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Preservation group to discuss historic design guidelines

November 21, 2011

By STEVEN NALLEY
citybeat@bellsouth.net

The Starkville Historic Preservation Commission will discuss design guidelines for the city’s historic neighborhoods, a timeline for the creation of those guidelines and the pending designation of downtown Starkville as a historic district at its meeting Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall’s building department.
At the commission’s Sept. 27 meeting, Mississippi Heritage Trust Executive Director David Preziosi presented early recommendations for design guidelines for the three historic districts currently under HPC’s purview. The HPC then planned to discuss a series of questions about those guidelines at a meeting on Nov. 3. Subjects of these questions, as outlined in the e-packet, include vinyl siding, HardiePlank siding, roofing, replacement windows, storm windows, shutters, security/burglar bars and exterior doors.
However, only three members of the HPC attended the Nov. 3 meeting, leaving the HPC without the quorum required to approve the agenda, preventing discussion of the guidelines and delaying it until Nov. 22.
On Nov. 3, HPC chairman Michael Fazio said it was imperative for a quorum of commissioners to convene in November because a schedule for the guidelines’ creation is also up for discussion, and it calls for the HPC to submit specific decisions about the content of the design guidelines by Dec. 1. Other major steps on the timeline include completion of a draft of the “Quick Start” section of the guidelines by Jan. 23, 2012, completion of a first draft of the full guidelines by April 1, 2012, a final draft of the guidelines by June 15, 2012 and delivery of the final draft to the city of Starkville by Aug. 1, 2012.
The HPC will also discuss a report from Preziosi surveying historic resources in Downtown Starkville conducted as part of the Starkville Central Neighborhood Foundation’s application for downtown Starkville to join the National Register of Historic Places. One of the key features of Preziosi’s report is a spreadsheet of downtown properties which would and would not contribute to a downtown historic district, preceded by explanations for each designation.
An owner of a contributing building is eligible for a federal tax credit equaling 20 percent of expenditures to rehabilitate the building and a state tax credit equaling 25 percent of the same, which can be stacked for a total tax credit of 45 percent. Owners of non-contributing buildings are only eligible for a 10 percent tax credit, but can be rehabilitated to join other contributing buildings in gaining more tax benefits.
Preziosi’s report lists 35 out of 138 properties surveyed as non-contributing. A few of these 35 properties include:
u Sullivan’s Office Supply, at 107 South Lafayette St. and 204 East Main St.
u Apostolic Assembly of Jesus Christ, 115 North Lafayette St.
u Zorba’s Greek Tavern, 100 East Main St.
u Old Venice Pizza Company, 110 East Main St.
- Book Mart, at 120 East Main St.

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