In an effort to protect the city’s treasured historic homes and buildings, Wyoming City Council is weighing a change to the City Code that regulates permits for the demolition and renovation of these structures. The proposed change would apply to the Village Historic District and National Register properties outside the district.
On Monday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m. the Planning Commission and the Historic Preservation Commission will present a recommendation to Council about this proposed change at the regular City Council meeting in council chambers at 800 Oak Avenue. Residents who are considering renovation of historic buildings, or who simply want to learn more about the proposed change, are encouraged to attend and voice their opinions.
The suggested change would modify the code to require a permit when 25 percent or more of the front façade of the building is demolished or altered. Currently, the code dictates that 50 percent or more of the exterior walls or roof must be set for demolition or alteration before a permit is required. The code would also require a permit if 50 percent or more of the side elevation of the structure is set for demolition or alteration.
The potential changes to the code are part of a plan to preserve historic homes in the community as prioritized in the 2018 Master Plan. Historic preservation was outlined by community members as one of seven key priorities for the city in the Master Plan. To help achieve meaningful historic preservation, the Historic Preservation Commission looked at several strategies that would encourage homeowners to carefully consider modifications to their historic properties.
Among the strategies put forth in the Master Plan were:
- Creation of Historic District Guidelines to ensure compatible renovation and construction in the historic district to protect the integrity of the area.
- Promote the use of design guidelines in renovation and building projects.
- Explore effective approval processes of renovation and construction by appropriate boards and commissions.
Historic Preservation Commission member Bobbie McTurner said the updated strategies are needed to protect one of Wyoming’s most distinctive and recognized architectural vicinities.
“Our Village Historic District retains a strong sense of place,” she says. “As residents we are lucky for those before us who established the district. Now it’s our responsibility to ensure that the properties retain their historic integrity and the historic district remains intact.”
The proposed change to the demolition and alteration requirements will be among the topics for discussion Monday, March 18. If you would like more information about this subject, contact Megan Statt Blake at 513-842-1397 or firstname.lastname@example.org.