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HPC to review abridged guide

January 23, 2012

By STEVEN NALLEY
citybeat@bellsouth.net

The Starkville Historic Preservation Commission will review a draft of “quick start” design guidelines for historic neighborhoods at its 5:30 p.m. Tuesday meeting in City Hall’s courtroom.
Mississippi Heritage Trust Executive Director David Preziosi has been working with the HPC since September on revamped design guidelines for historic buildings in neighborhoods under the HPC’s purview. The “quick start” draft review is the latest step on a schedule set to deliver a final guideline draft to the Starkville Board of Aldermen on Aug. 1. The meeting agenda calls for the HPC to provide comments and suggested changes to the “quick start” draft to Preziosi by Jan. 30.
The idea of a “quick start” section first arose at the HPC’s August meeting after Chairman Michael Fazio said re-evaluated how closely to emulate Philadelphia’s historic preservation guidelines. He said he believed Philadelphia’s long sections on maintenance, preservation philosophy, history and other subjects bogged down the rest of the document.
“I would like for us to think about having the bigger items as essentially addenda,” Fazio said. “My thinking is colored by the desire to have ... all kinds of buzz phrases, the most transparent document, the most user-friendly document, the document that doesn’t put people off instantly when they look at it. It’s like when you buy a new camera, a new electronic device, and it makes you go to the manual, but then you’ve got the little thing that folds out a couple of times and you can get going.”
Commissioner Cindy Sullivan quickly identified the short manual Fazio described as a “quick start menu,” and the commission has used the term since its inception.
A sample of Preziosi’s “quick start” draft found in the HPC e-packet organizes the guidelines into three columns: one for changes to historic buildings owners might propose, one for actions the HPC would take in response to those proposals and one for more information where applicable. The draft often uses the “More Information” column to direct readers to pages of the guidelines containing specific details.
The sample covers several of the guideline topics the HPC discussed Nov. 24, including artificial siding materials and door and window replacement. For instance, it says vinyl and aluminum siding over original siding is not allowed.
“If people have metal siding up, they don’t have to take it down, but they cannot add it,” Fazio said at the Nov. 24 meeting. “That would be true for new construction as well as rehabilitation.”

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