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RULE §26.20Application for Historic Buildings and Structures Permits

(a) Permit application procedure.

  (1) Applicant qualification. Only the controlling agency, organization, or political subdivision having administrative control over a publicly owned landmark or the owner of a privately owned landmark (applicant/permittee) may apply for and be issued a Historic Buildings and Structures Permit. It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain all necessary permissions and signatures prior to submitting a permit application for work on historic buildings, structures, and their sites.

  (2) Notification. The commission must be notified of any anticipated, planned, or proposed work to a landmark or the site associated with a landmark. Notification must also be given for work to buildings or structures that have been nominated for designation as landmarks. Such notice should be made early enough to allow adequate time to prepare the formal application as described in paragraph (4) of this subsection. The notification must include a brief written description of the project and at least one photograph of the building or structure or affected portion of that building or structure. If a permit is required for the proposed scope of work, the commission staff will provide the applicant with the permit application form and notify him or her of the necessary attachments or application reports within 30 days of receipt of notification. Historic Buildings and Structures Permits can only be required for work to a designated landmark, or a building or structure treated as a landmark under the interim protection described in §26.8 (d) of this title (relating to Designation Procedures for Publicly Owned Landmarks); such permits cannot be required for a property that is eligible but not currently nominated for designation.

    (A) Normal maintenance and repair. Work that does not have the potential to cause removal, damage or alteration to the integrity, form, or appearance of the materials, features, or landform of the historic building or structure and its site, is considered to be normal maintenance and repair, and therefore exempt from the required notification process, per Texas Natural Resources Code, §191.054. Cleaning surfaces with non-corrosive mild solutions and low-pressure water, repainting window frames or doorways with similar paints, or minor repairs such as replacing putty on windows are examples of normal maintenance and repair. Other work, however, may not constitute normal maintenance and repair. For example, permanent masonry damage can result from use of inappropriate cleaning methods, such as sandblasting, high pressure water cleaning, or the use of unsuitable chemicals, or from use of damaging repointing techniques and materials. Replacing historic windows damages the historical integrity of a building, and painting previously unpainted surfaces constitutes alteration. Such work is not considered normal maintenance or repair.

    (B) Interior spaces. Nonpublic interior spaces are spaces that are inaccessible to the public, and alterations to those spaces are exempt from the required notification process, per Texas Natural Resources Code, §191.054. The interior spaces to be considered public and therefore not exempt are those spaces that are or were accessible to the public (lobbies, corridors, rotundas, meeting halls, courtrooms, offices of public officials, public employees, and services, etc.), or those that are important to the public because of any significant historical, architectural, cultural, or ceremonial value.

  (3) Advance review. For more complex projects, it is advisable that the commission staff be consulted early in the planning or design process in order to avoid delays in issuing the final permit.

  (4) Formal application. All applications should be submitted on the Historic Buildings and Structures Permit application form approved by the commission at least 60 days prior to the commencement of work or issuance of bid documents, whichever comes first. The application form must be submitted electronically with scanned signatures to the commission. The project professional personnel must be a project architect who has the required experience on historic buildings and structures in the type of project work proposed, or other professional as provided for in §26.4(3) of this title (relating to Professional Qualifications and Requirements). At the request of commission staff, the professional personnel must submit a resume demonstrating the required education and experience.

  (5) Emergency application. If emergency preservation or hazard abatement work must be performed quickly in a crisis situation or due to extenuating circumstances, the minimum 60 day submission requirement may be waived with approval from the commission staff. Staff shall determine appropriate procedures for issuance of emergency permits based on the specific circumstances and urgency of the work.

  (6) Attachments. All permit applications must be accompanied by digital plans, specifications, or other documents prepared for the project that adequately describe the full scope of work. In addition, digital photographs with a minimum resolution of 300 pixels per inch of the overall building or structure and all areas of proposed work are required.

  (7) Application reports. See §26.23(a) of this title (relating to Reports Relating to Historic Buildings and Structures Permits) for a discussion of each type of report. In the case of more complex projects, one or more of the following reports may be required with the permit application:

    (A) historic structure report;

    (B) historical documentation;

    (C) architectural documentation; and/or

    (D) archeological documentation.

  (8) Project reports. Depending upon the scope of work, one or more of the following reports may be required as a condition of a permit to be prepared during the course of a project and to be submitted upon completion of that project prior to expiration of the permit. All Historic Buildings and Structures Permits require a completion report. For projects that receive a grant under the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program, described in Chapter 12 of this title, the completion report for the grant may suffice in lieu of a separate permit completion report, when specified by the commission. Any other required reports will be specified when the permit is issued. See §26.23(b) of this title for a discussion of each type of report:

    (A) architectural documentation;

    (B) archeological documentation;

    (C) storage report; and/or

    (D) completion report.

  (9) Issuance of contract documents. Contract documents should not be issued for bidding purposes before a permit has been issued by the commission under §26.21 of this title (relating to Issuance and Restriction of Historic Buildings and Structures Permits). Since changes may be required for issuance of a permit, the commission will not be responsible for delay caused by amending contract documents after issuance, price increases caused by reissuance of contract documents, or any other such consequences.

(b) Standards for the treatment of historic properties. The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties (1995 and subsequent revisions; codified at 36 Code of Federal Regulations Part 68) are hereby adopted by reference by the commission and shall be considered to be a part of this chapter. Copies of these standards are available on the National Park Service website at www.nps.gov/tps/standards.htm.

Source Note: The provisions of this §26.20 adopted to be effective May 20, 2013, 38 TexReg 2980; amended to be effective February 29, 2016, 41 TexReg 1440; amended to be effective December 31, 2017, 42 TexReg 7383; amended to be effective March 10, 2022, 47 TexReg 1088

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