[Rev. 11/21/2013 11:14:30 AM--2013]

CHAPTER 384 - HISTORIC DISTRICTS

GENERAL PROVISIONS

NRS 384.005           Establishment of historic district by city or county.

COMSTOCK HISTORIC DISTRICT

NRS 384.010           Short title.

NRS 384.020           Declaration of public policy.

NRS 384.030           Definitions.

NRS 384.040           Comstock Historic District Commission: Creation; number of members.

NRS 384.050           Appointment, qualifications and compensation of members of Commission; officers.

NRS 384.060           Meetings of Commission; quorum.

NRS 384.070           Establishment of office by Commission; inspection of records; copies of minutes or audio recordings of meetings; maintenance of library.

NRS 384.080           Functions and powers of Commission; employment of personnel.

NRS 384.090           Appointment by Commission of committees and subcommittees; regulations.

NRS 384.095           Board of Museums and History to serve as board of appeals for District.

NRS 384.100           Establishment of historic district in designated area: Procedure; alteration of boundaries; house trailer, mobile home or recreational vehicle prohibited; exception.

NRS 384.110           Certificate of appropriateness: Form; considerations in deliberations by Commission and staff.

NRS 384.115           Certificate of appropriateness: Authorization by Commission for staff to issue certificates under certain circumstances.

NRS 384.120           Certificate of appropriateness: Public hearing; exceptions; notice.

NRS 384.130           Certificate of appropriateness: Determinations by Commission.

NRS 384.140           Certificate of appropriateness: Factors to be considered by Commission and staff in passing upon appropriateness; refusal.

NRS 384.150           Certificate of appropriateness: Issuance or denial; fee; variations; additional conditions; appeal to Board of Museums and History.

NRS 384.170           Creation and use of Account; acceptance of gifts, donations, devises and bequests; sale and lease of property; no power of eminent domain.

NRS 384.180           Recommendations of Commission to State and political subdivisions.

NRS 384.190           Powers of building inspector or similar authority; order to stop work.

NRS 384.200           Penalty; jurisdiction of district court; injunctive relief.

NRS 384.210           Appeal to district court from determination of Commission or Board of Museums and History.

_________

_________

GENERAL PROVISIONS

      NRS 384.005  Establishment of historic district by city or county.

      1.  Any county or city may establish a historic district, the boundaries of which do not include the Comstock Historic District, for the purpose of promoting the educational, cultural, economic and general welfare of the public through the preservation, maintenance and protection of structures, sites and areas of historic interest and scenic beauty.

      2.  Before establishing any historic district, the board of county commissioners of a county or the governing body of a city shall hold a public hearing after giving notice of the time and the place of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in that county or city. The notice must be published once a week for 3 consecutive weeks and include the purpose of the hearing and the boundaries of the proposed district. At the hearing any person may appear in support of or in opposition to the establishment of the proposed district.

      3.  Within 15 days after the hearing, the board or governing body shall:

      (a) Establish the historic district and fix its boundaries; or

      (b) Determine not to establish the historic district.

      4.  If the historic district is established, the board or governing body may adopt any ordinances it determines are in the best interest of the historic district in accordance with the purposes expressed in subsection 1. An ordinance establishing a historic district must:

      (a) Contain criteria which substantially achieve the preservation and rehabilitation of buildings of historic significance to the district; and

      (b) Provide for a designated review board with the power to review proposed alterations to structures within the district.

      5.  This section is not intended to discourage the exploration, development or extraction of mineral resources.

      (Added to NRS by 1979, 643; A 1989, 22)

COMSTOCK HISTORIC DISTRICT

      NRS 384.010  Short title.  NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive, may be cited as the Comstock Historic District Act.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 1635; A 1977, 1212; 1979, 638)

      NRS 384.020  Declaration of public policy.  It is hereby declared to be the public policy of the State of Nevada to promote the educational, cultural, economic and general welfare and the safety of the public through the preservation and protection of structures, sites and areas of historic interest and scenic beauty, through the maintenance of such landmarks in the history of architecture, and the history of the District, State and Nation, and through the development of appropriate settings for such structures, sites and District.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 1635)

      NRS 384.030  Definitions.  As used in NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive:

      1.  “Commission” means the Comstock Historic District Commission.

      2.  “Exterior architectural features” means the architectural style, general design and general arrangement of the exterior of a structure, including the kind and texture of the building material, the type and style of all windows, doors, light fixtures and signs, color, and other appurtenant fixtures.

      3.  “Historic district” means an area within which structures and places of historical interest are under the protection of the Commission.

      4.  “Structure” means any building for whatever purpose constructed or used, house trailer as defined in NRS 484A.100, mobile home as defined in NRS 484D.030, stone wall, fence, light fixture, step, paving, advertising sign, bill poster and any fixture appurtenant thereto, but does not include structures or signs of a temporary nature such as those erected for celebrations or parades.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 1635; A 1973, 672; 1977, 1212; 1979, 638; 2005, 892)

      NRS 384.040  Comstock Historic District Commission: Creation; number of members.  The Comstock Historic District Commission, consisting of nine members appointed by the Governor, is hereby created.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 1635; A 1977, 1213; 1979, 639)

      NRS 384.050  Appointment, qualifications and compensation of members of Commission; officers.

      1.  The Governor shall appoint to the Commission:

      (a) One member who is a county commissioner of Storey County.

      (b) One member who is a county commissioner of Lyon County.

      (c) One member who is the Administrator or an employee of the Office of Historic Preservation of the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

      (d) Two members who are persons licensed as general engineering contractors or general building contractors pursuant to chapter 624 of NRS or persons who hold a certificate of registration to practice architecture pursuant to chapter 623 of NRS.

      (e) Four members who are persons interested in the protection and preservation of structures, sites and areas of historic interest and are residents of the district.

      2.  The Commission shall elect one of its members as Chair and another as Vice Chair, who shall serve for a term of 1 year or until their successors are elected and qualified.

      3.  Each member of the Commission is entitled to receive a salary of not more than $80, as fixed by the Commission, for each day’s attendance at a meeting of the Commission.

      4.  While engaged in the business of the Commission, each member and employee of the Commission is entitled to receive the per diem allowance and travel expenses provided for state officers and employees generally.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 1636; A 1971, 285; 1973, 667; 1977, 1213; 1979, 639; 1981, 1981; 1985, 418; 1989, 1713; 1993, 1594; 2001, 934, 1654; 2011, 2982)

      NRS 384.060  Meetings of Commission; quorum.

      1.  Meetings of the Commission shall be held at such times and places as the Chair or a majority of the commissioners may designate, or as shall be established by the regulations adopted by the Commission.

      2.  Five members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for all purposes and the affirmative vote of a majority of the members present shall be necessary for the adoption or promulgation of any regulation or order of the Commission.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 1636)

      NRS 384.070  Establishment of office by Commission; inspection of records; copies of minutes or audio recordings of meetings; maintenance of library.

      1.  The Commission may establish and maintain an office in Virginia City, Storey County, Nevada, in which, except as otherwise provided in NRS 241.035, there must be at all times open to public inspection a complete record of applications for certificates of appropriateness and their disposition, minutes and audio recordings or transcripts of the Commission’s meetings, and any regulations adopted by the Commission. A copy of the minutes or audio recordings must be made available to a member of the public upon request at no charge pursuant to NRS 241.035.

      2.  The Commission shall maintain a library in the office for the purpose of guiding applicants in their design or embellishment of the exterior of their buildings, new or remodeled. The library must consist of, but not be limited to, documents, paintings, photographs, drawings and histories descriptive of the period which are deemed appropriate guidelines to the applicant. A card index system must also be made and maintained for reference to more comprehensive information in libraries other than the one maintained by the Commission.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 1636; A 1971, 285; 2005, 1411; 2013, 330)

      NRS 384.080  Functions and powers of Commission; employment of personnel.

      1.  The Commission is vested with all of the functions and powers relating to the administration of NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive.

      2.  It may, to the extent permitted by money appropriated or otherwise received therefor, employ such technical and clerical personnel, including a building inspector or other similar authority, as may be necessary to the discharge of its duties, and fix their compensation.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 1636; A 1973, 672; 1979, 639; 2001, 1249)

      NRS 384.090  Appointment by Commission of committees and subcommittees; regulations.  The Commission may appoint such committees and subcommittees and adopt such reasonable regulations as are necessary to carry out the provisions of NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 1636; A 1979, 639)

      NRS 384.095  Board of Museums and History to serve as board of appeals for District.  The Board of Museums and History shall serve as a board of appeals for the Comstock Historic District.

      (Added to NRS by 1981, 1948; A 1993, 1595)

      NRS 384.100  Establishment of historic district in designated area: Procedure; alteration of boundaries; house trailer, mobile home or recreational vehicle prohibited; exception.

      1.  The Commission shall establish an historic district in such portions of Storey and Lyon counties as it may designate as provided in NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive, embracing an area within which historic structures, sites and railroads relating to the Comstock lode and its history are or were located.

      2.  Before establishing the district, the Commission shall hold a public hearing after giving notice of the time and place of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in each county a portion of which is located within the proposed district.

      3.  The notice must be published once a week for 3 consecutive weeks and must include the purpose of the hearing and the boundaries of the proposed district.

      4.  At the hearing any person may appear in support of or in opposition to the establishment of the district.

      5.  Within 15 days after the hearing the Commission shall:

      (a) Establish an historic district and fix its boundaries; or

      (b) Determine not to establish an historic district.

      6.  If an historic district is established, notice thereof must be given by one publication in a newspaper of general circulation in each county a portion of which is located within the district.

      7.  The Commission may alter or change the boundaries of the district by following the same procedure as provided in this section for the establishment of a district.

      8.  After an historic district is established, no house trailer, mobile home, or recreational vehicle may be placed or established in any area within the district, unless the Commission and the board of county commissioners in the appropriate county, by agreement, permit the establishment of a trailer overlay or the location of a mobile home park within the district, upon a finding that such action is needed and that it would not conflict with the historic aspect and character of the affected area.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 1636; A 1971, 285; 1973, 672; 1979, 640; 1981, 1949)

      NRS 384.110  Certificate of appropriateness: Form; considerations in deliberations by Commission and staff.

      1.  No structure may be erected, reconstructed, altered, restored, moved or demolished within the historic district until after an application for a certificate of appropriateness as to exterior architectural features has been submitted to and approved by the Commission, or by its staff pursuant to NRS 384.115. The application for a certificate of appropriateness must be in such form and accompanied by such plans, specifications and other material as the Commission may from time to time prescribe.

      2.  In its deliberations under the provisions of NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive, the Commission and its staff shall not consider interior arrangement or use and shall take no action under NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive, except for the purpose of preventing the erection, reconstruction, restoration, alteration, moving or razing of buildings in the district obviously incongruous with the historic aspects of the district.

      3.  The provisions of NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive, do not prevent:

      (a) The ordinary maintenance or repair of any exterior architectural feature in the historic district which does not involve a change of design or material or the outward appearance thereof;

      (b) The construction, reconstruction, alteration or demolition of any such feature which the building inspector or similar authority certifies is required by the public safety because of an unsafe or dangerous condition; or

      (c) The construction, reconstruction, alteration or demolition of any such feature under a permit issued by a building inspector or similar authority prior to the effective date of the establishment of such district.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 1637; A 1973, 673; 1979, 640; 2001, 1249; 2005, 893)

      NRS 384.115  Certificate of appropriateness: Authorization by Commission for staff to issue certificates under certain circumstances.

      1.  The Commission may authorize its staff to issue certificates of appropriateness on behalf of the Commission for specific categories and types of applications if those applications comply substantially with the requirements and public policy set forth in NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive.

      2.  If an application for a certificate of appropriateness submitted to the Commission:

      (a) Does not fall within a category or type for which the Commission has authorized its staff to issue certificates of appropriateness pursuant to subsection 1; or

      (b) Is determined by the staff of the Commission as not being in substantial compliance with the requirements and public policy set forth in NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive,

Ê the staff shall forward the application to the Commission for a hearing and determination by the Commission pursuant to NRS 384.120 and 384.130.

      3.  If the staff forwards an application to the Commission pursuant to subsection 2 because the application does not comply substantially with the requirements and public policy set forth in NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive, the staff shall include a statement of the reasons for its determination.

      (Added to NRS by 2005, 892)

      NRS 384.120  Certificate of appropriateness: Public hearing; exceptions; notice.

      1.  The Commission shall hold a public hearing upon each application for a certificate of appropriateness within 30 days after the application has been filed with the Commission, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays, unless:

      (a) The application is approved by the staff of the Commission pursuant to NRS 384.115; and

      (b) The holding of a hearing is waived in writing by the applicant or the designated representative of the applicant.

      2.  The Commission shall cause notice of a hearing to be held on an application pursuant to subsection 1 to be given in accordance with NRS 241.020 to:

      (a) The applicant;

      (b) The owners of all properties deemed by the Commission to be materially affected by the application as they appear on the most recent tax list; and

      (c) Any person who has filed a written request for notice of hearings during the preceding calendar year.

      3.  The Commission may, if it determines the matter to be of sufficient public interest, give an additional notice of the time and place of the hearing by publication in the form of a legal advertisement in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the district at least 7 days before such hearing.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 1637; A 2005, 893)

      NRS 384.130  Certificate of appropriateness: Determinations by Commission.  As soon as practicable after a public hearing held pursuant to NRS 384.120, but not more than 60 days, Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays excluded, after the filing of the application for the certificate of appropriateness, or within such further time as the applicant may in writing allow, the Commission shall determine:

      1.  That the proposed erection, construction, reconstruction, restoration, alteration, moving or razing of the exterior architectural feature involved will be appropriate to the preservation of the historic district for the purposes of NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive;

      2.  That, even though the proposed project may be inappropriate, failure to issue a certificate would involve a substantial hardship to the applicant because of conditions especially affecting the structure involved, but not affecting the historic district generally, and that a certificate could be issued without substantial detriment to the public welfare or the purposes of NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive; or

      3.  That the proposed project is inappropriate.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 1638; A 1979, 641; 2005, 894)

      NRS 384.140  Certificate of appropriateness: Factors to be considered by Commission and staff in passing upon appropriateness; refusal.

      1.  In passing upon the appropriateness of an application pursuant to NRS 384.115 or 384.130, the Commission, and its staff shall consider, in addition to any other pertinent factors:

      (a) Historic and architectural value and significance;

      (b) Architectural style;

      (c) Location on the lot;

      (d) Position of the structure in relation to the street or public way and whether it is subject to public view from a public place;

      (e) General design, arrangement, texture, material, color and size of the exterior architectural features involved and the relationship thereof to the exterior architectural features of other structures in the immediate neighborhood; and

      (f) The relationship of the exterior architectural features to well recognized styles of early western architecture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

      2.  A certificate of appropriateness may be refused for any structure, the erection, reconstruction, restoration, alteration, moving or razing of which, in the opinion of the Commission, would be detrimental to the interest of the historic district or incongruous with the historic aspects of the surroundings and the historic environment of the district.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 1638; A 2005, 894)

      NRS 384.150  Certificate of appropriateness: Issuance or denial; fee; variations; additional conditions; appeal to Board of Museums and History.

      1.  If, after a hearing held pursuant to NRS 384.120, the Commission determines that the proposed construction, reconstruction, restoration, alteration, moving or razing of the exterior architectural feature involved will be appropriate, or, although inappropriate, that failure to issue a certificate would result in hardship as provided in subsection 2 of NRS 384.130, or if the Commission fails to make a determination within the time prescribed in NRS 384.130, the Commission shall immediately issue to the applicant a certificate of appropriateness.

      2.  The Commission may charge and collect a reasonable fee for the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness by the Commission pursuant to this section or by its staff pursuant to NRS 384.115. If a fee is charged, 50 percent of the proceeds must be deposited in the State General Fund for credit to the appropriate account for the Comstock Historic District and 50 percent must be deposited in a nonreverting Account for the Restoration of the Fourth Ward School in Virginia City, which is hereby created. Money in the Account for the Restoration of the Fourth Ward School may be expended only upon approval by the Commission.

      3.  In exercising the power to vary or modify strict adherence to the provisions of NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive, or to interpret the meaning of NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive, so as to relieve hardship under the provisions of subsection 2 of NRS 384.130, the Commission shall require any variance, modification or interpretation to be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive, so that the general historical character of the District is conserved and substantial justice done. In allowing variations, the Commission may impose such reasonable and additional conditions as will, in its judgment, better fulfill the purposes of NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive.

      4.  If the Commission determines that a certificate of appropriateness should not issue, it shall immediately set forth in its records the reasons for the determination, and may include recommendations respecting the proposed erection, construction, restoration, alteration, moving or razing, and shall immediately notify the applicant of the determination by transmitting to the applicant an attested copy of the reasons and recommendations, if any, as set forth in the records of the Commission.

      5.  The applicant may appeal a refusal of the Commission to issue a certificate of appropriateness to the Board of Museums and History within 30 days after its determination and the Board, after a hearing on the matter, may:

      (a) Approve the application with or without conditions by a unanimous vote; or

      (b) Deny the application.

Ê If the Board approves the application, the Commission shall immediately issue a certificate of appropriateness to the applicant.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 1639; A 1979, 641; 1981, 1949; 1993, 1595; 2005, 894)

      NRS 384.170  Creation and use of Account; acceptance of gifts, donations, devises and bequests; sale and lease of property; no power of eminent domain.

      1.  The Commission may accept gifts, donations, devises or bequests of real or personal property for the purpose of enabling it to carry out a program of historic preservation and restoration within the District, and it may expend the same for that purpose. The Commission may sell, or lease for periods not to exceed 20 years, real or personal property for use within the District which it may acquire.

      2.  The Commission shall deposit gifts or donations of money and any money acquired from selling or leasing the items described in subsection 1 in the Account for the Comstock Historic District which is hereby created in the State General Fund. The Account must be administered by the Commission. Any interest earned on the money in the Account must be credited to the Account. The money deposited in the Account and all interest paid thereon may be expended only for the maintenance of the Commission or to carry out the program of historic preservation and restoration within the District.

      3.  The Commission has no power of eminent domain.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 1639; A 1995, 52; 2011, 445)

      NRS 384.180  Recommendations of Commission to State and political subdivisions.  The Commission may recommend:

      1.  To the State and to political subdivisions within the District appropriate measures to effectuate, supplement, foster and promote the purposes of NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive.

      2.  To any political subdivision within the District appropriate zoning and traffic regulations, including but not limited to designating mobile home and trailer sites, parking, modes of public transportation, ingress and egress to public streets and alleys, and closing of such streets or alleys or restriction of vehicular traffic thereon in order to effectuate the purposes of NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive, such as restoration of historic modes of travel and safety of pedestrians.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 1639; A 1979, 642)

      NRS 384.190  Powers of building inspector or similar authority; order to stop work.

      1.  The building inspector or similar authority employed by the Commission may investigate, inspect and examine any structure, place or area in the District, either in connection with an application for a certificate of appropriateness, or at any time to determine whether it is in violation of any provision of NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive, or any regulation or order adopted or issued under authority of NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive.

      2.  Whenever any work is being done contrary to the provisions of NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive, the building inspector or similar authority may order the work stopped by notice in writing served on any person engaged in the doing or causing such work to be done, and any such person shall forthwith stop such work until authorized by the Commission to proceed with the work.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 1640; A 1973, 673; 1979, 642; 2001, 1250)

      NRS 384.200  Penalty; jurisdiction of district court; injunctive relief.

      1.  Any person who violates any of the provisions of NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive, or any regulation or order adopted or issued pursuant to the provisions of NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500 for each offense. Each day of the violation constitutes a separate offense.

      2.  The district court of the county in which any property subject to the provisions of NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive, is located has jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive, and any regulations or orders adopted or issued pursuant to the provisions of NRS 384.010 to 384.210, inclusive, and may restrain by injunction violations thereof.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 1640; A 1979, 642)

      NRS 384.210  Appeal to district court from determination of Commission or Board of Museums and History.

      1.  Any person aggrieved by a determination of the Commission, or of the Board of Museums and History made pursuant to subsection 5 of NRS 384.150, may, within 30 days after the making of the determination, appeal to the district court of the county where the property in question is located.

      2.  The court may reverse the determination of the Commission if it finds that the reasons given for the determination are unsupported by the evidence or contrary to law. The proceeding in the district court is limited to the record made before the Commission.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 1640; A 1981, 1950; 1993, 1596; 2005, 895)