AUTHORIZING POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS TO CREATE HISTORIC DISTRICT
                 Act of Jun. 13, 1961, P.L. 282, No. 167              Cl. 53
                                  AN ACT

     Authorizing counties, cities, boroughs, incorporated towns and
        townships to create historic districts within their
        geographic boundaries; providing for the appointment of
        Boards of Historical Architectural Review; empowering
        governing bodies of political subdivisions to protect the
        distinctive historical character of these districts and to
        regulate the erection, reconstruction, alteration,
        restoration, demolition or razing of buildings within the
        historic districts.

        The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     hereby enacts as follows:

        Section 1.  The term "governing body," as used in this act,
     shall mean the board of commissioners of any county, the council
     of any city, except cities of the first or second class, the
     council of any borough or incorporated town, the board of
     commissioners of any township of the first class and the board
     of supervisors of any township of the second class.
        The term "executive authority," as used in this act, shall
     mean the chairman of the board of commissioners of any county,
     the mayor of any city, except cities of the first and second
     class, the president of council of any borough or incorporated
     town, the president of the board of commissioners of any
     township of the first class and the chairman of the board of
     supervisors of any township of the second class.
        (1 amended June 22, 1980, P.L.257, No.74)
        Section 2.  For the purpose of protecting those historical
     areas within our great Commonwealth, which have a distinctive
     character recalling the rich architectural and historical
     heritage of Pennsylvania, and of making them a source of
     inspiration to our people by awakening interest in our historic
     past, and to promote the general welfare, education and culture
     of the communities in which these distinctive historical areas
     are located, all counties, cities except cities of the first or
     second class, boroughs, incorporated towns and townships, are
     hereby authorized to create and define, by ordinance, a historic
     district or districts within the geographic limits of such
     political subdivisions. No such ordinance shall take effect
     until the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has been
     notified, in writing, of the ordinance and has certified, by
     resolution, to the historical significance of the district or
     districts within the limits defined in the ordinance, which
     resolution shall be transmitted to the executive authority of
     the political subdivision.
        (2 amended June 22, 1980, P.L.257, No.74)
        Section 3.  The governing body of the political subdivision
     is authorized to appoint a Board of Historical Architectural
     Review upon receipt of the certifying resolution of the
     Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The board shall
     be composed of not less than five members. One member of the
     board shall be a registered architect, one member shall be a
     licensed real estate broker, one member shall be a building
     inspector, and the remaining members shall be persons with
     knowledge of and interest in the preservation of historic
     districts. A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum and
     action taken at any meeting shall require the affirmative vote
     of a majority of the board. The board shall give counsel to the
     governing body of the county, city, borough, town or township,
     regarding the advisability of issuing any certificate which the
     governing body may issue pursuant to this act.
        (3 amended Apr. 23, 1963, P.L.27, No.24)
        Section 4.  (a)  Any governing body shall have the power and
     duty to certify to the appropriateness of the erection,
     reconstruction, alteration, restoration, demolition or razing of
     any building, in whole or in part, within the historic district
     or districts within the political subdivision. Any agency
     charged by law or by local ordinance with the issuance of
     permits for the erection, demolition or alteration of buildings
     within the historic district shall issue no permit for any such
     building changes until a certificate of appropriateness has been
     received from the governing body.
        (b)  Any governing body in determining whether or not to
     certify to the appropriateness of the erection, reconstruction,
     alteration, restoration, demolition or razing of a building, in
     whole or in part, shall consider the effect which the proposed
     change will have upon the general historic and architectural
     nature of the district. The governing body shall pass upon the
     appropriateness of exterior architectural features which can be
     seen from a public street or way, only, and shall consider the
     general design, arrangement, texture, material and color of the
     building or structure and the relation of such factors to
     similar features of buildings and structures in the district.
     The governing body shall not consider any matters not pertinent
     to the preservation of the historic aspect and nature of the
     district. Upon giving approval, the governing body shall issue a
     certificate of appropriateness authorizing a permit for the
     erection, reconstruction, alteration, restoration, demolition or
     razing of a building, in whole or in part. Disapproval of the
     governing body shall be in writing, giving reasons therefor, and
     a copy thereof shall be given to the applicant, to the agency
     issuing permits and to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum
     Commission.
        (c)  Any person applying for a building permit within a
     historic district shall be given notice of the meeting of the
     Board of Historical Architectural Review which is to counsel the
     governing body, and of the meeting of the governing body which
     is to consider the granting of a certificate of appropriateness
     for the said permit, and may appear before the said meetings to
     explain his reasons therefor. In the event of a failure to
     recommend, the board, and, in the event of its disapproval, the
     governing body shall also indicate what changes in his plans and
     specifications would meet its conditions for protecting the
     distinctive historical character of the historic district.
        (d)  Any person aggrieved by failure of the agency charged by
     law or by local ordinance to issue a permit for such building
     changes by reason of the disapproval of the governing body may
     appeal therefrom in the same manner as appeals from decisions of
     the agency charged by law or by local ordinance with the
     issuance of permits for such building changes.
        Section 5.  The agency charged by law or by local ordinance
     with the issuance of permits for the erection, demolition or
     alteration of buildings within the historic district shall have
     power to institute any proceedings, at law or in equity,
     necessary for the enforcement of this act or of any ordinance
     adopted pursuant thereto, in the same manner as in its
     enforcement of other building, zoning or planning legislation or
     regulations.
        Section 6.  The provisions of this act are severable and, if
     any of its provisions shall be held unconstitutional, the
     decision of the court shall not affect or impair any of the
     remaining provisions of this act. It is hereby declared to be
     the legislative intent that this act would have been adopted had
     such unconstitutional provisions not been included herein. The
     provisions of this act shall not be construed to limit the
     powers and duties assigned to the Pennsylvania Historical and
     Museum Commission.
        Section 7.  This act shall take effect immediately.