APHZAB Gives Useful Feedback

At its October meeting, our historic board had one informal review to consider. Informal reviews are offered to help those who propose projects in our historic zone to avoid design problems at an early and hopefully less expensive point in their project’s development. This is what was posted in the Legal Action Review:

4. Informal Review, 726 S Bean Ave. Brian Kassel, property owner. Proposed 726 S Bean Aveconstruction on vacant lot. Members identified a number of issues Mr. Kassel will have to look at, covering both HPZ and other Code requirements. He was given the names and contact info for several City officials who could assist him in working through them before he completes his plans.

There were many issues likely to cause difficulties for the project as proposed so there were vigorous discussions and numerous possibilities offered. Issues of building height, two structures on a relatively small lot, a sewer easement and more. Mr. Kassel felt at first that the board was being adversarial in bringing up the many challenges but by the meeting’s end seemed to understand that the comments were in his best interest. PDSD staff with whom he had discussed his plans had not pointed out these areas of concern. Many issues were not of a historic nature but were basic code issues which should be dealt with elsewhere in the permitting process.

Near the end of the meeting, there was discussion of general issues:

6. Discussion of APHZAB Administrative Issues. There was a discussion of issues with the City approving proposals over the objection of HZABs, raised by Karen Costello from Barrio Historico HZAB. Ms. McClements reported on her presentation at the previous week’s Mayor and Council meeting. Mr. Duffy will send out an email announcing the November 14 election for 2018 APHZAB members in a special meeting. 

The problem raised by Ms. Costello is only one of several ways the city fails to support the volunteer HZABs. Failure to provide boards with complete project information or feedback on final project approval details are two further examples.

I was at the M&C meeting where Ms. McClements made her presentation. She did an excellent job of explaining the important work of the APHZAB in applying federal historic standards to preserve our historic community. She was thanked by the Mayor for her presentation and the fine work of our board.

Please make a note of the board election to be held at a special meeting in conjunction with the APNA general meeting at 7 PM on 14 November at the St Andrew’s Parish hall. This board is very important to Armory Park so residents and property owners should participate in nominating board members. If you have time for this very important public service, please offer your name for election.

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