure or historic district.

2. To safeguard the architectural integrity and distinctive qualities of the features of landmark structures and historic districts.

3. To encourage uses that will lead to the continuance, conservation and improvement of the historic and cultural heritage of the City.

4. To ensure that nearby new structures and areas will be in keeping with the character to be preserved and enhanced.

5. To stabilize and improve property values.

6. To protect and enhance the City's attraction to residents, tourists and visitors, and serve as a support and stimulus to business and industry.

7. To foster civic pride in the beauty and noble accomplishments of the past.


Unless the context requires otherwise, the following definitions shall be used in the interpretation of this section. In the event a definition stated herein conflicts with a definition in Section 16.18, the definition herein shall control for purposes of this section.

1. Certificate of Appropriateness. The certificate required to be issued prior to the issuance of a building permit granted for the alteration, rehabilitation, construction, reconstruction or demolition of a landmark structure, landmark site or any improvement in an historic district.

2. Commission. The Historic Preservation Commission of the City of Lodi.

3. Council. The Common Council of the City of Lodi, Wisconsin.

4. Historic District. An area designated by the Council on recommendation of the Commission that contains two or more landmark structures or landmark sites, as well as those abutting and nearby improvement parcels which the Commission determines should fall under the provisions of this section to assure that their appearance and development is harmonious with such landmark structures or landmark sites.

5. Landmark Site. Any parcel of land of historic significance due to a substantial value in tracing the history or prehistory of man, or upon which an historic event has occurred, and which has been designated as a landmark site under this section, or land improvement parcel, or part thereof, used as and constituting part of the premises on which a landmark structure is situated.

6. Landmark Structure. Any improvement which has a special character or special historic interest or value as part of the development, heritage or cultural characteristics of the City of Lodi, Wisconsin the State of Wisconsin, or the United States, and which has been designated a landmark structure pursuant to the provisions of this section.

7. Improvement. Any building, structure, place, work of art or other object constituting a physical betterment of real property, or any part of such betterment, including streets, alleys, sidewalks, curbs, lighting fixtures, signs and the like.

8. Improvement Parcel. A unit of property which includes an improvement and the land embracing the site thereof, and is treated as a single entity for the purpose of levying real estate taxes. Provided, however, that the term "improvement parcel" shall also include any unimproved area of land which is treated as a single entity for such tax purposes.



1. Designation Criteria. For purposes of this ordinance, a landmark site, landmark structure or historic district designation may be placed on any site, natural or improved, including any building, improvement or structure located thereon, or any area of particular historic, architectural, archeological or cultural significance to the city such as landmark structures, landmark sites or districts which:

a. Exemplify or reflect the broad cultural, political, economic or social history of the nation, state or community; or

b. Are identified with historic personages or with important events in national, state or local history; or

c. Embody the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural type of specimen inherently valuable for a study of a period, style, method of construction, or of indigenous materials or craftsmanship; or

d. Are representative of the notable work of a master builder, designer, landscape architect, engineer or architect; or

e. Have yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important to prehistory or history.

2. Adoption of Specific Guidelines for Designation. The Commission may adopt specific operating guidelines for landmark site, landmark structure and historic district designation providing such are in conformance with the provisions of this ordinance.


1. Nomination of a property or structure to be designated as a landmark site or a landmark structure or for an area to be designated as a historic district may be made either by (a) the owner of the property or structure or of a property within the proposed historic district or (b) by the Commission. No property shall be designated as a landmark site or landmark structure without consent of the owner thereof. The Commission or Council may request assistance from the State Historical Society of Wisconsin or other advisory agency in designating landmark sites, landmark structures or historic districts. The Commission shall develop and prescribe forms for use in making such nominations by property owners or by the Commission, said forms referred to in this section as "nomination form(s)".

2. After consideration of the criteria set forth in subsection 16.16C, the Commission may recommend to designate such landmark structures, landmark sites and historic districts. Any recommendation to the Council by the Commission for the designation of historic districts shall include a cultural and architectural analysis supporting the historic significance of the area, the specific guidelines for development, and a statement of preservation objectives. The Commission may also make recommendations to rescind the designation of a landmark structure, landmark site, or historic district where it believes such designation is no longer appropriate. The Council may, upon receiving a recommendation from the Commission and after holding a public hearing, preceded by publication of a Class 2 legal notice, designate landmark structures, landmark sites and historic districts or rescind such designations. At least 10 days prior to such hearing, the Council shall notify the owners of record, as listed in the office of the city assessor, of the property affected and of property in whole or in part situated within 200 feet of the boundaries of the property affected.

3. The Council shall decide whether or not to approve the designation of the landmark structure, landmark site or historic district or whether or not to rescind such a designation within 30 days after the close of the public hearing. Notification of the Council's decision shall be sent to the nominating or requesting property owner or owners, if any. Notification shall also be given to the City Clerk, Building Inspector, City Historic Preservation Commission and the City Assessor. The designation or the rescinding of said designation is to be recorded at City expense in the Columbia County Register of Deeds office.


No building permit shall be issued by the building inspector for alteration, construction, demolition, or removal of a nominated landmark structure, landmark site, or any property or structure within a nominated historic district from the date of the meeting of the Commission at which a nomination form is first presented until the final disposition of the nomination by the Commission or the Council unless such alteration, construction, demolition or removal is authorized by formal resolution of the Council as necessary for public health, welfare or safety. In no event shall the delay due to this subsection be for more than 180 days after the meeting of the Commission at which the nomination form is first presented.


1. Certificate of Appropriateness Required. No exterior portion of any building or other structure, including any above ground utility structure, which has been designated as a landmark structure or which is part of a site which has been designated as a landmark site, or which is located within a historic district, shall be erected, altered, moved, demolished or developed until after a Certificate of Appropriateness, as to heritage features, has been granted. Such certificate shall be issued by the Building Inspector when issuance thereof has been approved by the Commission prior to the issuance of a building permit required for constructing or altering structures. If the Commission determines not to issue a Certificate of Appropriateness, the Commission shall give written notice of disapproval of the application, stating the reasons for the disapproval, to the applicant. Said notice shall be considered given to the applicant when it has been mailed by certified or registered mail to the applicant's address as shown on the application, whether or not received or accepted by the applicant, or when it has been personally delivered to the applicant.

2. Application Required. Application for a Certificate of Appropriateness shall be made by the property owner on a form prescribed by the Commission.

3. Plans Required. Every application for a Certificate of Appropriateness shall be accompanied by plans for the proposed work to be done. The plans shall be sufficiently detailed to enable the Commission to make the determinations required of it hereunder. If the Commission finds that the plans submitted are not sufficiently detailed, it may require the applicant to submit more detailed plans before making its decision. When the request is for demolition, a set of photographs of each elevation and a copy of the floor plans for the building shall be submitted.

4. Time for Consideration. The Commission shall make its decision as to whether to approve the application for a Certificate of Appropriate-ness within 45 days of the filing of the application. The application will not be considered to have been filed until all items required to be submitted hereunder (including sufficiently detailed plans) and under any rules adopted by the Commission have been submitted by the applicant.

5. Other Permits. The issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness shall not relieve the applicant from obtaining other permits and approvals required by the City of Lodi. A building permit or other municipal permit shall be invalid if it is obtained without the presentation of the Certificate of Appropriateness required for the proposed work.

6. Ordinary Maintenance. Ordinary maintenance and repairs may be undertaken without a Certificate of Appropriateness provided that the work involves repairs to existing features of a landmark structure or site, or the replacement of elements of a structure with pieces identical in appearance, and provided that the work does not change the exterior appearance of the structure or site.

7. Criteria for Approval. Upon filing of any application for a Certificate of Appropriateness with the Commission, the Commission may approve the application unless:

a. In the case of a designated landmark structure or landmark site, the proposed work would detrimentally change, destroy or adversely affect any exterior feature of the improvement or site upon which said work is to be done;

b. In the case of the construction of a new impro vemen t upon a landmark site, or within an historic district, the exterior of such improvement would adversely affect or not harmonize with the external appearance of other neighboring improvements on such site or within the district;

c. In the case of any improvement located in an historic district, the proposed construction, reconstruction, exterior alteration or demolition does not conform to the purpose and intent of this section and to the objectives and design criteria of the historic preservation plan for said district if one is in existence;

d. In the case of a request for demolition, the structure is of such architectural or historical significance that its demolition would be detrimental to the public interest and contrary to the general welfare of the people of the City of Lodi or the State of Wisconsin;

e. In the case of a request for the demolition of a deteriorated landmark structure, any economic hardship or difficulty claimed by the owner is self-created or is the result of any failure to maintain the property in good repair.

8. Other Permissible Considerations. In addition, in determining whether to issue a Certificate of Appropriateness, the Commission shall consider such of the following guidelines as are appropriate to the situation before it:

a. A property shall be used for its historic purpose or be placed in a new use that requires minimal change to the defining characteristics of the building and its site and environment.

b. The historic character of a property shall be retained and preserved. The removal of historic materials or alteration of features and spaces that characterize a property shall be avoided.

c. Each property shall be recognized as a physical record of its time, place and use. Changes that create a false sense of historical development, such as adding conjectural features or architectural elements from other buildings, shall not be undertaken.

d. Most properties change over time; those changes that have acquired historic significance in their own right shall be retained and preserved.

e. Distinctive features, finishes and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship that characterize a property shall be preserved.

f. Deteriorated historic features shall be repaired rather than replaced. Where the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature shall match the old in design, color, texture, and other visual qualities and, where possible, materials. Replacement of missing features shall be substantiated by documentary, physical or pictorial evidence.

g. Chemical or physical treatments, such as sandblasting, that cause damage to historic materials shall not be used. The surface cleaning of structures, if appropriate, shall be undertaken using the gentlest means possible.

h. Significant archeological resources affected by a project shall be protected and preserved. If such resources must be disturbed, mitigation measures shall be undertaken.

i. New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy historic materials that characterize the property. The new work shall be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with the massing, size, scale and architectural features to protect the historic integrity of the property and its environment.

j. New additions and adjacent or related new construction shall be undertaken in such a manner that if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the historic property and its environment would be unimpaired.

9. Special Rules for Demolition. At such time as an applicant applies for a permit to demolish a landmark structure or any structure located on a landmark site or within a historic district, the Commission may refuse to grant written approval for a period of up to 10 months from the time of such application, during which time the Commission and the applicant shall undertake serious and continuing discussion for the purpose of finding a method to save such property. At the end of this 10-month period, if no mutually agreeable method of saving the subject property bearing a reasonable prospect of eventual success is underway, or if no formal application for funds from any governmental unit or nonprofit organization to preserve the subject property is pending, the Building Inspector shall notify the Chair of the Commission in writing of his intent to issue a permit to demolish the property. If a method of saving the subject property is not successful and if funds to preserve the property are not obtained and available for disbursement within two months following the end of such 10-month period, the Building Inspector may issue the permit to demolish the subject property without approval of the Commission.

10. Appeals. An applicant may appeal the disapproval of the application to the Council by submission of a written notice indicating the intent to appeal and reasons why the applicant believes the application should have been approved. The notice must be filed with the City Clerk within 30 days after giving of notice of disapproval by the Commission in order to constitute a valid appeal. After consideration of the appeal, the Council may either affirm the decision of the Commission or approve the issuance of the Certificate of Appropriateness, in which case the Building Inspector shall issue the Certificate.


At such time as a landmark structure, landmark site or historic district has been properly designated, the Commission may cause to be prepared and erected on such property a suitable plaque declaring that such property is a landmark structure, landmark site or historic district. Such plaque shall be so placed as to be easily visible to passing pedestrians. The plaque shall state the accepted name of the property, the date of its construction of significance, and other information deemed proper by the Commission.


In addition to those duties already specified in this section, the Commission shall:

1. Education. Work for the continuing education of the citizens about the historical heritage of this city and the historic districts, landmark sites and landmark structures designated under the provisions of this section.

2. Cooperation with State Authorities. Cooperate with the State of Wisconsin historic preservation officer and the State Historic Preservation Review Board in attempting to include such properties hereunder designated as landmark structures, landmark sites, or historic districts in the National Register of Historic Places and the State Register of Historic Places.

3. Funds for Historic Preservation. As it deems advisable, receive and solicit funds for the purpose of historic preservation in the city. Such funds shall be placed in a special city fund for such purpose.


1. The owner of a landmark structure, landmark site or improvement in an Historic District shall maintain the same or cause or permit it to be maintained in a condition consistent with the provisions of this ordinance. The Building Inspector may periodically inspect designated landmark structures, landmark sites and properties within historic districts to insure compliance with this ordinance. These inspections may include physical entry in and upon the property and improvements thereon to insure that interior alterations or maintenance (or lack thereof) will not jeopardize the exterior appearance or structural stability of the improvement. If an owner refuses permission for the enforcement officer to enter for purposes of inspection, the Building Inspector may obtain a warrant of entry pursuant to s. 66.0119, Wis. Stats., and take any other reasonable measures to further enforcement of this ordinance.

2. The owner of a landmark structure or of an improvement on a landmark site or in an Historic District shall keep in good repair all of the exterior portions of such improvement and all interior portions thereof which, if not so maintained, may cause or tend to cause the exterior portions of such improvement to fall into a state of disrepair, including but not limited to:

a. The deterioration of exterior walls or other vertical supports;

b. The deterioration of roofs or other horizontal members;

c. The deterioration of external chimneys;

d. The deterioration or crumbling of exterior plasters or mortar;

e. The ineffective waterproofing of exterior walls, roofs and foundations, including broken windows or doors;

f. The peeling of paint, rotting, holes and other forms of decay;

g. The deterioration of surrounding environment, such as fences, gates, sidewalks, steps, signs, accessory structures and landscaping;

h. The deterioration of any features so as to create or permit the creation of any hazardous or unsafe condition or conditions;

i. Any deterioration of interior portions thereof which may cause the exterior to deteriorate or become damaged or otherwise to fall into a state of disrepair.

The purpose of this section is to prevent the demolition of a landmark structure or landmark site by neglecting it and by permitting damage to it by weather or vandalism.

3. Insofar as they are applicable to a landmark structure, landmark site or improvement in an historic district, designated under this section, any provision of Chapters 18 and 29 of the City of Lodi Code of General Ordinances (and the state building code adopted under Chapter 18) may be varied or waived, on application, by the Council where such variance or waiver does not endanger public health or safety and is found to be necessary for the preservation or restoration of the property in a manner consistent with the purposes of this Section 16.16.


In addition to the penalties and procedures provided for under Section 16.171 of this code, the following specific procedures and remedies shall apply to this section.

1. Normal procedures. Subject to sub. 2 of this subsection, notices of violations shall be issued by the Building Inspector after consultation and approval by the Commission. The notice shall in each case specify a time, determined by the Commission, for correction of the violation. If the violation remains uncorrected after the time specified in the notice, in addition to any other remedies and penalties provided for under Section 16.171 or under law, the City may institute appropriate legal action to require the correction of the violation by the property owner, to allow the city to cause the violation to be corrected if it is not corrected by the property owner, and if the violation is corrected at the city's expense to charge the property owner for the cost thereof and, to the extent allowed by law, to have a lien placed against the property for the cost thereof.

2. Emergency Conditions. In any case where the Building Inspector determines that there are emergency conditions dangerous to life, health or property affecting a landmark structure, landmark site or historic district, the building inspector may order the remedying of these conditions without the approval of the Commission. The building inspector shall promptly notify the Commission of the action being taken. When the emergency conditions do not require demolition, the building inspector shall make every effort to carry out the intent of this ordinance and to use the design guidelines of the Commission when remedying the emergency conditions.


If any provisions of this section or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the remainder of this section and the application of such provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.