The Starkville Historic Preservation Commission will discuss a potential final draft of “Standards for Starkville’s Historic Districts” as well as a new authorization form, payment for the standards and plans for future meetings at its 5:30 p.m. Tuesday meeting in City Hall’s building department.
Commission chair Michael Fazio said the authorization form works as an affidavit in conjunction with the certificate of appropriateness form, which has gone through several revisions at past HPC meetings. When people want to alter buildings they own in cities’ local historic districts, those cities’ HPCs grant permission through certificates of appropriateness, or COAs.
“If someone is submitting materials for a COA and they’re not the owner of the property, (he or she has) to have an affidavit with it,” Fazio said.
For example, City Planner Ben Griffith said property owners might allow their hired architects or contractors to file COAs on their behalf, and notarized authorization forms would be needed. Similar processes happen with rezonings, conditional uses and other dealings between property owners and the city, he said, but traditionally, the city has asked for affidavit letters instead of forms.
“Dr. Fazio felt more comfortable with having a form, even though I explained to him that the form was probably going to have lots of blanks to it,” Griffith said. “He felt like a form would be a little more understandable. He asked for a form, and I provided one. I don’t know if the commission is going to find that to be necessary or not.”
Griffith said he does not know if the new authorization form could potentially delay approval of the standards’ final draft if the commission proposes revisions to the authorization form. The city of Starkville first received a grant from the Mississippi Heritage Trust for MHT Executive Director David Preziosi to write design guidelines for historic buildings in fall 2011, when the fiscal year began. The grant concludes with the fiscal year, making it necessary for the HPC to pay Preziosi for his services by the end of August.
The HPC and the Starkville Board of Aldermen have already approved payment for Preziosi, and Fazio said the check has already been cut. He also said the city still has the check, and the HPC plans to approve giving it to Preziosi at Tuesday’s meeting.
“I hope what we’ll be able to do (Tuesday) night is say, ‘Okay, put it in the mail,’” Fazio said.
Fazio said he is not yet certain what the HPC will do if it does not approve a final draft Tuesday. If it does, he said, the HPC will need to schedule public discussion of the final draft.
“We’ll just have to make that judgment (Tuesday) night,” Fazio said. “Once we get the standards finished, the next step would be that we would have a public hearing. We’ve got to talk about what our schedule for that and other activities is going to be.”