07 January 2017

FYI: Meeting Minutes Historic Preservation Board from 06 December 2016

Historic Preservation Board Meeting Minutes 
December 6, 2016  6:00 p.m.
Location: Fire Station 201, 360 E. First Street

Members Present
Laura Schaffer-Metcalfe, Ed.D., Chair
Janice Gennevois, Vice-Chair 
Greg Marek
Milagros Zingoni 
Annalisa Alvrus, Ph.D. 
Louise Swann 
Brandon Benzing (arrived after approval of minutes) 

Staff Present 
John Wesley
Lauren Allsopp
Jeff McVay 

Guests:Vic Linoff, Others

 2. Approval of the November 1, 2016 regular meeting minutes 
Board member Swann noted the members absent from November meeting needed to be corrected to show her as being absent. 
First Motion made by Board member Marek to approve the minutes as amended and seconded by Vice-chair Gennevois to approve the November 1 meeting minutes.

Motion carried 6-0 (Board member Benzing absent) 

4. Downtown façade improvement, colonnade removal, and historic designation 
Staff member Jeff McVay provided the Board with an update on progress to implement a colonnade removal and façade improvement program in the downtown area. 

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds in the amount $100,000 have been allocated for this year to begin the design work on façade improvements. 
The City will contract with several architects to provide these design services. 
Property owners will apply for the program and a committee, which includes both Staff member Wesley and Board member Zingoni, will help select the top applications for funding.  It is hoped the paperwork required for the grant will be completed so the funds are available by April. 
Mr. McVay stated that the Council has determined that implementation of this program is a transformative program for the downtown area and, based on this, the staff that administers the CDBG program is already tentatively setting aside funding in subsequent years to assist with the colonnade removal. 

This next year of funding should be available about the time the first round of façade improvement designs are completed. 
Board member Marek asked about how the process will maintain historic integrity in the designs to help move toward a historic district. 

Mr. McVay stated that the application for the program and the points associated with the selection will strongly favor those that will maintain the historic look of the buildings. 
The architects that will be used to help implement the program will be ones with a background in historic preservation. 
Also, because this program is using Federal funds, the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) will have to sign off on the program. 
The review committee will also be reviewing the designs before the go to the Design Review Board and staff will be monitoring the work of the architects along the way. 
Board member Marek asked for clarification on the role SHPO will have in the program.  Staff member Allsopp responded that because Federal funds are involved SHPO has to review the program to ensure the funds are not being used in a way that would harm historic properties. 

Mr. McVay stated it is his expectation they will just look at the high level of the overall program; they will not be involved in review of specific designs. 
Board members were excited about the progress on this program and thanked Mr. McVay for his work on this

5. Review November neighborhood meeting and discuss future opportunities for neighborhood meetings 
Chair Schaffer-Metcalfe stated she was pleased with the turnout at the meeting and the level of questions and discussion.  She wished they had stayed for the regular business meeting. 
Board member Zingoni stated one of the concerns brought up was with traffic issues and wondered if there is a way to tie historic district designation to opportunities to address traffic issues. 

Board member Gennevois agreed noting the issue her neighborhood has with Hibbert Street. 
Mr. Wesley stated this would likely be a bit of a challenge given all the factors that go into street design and traffic patterns, and the costs associated with making changes, but it could be looked at. 
Board member Marek suggest it was something Ms. Allsopp could help explore. 
The Board decided to try and hold the next neighborhood meeting in the Evergreen District at the February meeting.

6. Receive information, review and discuss the Post World War II neighborhoods study and options for continuation of this study 
Staff member Wesley provided an overview of the study that had been done in 2003/2004 to prepare the report on Post World War II developments and the work that had been done by staff and the Board to start to narrow the focus on developments that should be considered for historic designation. 

Board member Marek provided some additional background on how the process worked to narrow the focus on key neighborhoods.  The Board agreed they would like to re-engage in this effort and move forward with identifying some neighborhoods for consideration. 
Staff member Allsopp stated she had walked all the neighborhoods identified in Mr. Wesley’s memo as being the top developments for consideration in 2004. 

Based on her review she suggested that Duke Manor, Telford Place, and Easton be at the top of the list for consideration. 
The first step will be to see if there is any support in those neighborhoods for working on a designation. 

7. Updates on ongoing items: 
a. Certificates of Appropriateness cases 
Staff member Wesley provided an overview of the property at 463 N. Grand that has a number of issues with modifications that have been done without permits, including the building of a carport over the north property line. 

Right now this is an item for consideration by the Board of Adjustment, but because it is a contributing structure in a historic district, may become an item for Board consideration in the future.
b. Westside Clark local historic district designation progress 
Lauren Allsopp provided an update on the work she has done with the neighborhood leaders. 

They are about 9 property owners short of having enough signatures to file the application.  They are focusing on getting those signatures. 
They are also considering the best way to address the condominium project in the middle of the neighborhood – is that one signature, or do all of them count? 
Finally, the group is very frustrated with having to get the Prop 207 Waivers and wondered if there is some way to be grandfathered in as to not needing it since they started the process in 2004. 
Mr. Wesley explained that there is no grandfathering of this provision, but he is hopefully that the Council will be willing to consider and approve the designation without everyone signing the waivers.
c. Student writing contest 
Chair Shaffer-Metcalfe noted we received only 6 applications this year despite significant outreach. 

Board members are going to rank the entries individual and submit those to Mr. Wesley no later than December 16.  He will then average the rankings to determine the top three and get the announcement out to the winners as soon as possible.
d. Draft Historic Landmark Sign Ordinance 
Staff member Wesley stated Board member Marek had found that Casa Grande was making some changes to their ordinances to historic signs in their community. 

Mr. Wesley contacted the staff there and obtained a copy of what they are doing.  They are more specifically recognizing signs as historic landmarks and will then have some exemptions for designated signs in their sign code. 
In discussing this with the staff they have not yet specifically reviewed this with regards to the Reed decision, but will do so. 
Mr. Marek asked if we could get the City Attorney’s office to provide some type of clear definition or description of what constitutes sign content as a means of better understanding how to craft an ordinance.  Mr. Wesley stated he would inquire about this

e. Involvement of older students in historic preservation activity 
The working committee of Board members Benzing, Zingoni, and Alvrus are going to get together soon after the first of the year to start crafting a program that could be implemented next year.

8. Updates on Museums, Exhibits, Committees and Events related to Historic Preservation 
Vic Linoff addressed the Board stating that they are continuing to work on saving some of the historic signs along Main Street by finding people who will help with taking them down when the property is being redeveloped and then finding places to store them until a new location can be found. 

He also stated that he and Ron Peters have entered into a contract to write a book about the Buckhorn Baths

9. Board Member comments, questions, and future agenda items 
The Board agreed with Staff member Wesley suggestion to invite the new SHPO to come to a future Board meeting.

10. Adjournment
 Chair Schaffer-Metcalfe adjourned the meeting at 7:23 pm.  
First Motion made by Chair Schaffer-Metcalfe and seconded by Board member Alvrus. Motion carried 7-0     

Supporting data is available for public review in the Planning Division, Municipal Building, 55 N. Center St., Mesa, Arizona 85201 

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