Proposed changes to Staunton historic district guidelines to be presented July 24

staunton virginiaArchitectural and planning firm Frazier Associates will present a final draft of proposed revisions to Staunton’s historic district guidelines at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 24 at City Hall during the Historic Preservation Commission’s regular monthly meeting.

The City hired the firm to create guidelines for commercial development in Staunton’s nationally registered historic districts. Existing regulations apply to residential properties and don’t specifically address commercial property and development, including signage.

Residential and commercial property owners in the City’s five historic preservation districts are encouraged to attend the July 24 meeting to see the proposed revisions to the guidelines.

The Historic Preservation Commission will hold a work session after its regular meeting to discuss the proposed draft and make changes if necessary. Once updates to the guidelines are completed, the City will send them to the Department of Historic Resources for review. The City also will advertise public hearings that will occur at Staunton Planning Commission and Staunton City Council meetings, so the public can weigh-in on the proposed changes. The guidelines must be reviewed and adopted by City Council before they go into effect.

A grant from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources through the Cost Share Survey and Planning Grant program provided the funds to make revisions to the guidelines. The City’s Community Development Department, with the help of Historic Staunton Foundation, applied for the grant last year.

The Cost Share Survey and Planning Grant program assists localities with preservation planning goals and initiatives. The annual competitive grant program provides a matching grant, typically 50 percent, to localities interested in pursuing such activities as historic resource surveys, state and national register nominations and preservation plans.

A copy of the proposed revised guidelines can be viewed online, in the City Manager’s Office and the Community Development Department, both on the third floor of City Hall, or at the Staunton Public Library.

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