|Downtown Lewiston, Idaho|
Today I thought I might try to shed some light on some of the jargon used in historic preservation. As a student of historic preservation, I remember hearing all these terms and barely catching their meaning. Fortunately, I had resources available that I could look at to figure out what phrases like "certificate of appropriateness" meant. The majority of preservation minded citizens don't have a textbook on the subject handy to look up the jargon that often comes flying at them. With the help of Sarah Heffern, the social media strategist for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, I'd help you decipher the "preservation code" in order to help sit through a community meeting without that glazed expression you'll get when the "legalese" starts come at you.
|Archival photo of the Aspinall Federal Building|
Building Code: the Uniform Building Code (UBC) are the laws that set the minimum standards for construction and use of a structure in order to protect public health.
Certificate of Appropriateness (COA): a COA is a certificate issued by your local preservation commission indicating its approval of an application to alter, demolish, move, or add on to an already protected place.
Contributing Structure: a structure or building located in a historic district that has historic, architectural, or archeological significance to that district.
Demolition by Neglect: I know I've mentioned this term a few times in relation to posts on blight. Allow me to explain. Demolition by neglect is the process of allowing a building to deteriorate to a point where razing it is necessary in order to protect human health and safety.
|Archival photograph of Corinth Plantation|
Easement (Preservation or Conservation): in this context, we're talking about the partial interest in a property that can be transferred to a nonprofit or governmental agency through gift or sale to ensure the protection of a continual historic resource and/or land area.
Guidelines: these are interpretative standards or criteria, more advisory than mandatory.
Site Plan: this is a architecture term and, at first glance, seems pretty self-explanatory-a plan of the site. Actually, it is a proposed plan for development submitted by the property own for review by the local planning commission or related government agency that deals with issues such as placement of structures, landscaping, pedestrian and vehicular circulation, lighting, signage, and other features.
Zoning: zoning laws are sometimes considered the devil's handiwork because of the perception that they restrict development. Truthfully, you want zoning laws. Zoning laws are there to regulate land and building use which typically specify allowed usage such as residential or commercial, restrictions on development such as height limits, set back requirements, bulk, and so on. Zoning laws are what keeps some one from putting a landfill next your children's school or a high-rise behind your house.
These are just some of the jargon that you will hear at community preservation meetings. My thanks to Sarah Heffern for defining these terms for us and hopefully they'll be of use to you.
Like me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/lenorelowen
Follow me on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/glamavon and on Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/glamtroy
Instagram- find me at hpblogger