2017 Mississippi Code
Title 39 - Libraries, Arts, Archives and History
Chapter 13 - Historic Preservation Districts and Landmarks
§ 39-13-2. Definitions

Universal Citation: MS Code § 39-13-2 (2017)
  • The following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed herein unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
    • (a) "Alteration" means any change in the exterior appearance or materials of a landmark or a structure within a historic district or on a landmark site.
    • (b) "Certificate of appropriateness" means an official signed and dated governmental document issued by either a local historic preservation commission or a governing authority to permit specific work in a historic district or at a landmark site or landmark which has been reviewed and approved.
    • (c) "Construction" means work which is neither alteration nor demolition. Essentially, it is the erection of a new structure which did not previously exist, even if such a structure is partially joined to an existing structure.
    • (d) "Demolition" means the intentional removal of a structure within a local historic district or on a landmark site or which has been designated as a landmark.
    • (e) "Demolition by neglect" means substantial deterioration of a historic structure that results from improper maintenance or a lack of maintenance.
    • (f) "Design review guidelines," if adopted by a local historic preservation commission, shall be in a written form designed to inform local property owners about historical architectural styles prevalent in a community and to recommend preferred treatments and discourage treatments that would compromise the architectural integrity of structures in a historic district or on a landmark site or individually designated as landmarks.
    • (g) "Historic landmark" means a structure of exceptional individual significance and typically is a structure which could not be included within a local historic district.
    • (h) "Historic preservation commission" means a municipal or county body established to advise a local government on matters relating to historic preservation, including the designation of historic districts, landmarks and landmark sites, and which may be empowered to review applications for permits for alteration, construction, demolition, relocation or subdivision for structures in historic districts or on landmark sites or designated as landmarks.
    • (i) "Historic district" means a group of two (2) or more tax parcels and their structures, and may be an entire neighborhood of structures linked by historical association or historical development. It is not necessary that all structures within a historic district share the same primary architectural style or be from the same primary historical period. A historic district may also include both commercial and residential structures, and may include structures covered by two (2) or more zoning classifications. A historic district may include both contributing and noncontributing structures.
    • (j) "Landmark site" means a location where a primary architectural or historical resource formerly stood or a significant historic event took place or an important archeological resource remains.
    • (k) "Period of greatest historic significance for a landmark" means the time period during which the landmark had been essentially completed but not yet altered. It is also the period during which the style of architecture of the landmark was commonplace or typical. If a landmark also achieved historical importance in part because of designed landscape features, the period of greatest historic significance includes the time period during which such landscape features were maintained.
    • (l) "Relocation" means the moving of a structure to a new location on its tax parcel or the relocation of such a structure to a new tax parcel.
    • (m) "Structure" means a man-made object and typically will be visible because of portions which exist above grade. Structures built during the historic period, 1700 forward, may in some instances not be visible above grade if they are cellars, cisterns, icehouses or similar objects which by their nature are intended to be built into the ground. A structure includes both interior components and visible exterior surfaces, as well as attached elements such as signs and related features such as walks, walls, fences and other nearby secondary structures or landmark features.
    • (n) "Subdistricts" means discrete areas within a larger historic district within which separate design guidelines are appropriate and that may be created to recognize different zoning classifications or historic development patterns which have caused adjacent historic areas to develop at different times.
    • (o) "Subdivision" includes any change in the boundaries of a single tax parcel, whether the change results in expansion or reduction or a boundary relocation.
    • (p) "Substantial deterioration" means structural degradation of such a nature that water penetration into a historic structure can no longer be prevented, or structural degradation that causes stress or strain on structural members when supports collapse or warp, evidence of which includes defective roofing materials, broken window coverings and visible interior decay.
    • (q) "Survey of resources" means the documentation, by historical research or a photographic record, of structures of historical interest within a specified area or jurisdiction or of existing structures within a proposed historic district.
    • (r) "Unauthorized demolition" means the deliberate demolition of a historic structure without prior review and approval by a local historic preservation commission or a governing authority to which such a commission has made a recommendation.
    • (s) "Unreasonable economic hardship" means the definition under constitutional standards used to determine whether a "taking" exists.
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