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HPC plans public hearings, reports positive outlook

October 25, 2012

By STEVEN NALLEY
educ@starkvilledailynews.com

Members of the Starkville Historic Preservation Commission reported positive results from prior meetings with residents and other stakeholders in historic neighborhoods at their meeting Tuesday.

Commission Chairman Michael Fazio said the only groups slated to meet with HPC members who had not yet were ERA Realty and residents in the Overstreet district, and he said the latter meeting will take place Thursday. Fazio said he and other HPC members already met with Prudential Real Estate, Coldwell Banker and residents in the Nash Street and Greensboro districts.

“The Greensboro Street meeting was not terribly well attended,” Fazio said. “People have been very interested, and we tried to answer all the questions they had. I can’t say any issue has come up that has been unexpected. The issue is our schedule going forward.”

Commissioner Cyndi Sullivan said she anticipates good results from the final neighborhood meeting Thursday.

“We’ve gotten really good support so far from Overstreet,” Sullivan said.
Fazio said he has contacted City Attorney Chris Latimer about the HPC holding a public hearing on its proposed local historic districts and the design standards for those districts. He said Latimer is amenable to a public hearing in mid-November, leading the board to begin considering a public hearing on Nov. 20.

However, Commissioner Tom Walker said he was concerned about holding the public hearing on the same day as an alderman meeting. Commissioner Briar Jones then made a motion to hold the public hearing Nov. 27, and the commission approved it unanimously. Fazio said this public hearing will be the first of two.

“This will be our public hearing,” Fazio said, “and subsequent to ours, we would hand things off to the aldermen and let them decide (during the) next public hearing.”

The commission also quickly and unanimously approved maps of the three proposed local historic districts. Fazio said these maps will not be finalized until the aldermen approve them.

“I’d like (this commission) to approve them, but you understand none of this matters legally until the board approves them,” Fazio said. “We’d just like to make these the maps we suggest to the board.”

With only one commissioner, Maxine Hamilton, absent, the commission also moved forward with a vote to elect a chair.

Fazio said, “I’m not married to this chair, but I’m willing to do it again if people want me to.”

Sullivan then said, “Good,” and nominated Fazio, who was then re-elected unanimously.

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