Date set for Boulevard Local Historic District hearing

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Cape Girardeau Historic Preservation Commission has set a July 15 hearing date for the Boulevard Local Historic District, and chairman Bill Eddleman hopes it is the last hearing before the project goes to the city council for approval.

The plan would establish guidelines for new construction and renovations for the residential area between north of Broadway between West End Boulevard and Henderson Avenue. The goal, according to the document summarizing the guidelines, "is to maintain the distinctive character found throughout much of the neighborhood."

The Historic Preservation Commission had previously endorsed the resident-driven proposal, but after changes recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission, a new petition was circulated among residents. It was signed by 62 percent of the affected property owners, indicating continued support for the proposal's updated design guidelines. The revised guidelines required action by the commission.

"The next time we have a hearing, I want [the proposal] to get out exactly the way we got it," Eddleman said.

After brief discussion, the commission unanimously approved a motion to set the public hearing at its regularly scheduled July meeting at the city council chambers at city hall. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

Neighborhood resident Chuck DiStefano said the majority of the property owners are behind the proposal, despite some opposition that surfaced when the plan went before the Planning and Zoning Commission. Residents who backed the proposal didn't appear at that meeting because it wasn't scheduled to be a public hearing.

"We're back and we ain't going anywhere until this goes through," said DiStefano, who has been an active supporter of the project.

Other action

In other action, the commission unanimously endorsed the DREAM Downtown Strategic Plan after a presentation by Marla Mills, executive director of Old Town Cape. The DREAM plan had been approved June 10 by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Final approval would come from the city council.

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