Lafayette Preservation Commission

I. Power

The original preservation ordinance creating the Lafayette Preservation Commission was adopted 5-10-88 (O-3387) by the Lafayette City Council and has been amended several times.   The Lafayette Preservation Commission is authorized to designate historic properties, monuments, landmarks, historic neighborhoods and cultural assets or resources as historic and worthy of preservation in the City of Lafayette and in the unincorporated areas of the parish. 

The Lafayette Preservation Commission is tasked with helping to revitalize business districts and historic neighborhoods by educating the public about the economic importance of protecting historic and aesthetic attractions for tourism and business.

To accomplish this task, the Lafayette Preservation Commission is given the authority to establish procedures to protect, enhance, and maintain places, districts, sites, buildings, structures and works of public art that are of historical or cultural significance.   The 2015 Unified Development Code creates new zoning designations, in addition to historic buildings, of historic neighborhood, historic landmark, and cultural resource.

The Lafayette Preservation Commission has the power to begin legal proceedings to prevent an unlawful action in violation of the historic preservation ordinance.  The restrictions in the ordinance are minor and result only in a delay of a maximum of 150 days for the issuance of a demolition permit for those assets that have been designated as historic.  If a designated historic building is torn down after the owner received tax credits historic preservation, the owner must repay the  tax credits.  Lafayette Consolidated Government may also discuss with an owner buying a historic property or the owner's creating a facade to preserve its historicity, a public easement to protect the elevation, or a covenant to bind future owners.

The Lafayette Preservation Commission consists of 7 members. Six members are directly appointed by the Lafayette Consolidated Government City-Parish Council as a whole. One is appointed directly by the City-Parish President. One appointment must live outside the corporate limits of the City of Lafayette, one appointment must be a minority and one appointment is a licensed architect. In making appointments, preference shall be given to individuals with demonstrated interest or expertise in historic preservation, including representatives from historical, cultural, business, educational, archeological, architectural, developmental, artistic, commercial, and preservation organizations.

All members are appointed to a term of 4 years with no more than 3 consecutive terms nor in excess of 12 consecutive years.

The Commission elects a chairman, a vice-chairman and a secretary from its own body.  Three members of the commission is a quorum. The commission also sets rules, policies and procedures regarding meetings and business.


II. Services

A.  To provide for designation of Historic Properties, Historic Neighborhoods, Historic Landmarks, and Cultural Resources.

B.  To establish the criteria for designation of these kind of Historic Properties, the procedures    for nomination, designation and rescission of Historic Properties and to make an annual review of Historic Properties;

C.  To promote restoration and preservation of any properties owned or acquired by the Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government which have been designated as Historic Properties;

D. To conduct educational programs on historic preservation;

E. To investigate and study such matters relating to historic preservation which the Commission may from time to time deem necessary or appropriate for the purpose of preserving historic resources;

F.  To review zoning for areas affecting historic sites, districts and neighborhoods;

G. To promote tax incentives and financial incentives;

H.  To review all public and private projects affecting historically significant properties;

I.  To recommend appropriate legislation for the preservation of any building, structure, site, monument, area or other landmark which said Commission has so named or designated;

J.   To set the standards for review of demolition permits with reference to properties designated as Historic Properties and to review all applications for permits proposing demolition of all or any part of any building, structure, monument or other landmark which said Commission has so named and designated;

K.  To provide for an Appeals Procedure as defined herein;

L.   To prepare and maintain an up-to-date inventory of Historic Properties;

M.  To establish uniform procedures for the protection, enhancement and perpetuation of places, districts, sites, buildings, structures and works of public art having a special historical, cultural or aesthetic significance, interest or value;

N.      To make further recommendations concerning historic preservation and carry out such further functions and duties as may be assigned to it from time to time by the Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government.

III.  Money

The Lafayette Preservation Commission has no budget.  The staff of the Planning, Zoning and Development department is designated as the Staff Liaison for the Lafayette Preservation Commission to facilitate meetings and provide assistance when needed.

Transparency and Oversight:

Minutes of the Preservation Commission Hearings are provided to the Clerk of the Lafayette City-Parish Council.  The Lafayette Preservation Commission must provide annually a written and oral report to the City-Parish Council.

A document is published that highlights historic properties in Lafayette Parish. It is available on the Lafayette Consolidated Government website and the  Planning, Zoning, and Development Department.   http://www.lafayettela.gov/PZD/Zoning/Pages/Historic-Building-Photos.aspx

A person or property owner may appeal a decision by the  Lafayette Preservation Commission in writing to the City-Parish  Council. Appeals made to the City-Parish Council must be rendered in writing within 10 days of the decision.  Within 60 days the City-Parish Council must hear the appeal at its next appropriate meeting.


Long Term Planning:

The Lafayette Preservation Commission and its work is an integral part of Element 4: Historic and Cultural Resources of PlanLafayette, the comprehensive plan for Lafayette Consolidated Government through 2035.


Affiliations:

The Lafayette Preservation Commission members are able to implement activities for educating the public about historic preservation through the support of a non-profit preservation organization, the Lafayette Preservation Alliance, which can do fundraising.

The Lafayette Preservation Commission and the staff of the Planning, Zoning, and Development Department also collaborate with the five Lafayette Parish municipalities, and with other governments and organizations in nearby parishes for historical preservation, education, and shared ideas and needs.





Sources               

Government Documents

Lafayette Comprehensive Plan, , Adopted by the Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday, July 1 2014.

                         "A Home Rule Charter for the Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated                                 Government
                        
   Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government" (Lafayette                                      City-Parish Charter Commission).

Websites

Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG)  http://www.lafayettela.gov/

LCG Comprehensive Plan http://www.lafayettela.gov/ComprehensivePlan/Pages/The-Plan.aspx

The Lafayette Preservation Ordinance can be downloaded from the following web page: http://www.lafayettela.gov/PZD/PZD%20Other%20Information/Preservation-Commission-Ordinance.pdf

Interviews:

Mike Hollier, Planning Manager, Traffic & Transporation Department, Lafayette Consolidated Government,  May, 2010.

Jeff LaCade, Planner II, Department of Planning, Zoning and Codes, Lafayette Consolidated Government, April, 2010.

           Roxana Usner, Planner, II, Lafayette's Historic Preservation Office,
           Department of Planning, Zoning and Development, Lafayette Consolidated
           Government, August, 2015.  Phone:  337-291-8431,
            rmusner@lafayette.la.gov

    
      
Updated: August, 2015





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