Friday, May 09, 2008

Panels bicker over Casa Grande history

[Source: Harold Kitching, Casa Grande Valley Newspaper] -- Preservation of historic properties in older areas of Casa Grande is turning into a bit of a turf war between the Central City Redevelopment District Subcommittee and city officials who say the Historic Preservation Commission should handle that. The subcommittee, set up mainly to make recommendations on redevelopment in the City Hall and downtown areas, has slowly edged toward preservation, although not all properties are in the redevelopment areas. The city has moved toward heading off the subcommittee, having Housing Director Rosa Bruce handle some of the residential historic properties. The rationale is that her department has the expertise and the access to funds - of which the subcommittee has neither - to be successful.

At a later meeting, the subcommittee was told by Planning and Development Director Rick Miller that, in short, historic preservation should really be handled by the Historic Preservation Commission, the board set up for that specific purpose. Some members of the subcommittee haven't taken the city's turn of agencies happily. The subcommittee has long talked about reworking the city's present preservation ordinance to include a lien provision, allowing the city to do the work to save a building, then filing the lien against the property. The subcommittee took the issue to the City Council but received no clear-cut decision. That lack of solid direction from the city, along with the shift to the preservation commission, has angered subcommittee Chairman Bob Mitchell, a former mayor.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Marge Jantz - The 1927 Fisher Memorial Home in Casa Grande.]