Who is the Commission?
The commission is a nine (9) member board of appointed citizens. Eight members are appointed by the legislative and executive branches of South Bend and St. Joseph County governments. Appointments are as follows: two (2) by the County Commissioners, two (2) by the South Bend Common Council, two (2) by the County Council, and two (2) by the Mayor of South Bend. Each body appoints one Democrat and one Republican. The ninth member is the Architectural Historian who is appointed by the eight (8) other appointed members. The nine (9) volunteer board members of the Historic Preservation Commission are appointed for three year terms and are knowledgeable in various aspects of local history, historic preservation, and traditional trades.
What does the Commission do?
The Commission is granted powers to draft preservation guidelines and plans, advise other agencies on matters concerning historic sites and structures, and assist and educate the public. The Commission’s jurisdiction includes the City of South Bend and the unincorporated areas of St. Joseph County. Map of Historic Properties
The Commission makes recommendations to the Council for sites, structures and neighborhoods to become landmarks and districts. Once a Landmark or District is designated by ordinance, the Commission serves as the agency that administers the preservation standards required by the designation. These standards are a tool to maintain a structure’s, a district’s, or a landscape’s character defining features.
The administration of the South Bend Historic Preservation and South Bend Historic Preservation Commission, is handled by staff in the Department of Community Investment located on the 14th Floor of the County-City Building.
How does the commission administer the preservation standards?
A Certificate Of Appropriateness (COA) is the formal manner through which the Commission monitors the character and condition of a Landmark or District. Property owners apply for a COA through the Commission staff. Staff review the project details, conduct property inspections and site visits, research property history and write a recommendation in a report presented to the Commission at the monthly meeting. Some projects can be administratively approved by staff and do not require review by the Commission.
The Commission review applications, ask applicants questions, listen to public input, and discuss the appropriateness of the proposed project. The Commission then votes to approve, deny or continue the project. Approved projects receive a COA from staff and property owners are able to acquire necessary building permits and begin work.
- Sarah Andrews, President
- David Wincott, Vice President
- Joan Downs Krostenko, Secretary, Architectural Historian
- Don Dietz, Commissioner
- Elizabeth Hurtle, Commissioner
- Andrew Jones, Commissioner
- Peter DeKever, Commissioner
The Commission currently has two (2) vacancies.