FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
1) Why was my building, structure, or site nominated?
Any property, structure, or natural feature located within unincorporated Kankakee County which is worthy of rehabilitation, restoration, or preservation because of its historic, scenic, or architectural significance may be considered by the Kankakee County Historic Preservation Commission
2) Is owner consent required when nominating a property?
No. According to the Kankakee County Historic Preservation Ordinance, owner consent is not required; however, it is considered during the nomination procedure. Any individual or group of individuals as well as the Kankakee County Historic Preservation Commission may propose landmarks or preservation districts for designation by the County Board.
3) How will landmark designation affect my property rights?
Landmark designation is not intended to usurp your property rights. Property owners still maintain the right to alter or sell their property according to their own initiatives. (Alterations must be reviewed by the Kankakee County Historic Preservation Commission. See question 9, below.)
4) Can landmark designation be appealed or rescinded?
Yes, in accordance with the provisions of the Kankakee County Historic Preservation Ordinance, public hearings are held in order to allow property owners the opportunity to present oral and/or written testimony concerning the nomination. Following the testimony articulated at the public hearing, and in addition to their own findings of fact, the Kankakee County Historic Preservation Commission will determine whether or not the nomination should be recommended to the County Board for landmark designation.
5) Will landmark designation affect my property or surrounding property values?
Though quantitative information is limited on the effects of landmark designation upon real estate values, the general trend suggests that landmark designation will not increase or decrease the value of your property or surrounding properties. The National Trust for Historic for Historic Preservation has conducted studies on this issue. For more information, please contact the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Midwest Office at 312-939-5547.
6) Will landmark designation make my property more difficult to sell?
No. In most cases, designated historic properties are sold without any conflict over the sale price.
7) Will landmark designation increase my homeowner’s insurance?
No. In most instances, landmark designation does not affect your insurance rates.
8) What effect will landmark designation have on a nominated property?
The Kankakee County Historic Preservation Ordinance, protects designated landmarks from any alteration, construction or demolition and requires the maintenance of any designated landmark. All work must be completed after a Certificate of Appropriateness has been granted by the Commission according to the established Standards for Review. Failure comply with the Ordinance shall be subject to financial penalties. In certain cases and upon documentation, the Commission may issue a Certificate of Economic Hardship.
9) What is a Certificate of Appropriateness?
According to the Kankakee County Historic Preservation Ordinance, a Certificate of Appropriateness is a “certificate issued by a Preservation Commission indicating its approval of plans for alteration, construction, demolition, or removal affecting a nominated or designated landmark or property within a nominated or designated preservation district.
10) What is a Certificate of Economic Hardship?
According to the Kankakee County Historic Preservation Ordinance, a Certificate of Economic Hardship is a “certificate issued by the Preservation Commission authorizing an alteration, construction, removal or demolition even though a Certificate of Appropriateness has previously been denied or may be denied.
11) Does landmark designation mean that I cannot alter my property without the consent of the Kankakee County Historic Preservation Commission?
Yes. Proposed major alterations of designated properties must be submitted and reviewed by the Kankakee County Historic Preservation Commission; However, unless the changes will dramatically alter the architectural and historic integrity of the building, structure, or site, the Commission will generally approve the proposed alteration(s).
12) Does landmark designation mean that I am obligated to rehabilitate my property?
Landmark designation does not obligate a property owner to rehabilitate his or her property. However, once a property is designated a historic landmark, it becomes eligible for various grants to assist with rehabilitation.
13) How does landmark designation affect my right to demolish my historic building?
The Kankakee County Historic Preservation Commission reviews all demolition applications in the County regardless of historic designation. In most cases, historic properties will be documented prior to approval for demolition. For designated historic landmarks only, the Commission will give careful consideration to economic hardship and then issue recommendation or denial of a Certificate of Appropriateness/Certificate of Economic Hardship.
14) What may be nominated as a landmark?
Any property, structure, or natural feature located within the unincorporated area of Kankakee County which is worthy of preservation, rehabilitation, or restoration because of its historic, scenic, or architectural significance may be considered by the Kankakee County Historic Preservation Commission (HPC).
15) Who can propose landmark designation?
Any individual or group of individuals as well as HPC may propose landmarks or reservation districts for designation by the Kankakee County Board.
16) What is the process for landmark designation?
Upon the receipt of a completed Historic Landmark Nomination Form, HPC shall provide within fourteen days an initial report stating if the nominated property meets the criteria for designation.
Within thirty (30) days of the completion of the initial findings, HPC shall schedule a public hearing on the nomination. Within sixty (60) days from the close of the public hearing shall make a recommendation to the County Board. Within sixty days (60), the County Board shall either 1) designate the landmark; 2) take no action which automatically institutes landmark status; or 3) seek further information from HPC within forty-five (45) days for action by the County Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting. Upon designation as a landmark, the owner of the property shall be notified as well as the Recorder of Deeds, the County Clerk, and HPC.
17) What fees must be paid to nominate a landmark?
No fees are required to submit an application for the nomination of a property for landmark designation.
18) Will the owner of the property be notified of pending designation?
Yes, in accordance with legal requirements of public hearings. Additionally, adjacent landowners will be notified of pending action.
19) What is the difference between “common name” and “historic name”?
“Common name” refers to any name by which the property is generally known by at the present time. “Historic name” refers to any name(s) by which the property was previously known either officially or unofficially.
20) Are photocopies acceptable for the required submittals?
Yes, photocopy reproductions of maps, photographs, historic views, and printed materials (such as diary accounts) are acceptable. However, digital photographs are required with each application. The Commission and its staff will complete additional photography for record and any presentations.
21) Is “owner consent” required when nominating a property?
The Kankakee County Historic Preservation Ordinance, does not require owner consent.
22) Must the applicant(s) include his/her/their address, telephone number, and signature?
Yes. The application will not be considered complete and will not be processed without the inclusion of this information.
23) Where can the Kankakee County Historic Preservation Ordinance be reviewed?
The County Historic Preservation Ordinance, can be downloaded at the link provided or a printed copy is available for review at the Kankakee County planning Department.
24) Who should be contacted to answer questions about completing or the status of a nomination application?
Contact the Kankakee County Planning Department - Historic Preservation Staff
Additionally, the Commission would make arrangements to be available to provide informal reviews of a proposed landmark nomination prior to the completion of a nomination form.