Strasburg board grants approval for downtown renovations

STRASBURG — The Architectural Review Board in Strasburg has given approval for Doug Boyd, a local developer, to renovate several buildings Boyd owns on West King Street.

During their meeting on Thursday, members of the board determined that Boyd’s proposed renovations would fit in the historic downtown district. The members added that they are pleased to see renovated buildings  on the west side of town.

“As a member of this board and as a citizen, I think this is a rather extraordinarily important project,” James Massey, a member of the board, said.

The move comes as Boyd is considering making expansive changes to eight properties on West King Street. On top of renovations of eight buildings, Boyd has applied to the Town Council for approval to build ground-floor apartments in the back of three buildings on West King Street.

Boyd has said that he needs to be able to rent out space to tenants in several buildings in order to make up for the high cost of renovating the worn-out buildings.

But some council members, like Seth Newman, have criticized the proposed plan, saying that building ground-floor apartments would detract from the commercial nature of downtown Strasburg.

The Town Council is scheduled to vote on Boyd’s application for ground-floor apartments during its Tuesdayt meeting.

Thursday’s architectural review board decision means that Boyd can now make major changes to the eight West King Street buildings.

But while the board was largely supportive of Boyd’s overarching plans, they placed a number of conditions on the renovation of his 194 W. King St. property. The board, for instance, asked Boyd to submit a sample brick to the board for approval.

Massey also expressed concern during the meeting that Boyd’s building renovations might violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

However, the architectural review board does not oversee or enforce state or federal disabilities laws. Because of that, Massey dropped his objections.

Boyd said that he does not believe he is in violation of disability laws because his proposed renovations would make the buildings more accessible than they currently are.

“It’s better than what we have now, what we have today,” Boyd said.