Guidelines meetings now seen in April

       Public meetings on design guidelines for the older Westside have been delayed again.
       Once slated for early 2008, then December and most recently March, the meetings are now anticipated in April, according to Tim Scanlon, the city's historic preservation planner.
       The latest schedule change resulted from Fund officials not yet having time to read through the submitted guidelines, thus leaving insufficient time to hold the meetings in March, Scanlon said. The 119-page document, containing design/style information for Westside homeowners seeking to preserve their historic homes, was prepared by consultant Steve Obering, with help from Scanlon and Westside volunteers through the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN).
       Because going into April would have put the city over the time-period deadline for its grant from the State Historical Fund, Scanlon said he has asked for and received a one-time extension, as allowed in the city's contract with the state. The city now has until March 2010 to complete the guideline process and receive the balance of a roughly $20,000 state grant. This should be ample time, Scanlon said. I'd be very disappointed if we couldn't get this done in a year.
       The city/OWN plan is to hold three public meetings so that potentially affected homeowners will have the opportunity to review the guidelines and decide if they like them.
       OWN hopes eventually to use the guidelines as the basis for a carrot-style historic overlay zone - providing tax incentives for those who comply - that encompasses more than 3,000 homes.

Westside Pioneer article