The Mayor's Agent is the District government official designated by the Mayor to preform various functions under the DC historic preservation law.
Why does the Mayor's Agent hold public hearings?
The Mayor's Agent has the final authority to determine what is in the public interest under the DC historic preservation law. In some cases, the law requires a public hearing before making this finding. There are typically no more than five to ten such hearings per year.
Public hearings allow the Mayor's Agent to consider not just the recommendations of the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB), which are limited to issues of historic preservation and design compatibility, but also economic and planning factors. Public hearings also allow for community participation and comment on these broader concerns.
When is a hearing required?
The Mayor's Agent may hold a public hearing on any case, but a public hearing is required for the following:
- Demolition of a historic landmark or building contributing to the character of a historic district;
- Subdivision that removes land from the site of a historic landmark;
- An application for approval on the basis of unreasonable economic hardship;
- An application for approval to construct a project of "special merit"; and
- When an applicant requests a public hearing after a recommendation of denial from the Historic Preservation Review Board or Commission of Fine Arts.