The revised preservation ordinance came before Council last week. It got a lot of feedback in addition to being tagged.
Mayor Pro Tem Anne Clutterbuck also opposed the changes to the ordinance, which include a provision that would prevent property owners from demolishing historic buildings in historic districts if a city commission has denied their request. Previously, owners could proceed with demolition after 90 days even if the commission denied their request.
Clutterbuck was one of seven council members who offered amendments to key points of the revised ordinance. Council members Wanda Adams, Jolanda Jones, Al Hoang, Oliver Pennington, Ed Gonzalez and Sue Lovell also offered amendments that would make technical changes in various aspects of the ordinance.
Clutterbuck’s most significant revision would be to upend the “transition” ordinance, which as currently written would apply the newer, stricter rules to existing historic districts unless property owners there petition for “reconsideration.” Parker’s revised ordinance allows them to do so in 15 days, although several council members and some industry groups are pushing to extend that time to as long as 60 days.
Clutterbuck proposed that existing districts be allowed to continue under the old rules. If they wish for the tighter restrictions to apply, they can petition under the new process, which requires 60 percent of property owners in the proposed area to return ballots mailed to them by the city showing they want the designation.
This earlier story from before the Council meeting has more. I’ve already said that I prefer the approach Clutterbuck is proposing in her amendment. Beyond that, my line in the sand on this is the 90-day waiver, which has always meant that we don’t actually have a preservation ordinance on the books, merely a preservation suggestion. As long as there’s a way to actually preserve historic buildings that need protection, the rest is mostly details to me. We’ll see what happens when it comes up this week.