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A. Criteria for Determining Eligibility for Designation in the Register. Any building, structure, site, object or district may be designated for inclusion in the Clark County heritage register if the property or district meets the following four criteria:

1. Has integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling and association; and

2. Is at least 50 years old, or is of lesser age and has exceptional importance; and

3. Is significantly associated with the history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or cultural heritage of the community; and

4. Meets at least one of the following categories documenting its significance:

a. Is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of national, state or local history; or

b. Embodies the distinctive architectural characteristics of a type, period, style or method of design or construction, or represents a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or

c. Is an outstanding work of a designer, builder or architect who has made a substantial contribution to their field; or

d. Exemplifies or reflects special elements of the county’s history; or

e. Is associated with the lives of persons significant in national, state or local history; or

f. Has yielded or may be likely to yield important archaeological information related to history or prehistory; or

g. Is a historic building or cultural resource removed from its original location but which is significant for architectural value, or association with a historic person or event, or prehistory; or

h. Is a birthplace or grave of a prehistoric or historical figure of outstanding importance and is the only surviving structure or site associated with that person; or

i. Is a cemetery or burial site which derives its primary significance from age, from distinctive design features, or from association with historic events, or cultural patterns; or

j. Is a reconstructed building that has been executed in an historically accurate manner on the original site; or

k. Is a creative and unique example of folk architecture and design created by persons not formally trained in the architectural or design professions, and which does not fit into formal architectural or historical categories.

B. Nominating, Designating and Listing Property(ies) to the Clark County Heritage Register.

1. Any person may nominate a building, structure, site, object, or district for inclusion in the Clark County heritage register. The owner must consent to placement of the nominated resource prior to consideration for designation by the commission. In its designation decision, the commission shall consider the Clark County Cultural Resources Inventory and the Vancouver urban area comprehensive plan.

2. Nominations shall be made on forms provided by the commission, shall be filed with the designated city staff from the development and review division and shall include all data required by the commission as described in subsections (B)(4) and (B)(5) of this section and the commission’s rules and procedures.

3. The nomination or designation of a historic resource shall constitute nomination or designation of the parcel which is occupied by the historic resource unless the nomination specifically indicates only the footprint of a building, structure, site or object.

4. Properties should be described in detail on the nomination form. All interior and exterior features and outbuildings which contribute to the designation should be mentioned and described. Noncontributing features should also be noted and described.

5. The original form should be presented along with the following documentation:

a. An assessor’s tax parcel map of Vancouver should be included with the parcel prominently identified.

b. A legal description which includes the tax lot(s), section(s), township(s) and range(s).

c. A sketch or scaled map showing significant property elements and property boundaries for nominations involving more than a single structure or site.

d. Digital photographs detailing the historic nature of the property. All photo files must be clearly labeled to identify location, subjects and the direction the photograph was taken. Commission staff may be consulted regarding exact photo requirements for specific nominations.

e. Any other documentation (newspaper articles, historic photographs, etc.) that support the information in the nomination.

6. Upon receipt by city staff of any nomination for designation, the staff shall review the nomination, consult with the person(s) submitting the nomination and the owner and if necessary, request additional information on the nomination. It is the responsibility of the person(s) submitting the nomination form to perform such research as is necessary for consideration by the commission.

7. The commission shall consider the merits of the nomination, according to the criteria in subsection A of this section and according to the nomination review standards established in its rules and procedures, at a public hearing. Adequate notice will be given to the public, the owner(s) and the author(s) of the nomination, if different, and lessees, if any, of the subject property prior to the public meeting according to standards for public meetings established in rules and in compliance with Chapter 42.30 RCW, Open Public Meetings Act. Such notice shall include publication in a newspaper of general circulation in Clark County and being sent by regular mail and email to any city recognized neighborhood association whose boundaries include the site and any person who requested, in writing, to receive a copy of the notice. If the commission finds that the nominated property is eligible for the Clark County heritage register, the commission shall list the property in the register with owner’s consent.

8. In the case of individual property(ies), the designation shall include all exterior features, interior features and outbuildings which directly contribute to the significance of the historic or architectural character.

9. The public, property owner(s) and the author(s) of the nomination, if different, and lessees, if any, shall be notified of the listing by mailed notice.

C. Nominating, Designating and Listing Historic Districts.

1. Historic districts may be identified and nominations made in conformance with the criteria in this chapter. A simple majority of property owners within the proposed historic district must consent, in writing, to nomination of properties prior to designation. Design guidelines shall be adopted as an integral part of each historic district designation.

2. Commission staff together with city of Vancouver staff shall:

a. Review the proposal for land use impacts and consistency with the comprehensive plan, neighborhood action plan, and other related plans and codes. The designation of a historic district should not have the effect of significantly hampering redevelopment in commercial areas. Staff shall submit its analysis of these issues to the commission;

b. Draft design guidelines for the proposed historic district and submit them to the commission for review.

c. The designation shall include description of the boundaries of the district; the characteristics of the district which justify its designation; and a list of all properties including features, structures, sites and objects which contribute to the designation of the district.

3. The commission shall hold a duly advertised public hearing to review the proposal. It shall make findings concerning the proposed district’s historic significance; the appropriate boundaries of such a district; land use impacts, consistency and compatibility issues; and appropriate design guidelines. Contributing structures and features as well as noncontributing structures shall be identified. The commission shall issue a final determination designating the historic district or denying the proposal following the public hearing.

4. Designated historic districts shall be recorded on the official zoning maps of the city and the county.

5. A decision of the commission designating a district or denying such a proposal may be appealed to the city council.

D. Removal of Property(ies) or Historic Districts from the CCHR.

1. A property owner may request a review of a property for possible removal from the CCHR. A written request may be submitted to the commission and considered at a public meeting. However, there is no automatic right to have a property be considered for removal from the register.

2. The commission may determine at a public meeting whether to hold a public hearing to consider removal of a property or district from the CCHR. The commission may remove a property with the same criteria and process as provided for in establishing the designation, except that a property or historic district may be removed from the CCHR without owner consent. The decision to remove a property or district from the Clark County heritage register may be appealed to the city council.

E. Effects of Designation and Listing on the Register.

1. Listing on the CCHR denotes significant association with the historic, architectural, archaeological, engineering or cultural heritage of the community. Property(ies) are listed individually or as contributing property(ies) within a historic district.

2. Prior to the commencement of any work associated with the significant features as defined in the designation of the register property or historic district, excluding ordinary repair, maintenance and emergency measures defined in VMC 17.39.080, the owner must request and receive a certificate of appropriateness from the commission for the proposed work.

3. Prior to whole or partial demolition of a register property or historic district, the owner must request and receive a waiver of a certificate of appropriateness.

4. After demolition of a structure the commission may initiate removal of the property from the CCHR.

5. Since the city of Vancouver is a certified local government (CLG), all properties and historic districts designated on the Clark County heritage register and the National Register of Historic Places may be eligible for a special tax valuation on their rehabilitation pursuant to VMC 17.39.100.

6. The owner must provide ordinary repair and maintenance to ensure protection of the contributing historic features of the property as defined in the historic designation.

F. Recording Designations and Listings.

1. All properties which are designated and listed on the Clark County heritage register shall have a copy of the listing recorded with the county auditor’s office. A copy of the designation and listing letter for recording shall be forwarded to the auditor’s office by commission staff.

2. Properties listed on register shall be noted in the electronic permit tracking system or other city database to alert staff and the public as to the presence of a historic property. Archaeological sites are exempt from this requirement.

3. The property will be identified on city maps as being listed on the CCHR, except site-specific archaeological sites. (Ord. M-4296 § 2, 2020; Ord. M-4079 § 61, 2014; Ord. M-3243 § 2, 1996)