2017 Mississippi Code
Title 39 - Libraries, Arts, Archives and History
Chapter 13 - Historic Preservation Districts and Landmarks
§ 39-13-11. Designation of historic districts, landmarks, and landmark sites; procedures; vote of historic preservation commission; public hearing; vote of local governing authority to adopt or reject designation

Universal Citation: MS Code § 39-13-11 (2017)

A governing authority may provide by local ordinance the procedures to be followed to designate historic districts, landmarks and landmark sites. Such an ordinance may provide that a governing authority may designate such properties upon the recommendation of a local historic preservation commission.

A potential historic district or landmark or landmark site may be proposed for designation by either a majority of the members of a local historic preservation commission or an owner of a potential landmark or landmark site or an organization which has as one of its central purposes the promotion of historic preservation objectives. If in private ownership, a landmark site must include significant surviving landscape features to qualify for designation unless its primary significance is archeological, and new construction after review and approval, shall be built to fit into such landscape features rather than replace them or shall be designed to avoid insofar as possible an archeological resource rather than replace it. If in public ownership, a local historic preservation commission shall discourage new construction on a site of great significance to the entire community unless the new construction can be located on a portion of the site which will permit a continuing understanding of its historical character and will avoid damage to surviving landscape features or an archeological resource.

Once a nomination has been filed with an existing historic preservation commission or the governing authority of a municipality or county proposing to create such a commission and designate one or more local properties, a decision on whether to proceed with the designation must be made within six (6) months.

When a historic preservation commission already exists within a community, a majority of the commission's members must vote in favor of any proposed designation in order for the file supporting the designation to be sent forward to the local governing authority for its consideration. No file purporting to justify a proposed designation may be forwarded to a governing authority unless the commission's recommendation includes a map that clearly delineates boundaries for the proposed designation, a verbal description and justification of the proposed boundaries and a written statement of significance for the historic district or landmark or landmark site proposed for designation. Unless justification is contained in a designating ordinance, the boundary for any historic landmark shall include an entire tax parcel and may include adjoining tax parcels that were historically linked to the primary parcel during the period of greatest historic significance for the landmark structure.

The local governing authority must conduct at least one public hearing on the proposed designation and notice of the public hearing must be published weekly for at least three (3) consecutive weeks in a local newspaper authorized to publish legal notices.

The local governing authority must take action on the proposed designation within sixty (60) days of the public hearing, either to adopt a designating ordinance or to reject the proposed designation.

As quickly as would be reasonably possible, a local historic preservation commission must notify other municipal agencies and any appropriate county or state agencies of the designation of a historic district, landmark or landmark site. The commission must maintain in its official files an updated list and map of local designations and provide copies of such a map to other governmental agencies within one (1) week of the preparation of a new version of the map.

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