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Town historic district ordinance OK'd

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Sarah Mauck

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Justin Ritenour

Panel approves preservation measure, guidelines including new set of application review fees

By Preston Knight -- pknight@nvdaily.com

STRASBURG -- The Town Council passed an ordinance establishing a historic district, and approved a set of guidelines for it, a during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night.

Elected officials, town staff and members of the Planning Commission and Architectural Review Board have worked for many months on the partner projects, relying heavily on public comment, which was critical at first and grew to be receptive with changes made.

The council voted 6-1 in favor of the ordinance, and 5-2 for the guidelines.

Councilman Justin Ritenour voted against both, stating after the vote on the guidelines that he was principally against it. Councilwoman Sarah Mauck joined him in voting down the guidelines -- she had asked for another month before voting so the public could review recent minor revisions made to them by the commission and review board.

"I don't think four more weeks will make a difference," Mauck said.

Councilman Carlyle Swafford was absent Tuesday.

The ordinance establishes a new set of application review fees, including $30 for any major modifications when a certificate of appropriateness is required and $60 for demolition, new construction, additions, movement or relocation.

"Historic preservation is an evolving process that seeks to balance the public mission of historic preservation with the private property rights of individual owners," it states. "As a result, some modification decisions are left to the wisdom of property owners while others merit regulation."

General review criteria for projects include the guidelines, which are available for download at www.strasburgva.com or by request at the town office; the compatibility of the proposed change to surrounding properties; and the impact on the natural environment.

Also Tuesday, the council voted to approve the northern Shenandoah regional water supply plan and a drought response ordinance that goes with it. The plan, which is under review in a number of area jurisdictions, was prepared by the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission, which must submit it to the Department of Environmental Quality by Nov. 2, a staff memo states.


City Hall wins again.... I hope they are satisfied putting more burdens on the citizens of Strasburg. Doing this to the older established, and fixed income people shows me the officals running the town only want well to-do snobs to live in their perfect little cookie-cutter town with a Hollywood main street look.
With the vote last night the council cut the CREATIVE HEART out of our town.

I'm all for historic preservation, but why is this an issue? Historic preservation has been the least of anyone's worries when a developer rides into town with $ signs in his eyes or somebody from Mt. Jackson wants to build yet another gas station/convenience store at the entrance corridor to town.

I guess it is easier to have this sudden appreciation for historic preservation in this case, since the folks noffy's referring to don't have fat enough wallets to give them any influence or have their situations considered.

You ask why the historic preservation is an issue, barbp? That has been the whole issue. Every decision made by the town is framed in the scope of historical preservation or the impact that it makes on the tourist eye. That is why the entrance corridor had a design problem. There are a few people trying to recreate the town in the image they want. They start with a few regulations to get started and before long they will be telling you what kind of nail to drive in a board on your house.

I believe the citizens of Strasburg has made good decisions on what the town should look like up to this time. We didn't need a book of Hollywood back lot pictures to know what our houses should look like. Our creativity is what made our town.

Noffy, I think we're kind of saying the same thing, except that I don't buy into that when the chips are down "historic preservation" is really a factor. The final decisions are made based on who has money and influence.

Yea Barby.... Money and influence is a big deal. Who owns the land is another.

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