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City taking initial historic preservation steps

February 22, 2011

City officials are in the early stages of taking steps to inventory the community’s three existing historic districts, with plans to begin talks about design standards for these types of properties.
Starkville’s Historic Preservation Commission met briefly Tuesday and reviewed several planned or pending items.
After the meeting, City Planner Ben Griffith recapped the commission’s short history and the items the panel discussed.
On May 18, 2010, the city’s Board of Aldermen passed an ordinance establishing the panel and charged them with making recommendations to the board on historic district and site designations and developing historic preservation guidelines.
The city’s three existing historic districts are Greensboro Street, Nash Street and Overstreet School.
The Historic Preservation Commission’s meetings are open to the public.
If they have a need for a designation, they will have a public hearing, though they’ve not yet had any public hearings.
There can’t be a designation without criteria – or design standards – which would be codified in an ordinance, Griffith said.
On Feb. 1, the city’s aldermen signed off on a Certified Local Government designation application. The CLG – issued through Mississippi Department of Archives and History – basically says the city has an Historic Preservation Commission and is taking an interest in historic things, Griffith said.
Two weeks later, aldermen approved a CLG grant application, the money for which would be applied toward an inventory of the Overstreet district, he said.
“The thought process is to get a more and accurate and detailed inventory because it is a larger district,” Griffith said of the intent to obtain a grant for the effort in the Overstreet area.
Commissioners will conduct the inventory of the Greensboro and Nash districts themselves, he said.
Commission members are also discussing the idea of getting a grant to help draft the design standards, Griffith said.
The panel voted to move its next meeting to March 29 at 3:30 p.m. This will allow commissioners to meet with David Preziosi, with the Mississippi Heritage Trust, to talk with him about the Overstreet inventory and the design process, Griffith said.

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