Tuesday, March 17, 2009

P & Z wants Historic Architect

The Apalachicola city commission held a joint workshop Monday, March 16 with members of the planning and zoning board to discuss a proposal from planning and zoning chair Leon Bloodworth.

Bloodworth opened the discussion by stating that the planning and zoning board was trying to raise the bar within the historic district and that planning and zoning members didn’t have the expertise to review plans as they pertained to construction and renovation within the historic district.

He recommended that the city contract with Mark Tarmey a preservation architect out of Tallahassee to review plans brought before the planning and zoning board and to make recommendations to the seven-member board based upon the historic guidelines of the city.

Tarmey is the current President of the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, he holds a Bachelor of Design in Architecture from the University of Florida, and he has specialized studies in Historic Preservation from the Preservation Institute in Nantucket Massachusetts.

Bloodworth further stated that the planning and zoning board had extensively discussed and reviewed the matter and that Tarmey would receive compensation for his services directly from applicants pulling permits within the historic district. Bloodworth went on the say that the city could readily enter into a contract with the preservation architect because the city would not be compensating Tarmey directly for his services.

As outlined by Bloodworth during his presentation, Tarmey would receive the following compensation directly from the applicant to review plans and make recommendations:

*For repairs and minor renovations of existing structures, i.e.: re-roofing, porch, outbuilding such a garages and sheds, column replacement, new siding or new windows, new doors, significant landscaping – Architectural Review Fee: $100

*Major renovations of existing structures – (requiring architect or engineering plans) - Architectural Review Fee: $500

*New construction (residential) - Architectural Review Fee: $1,000

*New construction (commercial) - Architectural Review Fee: $2,500

However, city attorney Pat Floyd advised the commission that the city would have to advertise for Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) from all interested firms or individuals.

Bloodworth was also questioned as to whether someone locally with a background in historic preservation could assist planning and zoning as an appointment to the board.

With that, the commission instructed staff to look into the proposal and prepare a recommendation for the city commission to consider at its next regular meeting in April.

1 comment:

  1. Given the current economic climate, I think this proposal is ill-timed, at best. These kinds of fees are often nothing more than taxes in disguise, and may actually discourage the homeowner who is considering renovation. Moreover, the real pertinent question is: Do we need it? I see where our fair city was recently bestowed recognition as a "Distinctive Dozen Destination". One of the unique characteristics of our Historic Distict, as well as our whole city, is that it looks and feels like a "genuine" place; NOT sterile and "travel magazine" perfect, but like a real community where generations of families actually LIVE. Big land holding companies may try, but they can never "contrive" the essence of Apalachicola, and let's keep it that way! That very essence holds tremendous appeal to visitors who come from the anonymous hustle bustle and cookie cutter subdivisions of elsewhere.
    Personally, I defer to the sentiments of the late Ann Landers, advice columnist, who once said, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"