Thursday, May 24, 2007

Jerome residents meet to discuss historic preservation issues

[Source: Philip Wright] -- Bob Frankeberger (pictured), architect for the State Historic Preservation Office, met informally in a workshop with members of the Jerome Town Council, Planning and Zoning Commission, Board of Adjustments, Design Review, Jerome Historical Society and town staff. Frankeberger said that following a historic preservation program boils down to "specifically what the duties are of Design Review." He said that in the other 27 cities or towns in Arizona with preservation programs, their ordinances specify three duties for Design Review. The first is to identify historical properties. The second duty is to designate those identified properties, and the third is to protect the properties through Design Review.

Frankeberger said there is no language in Jerome's ordinance that tells how properties are identified and designated. "I don't know if you've been legal," he said. "Design review can be very subjective unless it has some ground rules," he said. He explained that the ground rules must be enforceable. "The design guidelines have to parallel the national and state programs." The basic process of using Design Review to follow the town's intentions for preservation come into play primarily through ruling on building permits and demolition permits. "That's about it," Frankeberger said. Vice Mayor Jane Moore said that Jerome's ordinance says the town uses the guidelines of the U.S. Secretary of Interior's standards. "Rather than design guidelines," Frankeberger said, "try to be more quantitative in ordinances." He said that concept is new in the design process and is called "Form Based Ordinances. It becomes a little bit more formal and more enforceable." Frankeberger told the audience that historical preservation involves four different treatments: restoration, rehabilitation, preservation and stabilization. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]