Iconic Preservation Concepts
All comments below are in the spirit of brainstorming. Nothing is final, these are just ideas ... Intent is to create language that roughly parallels Historic Zoning for Iconic Preservation. (compare § 25-2-351Ñ359)
This version has been modified after meetings with City of Austin Planning staff, Heritage Society Preservation Subcommittee, Historic Landmark Commission, Downtown Commission, and West End Austin Alliance.
Number of designees may be limited to 12 (?) the first year, 4 (?) added in subsequent years. Develop point system based on the following characteristics defining "iconic":
1. Definition & Criteria for Business
unique few imitators
independent not a chain or franchise
eclectic promotes cultural and lifestyle diversity
popular would be bemoaned if lost
famous "Buddy Holly played here," "Bill Clinton ate here,"
sustainable all the above elements have persisted at least 5 (?) years
Tax abatement similar to historic zoning but this may not be legal.
2. Possible Rewards to Property Owner and/or Business Owner
Taxes frozen on both business and property.
CoA provides information technology help.
CoA offers free advertising.
Ease in permitting for improvements or up-zoning.
CoA financial and permitting assistance in rebuilding after a fire or other disaster.
Higher priority for CoA infrastructure repair or capital improvement (e.g., sidewalk repair or Great Streets upgrade, flood prevention, graffiti removal).
Business owner would sign memorandum of understanding regarding maintaining character.
Business owner has the right to abandon/quit an iconic business.
Property-owner has the right to not renew the lease for an iconic business, but then loses rewards.
If business owner closes the iconic business or loses iconic status, business and property owner lose the rewards.
Business owner and property owner jointly make application to Historic Landmark Commission.
Application may include press clippings, letters from customers, and letter from owner stating intent and plans to preserve the iconic features.
Public hearing and votes by HLC and PC, then approval by CC.
Historic Preservation Office to periodically review status of iconic businesses.
Dramatic change in character would lead to loss of designation, which business owner could appeal to HLC, PC, and CC.
Comments may be sent to Dave Sullivan, email@example.com