Jefferson City officials are taking measures to protect a historic part of the city as an urban renewal plan gets underway.
Right now, the city is working on an overlay district for the blighted East Capitol Avenue area.
ABC 17 News reported that since the council’s approval of the urban renewal plan, the housing authority has encouraged property owners to revitalize rundown buildings and has started work on acquiring dilapidated homes.
“The overlay district is important to have in place so that any new or remodeled buildings in the area will match the character of the area,” said Eric Barron, the city’s senior planner. “It’s especially so considering the construction/renovation that might be triggered with the urban renewal plan.”
This week, the city shared with the public proposed regulations in the possible overlay district on everything from demolition to design standards.
“I think they’re really trying to protect the area and to enhance the area, and I’m encouraged by what I heard,” said Steve Veile, a business and property owner in the East Capitol Avenue area.
A few of the proposed requirements include: a brick or stone finish on the building’s front and sides, a minimum height of two stories but no more than 2.5 stories, a large front porch and front door facing the dominant street, no front yard parking and some historical architectural design features common to the area.
Demolition of structures 100 years and older would have to be approved by the Historic Preservation Commission, but could be appealed to City Council.
Veile and some other residents voiced concern that the proposed demolition process would not apply to buildings 50 years or older.
“There’s some great properties that are well over 100 years,” Veile said. “But there are also some that were just built in the 1920s and forward that are still architecturally important, but they are not 100 years old yet. So we have to be careful about that and hopefully protect those too.”
ABC 17 News reported that the Historic Preservation Commission is also working on a new demolition ordinance.
The City Council is set to vote Monday on a four-month demolition ban in the East Capitol Avenue area unless the demolition ordinance or overlay district is passed before the ban expires.
The city’s planning and zoning commission is set to hold a public hearing and vote on the overlay district next Thursday.
The City Council is set to take action next month.