(a) No change in the exterior appearance of an historic property or any building, structure, or site within an historic district may be made, and no historic property may be demolished, and no building or structure in an historic district may be erected or demolished unless and until a certificate of appropriateness for such change, erection, or demolition is approved by the historic preservation commission created by the municipality designating the historic property or the historic district. Signs shall be considered as structures and no sign on an historic property or in an historic district shall be changed, erected, or demolished unless and until a certificate of appropriateness is approved by the commission. The requirement of a certificate of appropriateness shall apply to public property which has been designated as an historic property or which is contained in an historic district, and shall apply to all actions by public authorities which involve historic properties and properties within historic districts. Demolition by neglect and the failure to maintain an historic property or a structure in an historic district shall constitute a change for which a certificate of appropriateness is necessary. A municipality enacting an ordinance, pursuant to this chapter, may include selection of paint colors in changes requiring a certificate of appropriateness. The painting of originally unpainted surfaces shall require a certificate of appropriateness.
(b) The commission shall adopt rules and regulations setting forth the procedure for submission and consideration of applications for certificates of appropriateness, and no certificate of appropriateness shall be approved unless an application for a certificate of appropriateness is submitted to the commission accompanied by such drawings, photographs, and plans, as may be required by the commission.
(c) The commission shall adopt general design standards which shall apply in considering the granting and denial of certificates of appropriateness.
(d) Applications for certificates of appropriateness shall be considered by the commission at public meetings, held at times and places and pursuant to such notices as are specified in the ordinance creating the commission.
(e) The commission may adopt an expedited procedure for approval of routine maintenance to historic properties, or to buildings or structures in historic districts. Such expedited procedure may waive the requirements for submission of an application for a certificate of appropriateness and for consideration at a public meeting.
(f) The commission shall keep a record of all applications for certificates of appropriateness and requests for approval of routine maintenance and of all of its proceedings.