January 15, 2008, 8:00 a.m.
Historic Preservation Commission
Annual Planning Retreat
1. Summary of National Trust Conference Session—David Shultz
2. Review Bylaws & Liaison Committee Assignments
3. Review HPC Role (Land Development Code)
4. 2008 CLG Grant Application
5. Other Business
Present: Andrew Nielsen, Claire Strom, David Shultz, Melissa Sobolik, Paul Gleye, Peter Moynihan, Christine Kloubec
Chair Claire Strom called the meeting to order.
Item 1. Preservation Commission Session Presentation
David Shultz presented a summary of a session on preservation commissions he attended at the 2007 National Trust for Historic Preservation Annual Conference.
Item 2. Review Bylaws and Liaison Committee Assignments
Bylaws were reviewed and changes made as noted in the attached bylaws. Liaison Committee Assignments are as follows:
Planning Commission – Christine Kloubec
Board of Adjustment – Paul Gleye
House Moving Board – Paul Gleye
Housing Rehab – David Shultz
Renaissance Zone Authority – Peter Moynihan
Item 3. Review HPC Role (LDC)
The Historic Preservation Commission enacting ordinance in the LDC was reviewed. It was decided that the HPC will give an annual report to both the Planning Commission and the City Commission.
Item 4. 2008 CLG Grant Application
Discussion first focused on the possibility of applying for funding to nominate Horace Mann Elementary, Roosevelt Elementary, and possibly Woodrow Wilson School to the National Register. The group wished to pursue nomination at some point, but since we do not know if the Fargo Public School District would be receptive to the idea, decided to wait until we have support from the FPS. Discussion then focused on longer-term historic planning, and the group felt it would be important to have a comprehensive survey done on Fargo’s historic architectural resources. It was decided to start by mapping the city’s architectural resources, and to then divide the city into appropriate sections, and to hire a contractor to conduct an intensive survey of one of the sections. The idea is to try to survey one section of the city every year for approximately 5 years, until the entire city has been surveyed. Then, these surveys would be used to create more National Register Historic Districts. Christine Kloubec made a motion to apply for a CLG grant to survey the first section in 2008. Second by Andrew Nielsen. Motion passed unanimously.
Item 5. Other Business
• Roosevelt Rezoning Dawn Mayo briefed the HPC on some staff discussions that have been held recently on an area just south of the NDSU campus. The Zoning Administrator has been receiving requests for redevelopment for various properties, and thought that rather than looking at these requests piecemeal, it might be better to look at a comprehensive rezoning of the area to a mixed use, higher density residential zoning category which also allows some appropriate commercial zoning. The area is well contained by Johnson Park on the east, railroad tracks to the south and west, and the campus to the north. The area is already over 90% rental properties. Rezoning would have the dual benefit of guiding future developments to meet architectural standards, and also to take some pressure off the Roosevelt neighborhood to the east, which has seen an upswing in conversions of single family homes to rental use in recent years as the NDSU enrollment has increased. The HPC would like to be represented on any working committee that forms to look at this rezoning, and Paul Gleye volunteered to sit on that committee.
• Woodruff’s Historic Overlay District Dawn Mayo gave an update on the progress of this ongoing project. The Planning Director felt that some zoning nonconformities may be created with this overlay which could cause real estate financing difficulties for property owners, and so at his request, Block 6 will be removed from the overlay district and boundaries will be redrawn accordingly. With this change, staff can recommend approval to the Planning Commission at their meeting on February 13, 2008.
• Fargo Detention Hospital This property at 57 11 Ave N is owned by Cass County. For a number of years it has been used by SENDCA for its north side Head Start program, but is no longer used for that purpose. Cass County recently offered the building to the Fargo Housing and Redevelopment Authority, which had proposed demolishing it and building 8 to 10 low-mod rental housing units on the site. Because the building is individually listed on the National Register, demolition would make it difficult for the project to receive the federal funding that FHRA would need in order to make the project viable. The HPC would like to find a way to keep the building in existence, and proposes opening a dialog with Cass County. Claire will contact the Cass County Administrator as a first step. The HPC may organize a forum at some point to try to find an alternative use for the building.
• Fargo Landmarks Dawn Mayo presented to the HPC a preliminary listing of public markers, statues, monuments, etc which was initially worked on several years ago. The HPC discussed creating a Fargo Landmarks Listing, which would be an honorary designation of public features which have historic value. The HPC discussed the possibility of conferring an annual Landmarks designation or preservation award to be awarded during Preservation Week every May. This would be a way of recognizing buildings and historic features which deserve local recognition, but that may not be eligible for National Register status. Dawn Mayo will check with the Planning Director to see how to set this up.
• Storefront Rehab This program, which assists downtown property owners with a matching grant to improve storefront facades, is currently under review by the Community Development Committee. Some on that committee feel that the purpose of mitigating downtown blight may be better served in another way. In the 2008 budget, $150,000 of CDBG funding will be allocated to downtown blight. Whether this funding is directed to the Storefront Rehab program or to some other blight mitigation project will be determined by the Community Development Committee. The HPC discussed their support of the Storefront Rehab program and a motion was made by Christine Kloubec to place on the record that the Historic Preservation Commission supports the Storefront Rehab Grant program. Motion was seconded by Paul Gleye. Motion passed unanimously. The HPC also decided to send a representative to the February 21 Community Development Committee meeting, in order to participate in the discussion regarding funding of Storefront Rehab program.
• Preservation Education The HPC discussed the need to educate the public and to build better awareness and support for preservation activities. It was decided to focus on working with Fargo Public Schools to increase the teaching of local history at the elementary level, and to explore the ways that we could encourage them to use the Look Around Downtown walking tour brochure. It would also be beneficial to work with downtown business owners to build more support among that constituency.
Item 8. Next Meeting
The next meeting date is February 19, 2008.
The time at adjournment was 11:45 a.m.