Multiple updates have taken place around Courthouse Square this summer. While the Macomb Historic Preservation Commission is excited to see positive changes, they are also concerned
that business and building owners - especially new ones - are not quite familiar with the permit process required for work done on the older buildings.
And in addition, Community Development Coordinator Ed Basch noted the HPC also needs to be refreshed on national rehabilitation standards.
“We need a more defined process,” said Basch of how updates and changes get approved. He suggested a checklist for work on the buildings detailing what updates would be approved directly through the city’s Building and Zoning Office or taken for a more thorough discussion to the commission.
“Having a checklist is a good thing for me because I know for sure (what is pre-approved) and so folks don’t think I’m being arbitrary,” he said.
One example given was that the new owners of Louie’s Diner removed blue glass and painted over brick that had never been covered before. Had the owners had a checklist of changes requiring permits, the HPC would have had the opportunity to halt the alterations.
“It was not part of the permit (they brought to us),” Basch explained. “The contractor just did it and thought it was no big deal...we had no indication they were to make sensitive changes.”
The commission discussed sending the checklist to businesses saying the should be more proactive in letting them know of standards and parameters.
Read the rest of the story at the McDonough County Voice website