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HPC reviews form, discusses various design guidelines

March 28, 2012

By STEVEN NALLEY
citybeat@bellsouth.net

The Starkville Historic Preservation Commission discussed design guidelines pertaining to roofing, siding and porches as well as a flowchart and form for a certificate of appropriateness process at its meeting Tuesday.

For the past few months, the HPC has been working with Mississippi Heritage Trust Executive Director David Preziosi on design guidelines for buildings in local historic districts. The HPC has also worked for the past few meetings on a process for building owners to obtain a certificate of appropriateness or COA, the instrument HPCs use to grant people permission to externally alter buildings they own in compliance with preservation guidelines.

Present at the meeting were commission chair Michael Fazio and commissioners Thomas Walker, Jason Barrett, Maxine Hamilton and Briar Jones. Fazio said he wanted to revisit the COA flowchart and form, because Jones and Barrett played significant roles in their development but were not present to discuss them at the HPC’s March 15 work session.
One COA issue the HPC returned to was the need for elements on the COA form carried over from a COA form from Franklin, Tenn. used as an example for Starkville.

The HPC discussed possible reasons it might need a property’s total square footage and its footprint, among other measurements, and ultimately, Fazio said it might be best to go back to the items’ source.
“What if I made a phone call to Franklin, Tenn. and asked them for their rationale?” Fazio asked. “I’m presuming that they’ve been in business for a while.”

No one on the commission raised any objections to Fazio’s proposal. Fazio said since no individual elements of the design guidelines are likely to be approved until the guidelines are approved in their entirety, the commission could return to the COA process again if any commissioners changed their minds.

The commission also discussed Preziosi’s drafts of sections on roofing, siding and porches, and as before, Fazio said he did not object to any content — only phrasing.

“I’m going through these things line by line as a copy editor, and I’m making changes, but they’re editorial changes,” Fazio said. “They’re not changes of substance. If everyone’s comfortable with that, that’s what we’ll continue to do.”

Some commissioners did suggest a few non-editorial changes. For instance, Jones said he noticed a segment saying the HPC merely recommended building owners not use vinyl siding.
“We don’t allow vinyl siding,” Jones said.

In its Nov. 22 meeting, the commission passed a motion to prevent the use of aluminum and vinyl siding from passage of the new guidelines forward, “grandfathering in” building owners who already have vinyl siding.
Fazio said this was included in a memo Griffith created for Preziosi to use, and he asked Griffith to send the memo again.

After discussion ended, Fazio asked commissioners if they wanted to hold an additional work session in April to continue review of Preziosi’s drafts at an accelerated pace.

“David is doing exactly what he said he was going to do,” Fazio said. “Every week, he’s giving us a full section, and they’re varying in size. Do we want to wait another month before meeting?”

The commission agreed to meet again in two weeks, at 5:30 p.m. on April 10. Griffith said he would need to attend the Starkville Planning and Zoning Commission’s meeting at the same time, but the conflict would present minimal issues because the zoning commission currently has only one item to discuss on April 10.

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