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HPC will evaluate local sessions, maps

October 22, 2012

By STEVEN NALLEY
educ@starkvilledailynews.com

The Starkville Historic Preservation Commission will discuss neighborhood information sessions it has held and will continue holding for its proposed local historic districts, as well as maps of those districts, at its meeting Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall’s Building Department.

In October, commission chair Michael Fazio and other members of the HPC have held information sessions to explain the “Standards for Starkville’s Historic Districts” the commission completed in late summer. Fazio said he has met not only with residents in neighborhoods targeted for local historic districts — Overstreet, Greensboro and Nash Street — but also with realtors and other groups. Fazio said he will report on these information sessions at the meeting.

“I (run) the informational meetings, generally, so I’m just going to tell everybody what has happened,” Fazio said. “We’ll just take account of where we are and think of what our schedule can be going forward.”
Fazio said the informational sessions’ results have been positive so far with no unusual consequences.

“There have been questions of all kinds,” Fazio said.

Also on the commission’s agenda is a set of maps outlining the boundaries of the three proposed local districts. Fazio said these boundaries are “pretty much the same” as those of the corresponding districts already on the National Register of Historic Places. These maps are available in an e-packet for the commission’s meeting on the city of Starkville’s website at http://www.cityofstarkville.org.

There is a critical difference between the existing NRHP districts and the local historic districts the commission is working to create.

Compliance with NRHP standards is optional, and those who do comply are eligible for tax benefits. If the city approves the local districts, the corresponding standards would have the force of law within the districts, establishing design guidelines for local historic buildings.
Finally, Fazio said the commission plans to elect its chair at Tuesday’s meeting. This election was scheduled to take place at the HPC’s Sept. 25 meeting, but the commission delayed the election when only four commissioners attended the meeting out of a total of seven.

“We prefer to have as many people as possible there to elect a chair,” Fazio said.

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