Historic Preservation Commission approves house repairs in new historic district
Monday, October 19, 2009 ~ Updated 11:16 PM
The first test of new rules for repairs and upgrades in Cape Girardeau's only local historic district went smoothly Monday morning.
In a special meeting on the Southeast Missouri State University campus, the city's Historic Preservation Commission approved two Certificate of Appropriateness requests by homeowners in the Boulevard Local Historic District. The district was established last month after more than two years of work by proponents within the neighborhood north of Broadway that lies just east of West End Boulevard.
The commission approved a request from Charles DiStefano to replace his concrete steps at 360 N. Park Ave. with new steps of the same material. The commission also approved plans by Paul Giebler to replace 15 wooden-frame windows and metal-frame storm windows with double-hung energy-efficient windows.
DiStefano arrived at the meeting a couple of minutes late, after the vote on his request, because he was unsure of the process. He questioned whether he needed to attend and also whether he was required to make a formal application for repairs that did not change the appearance of his home.
He was told an appearance wasn't necessary -- Giebler did not attend -- and that minor changes didn't need to be submitted to the commission.
"If somebody is going to repair something and it is not going to change the least little bit, I don't want to see it," said Bill Eddleman, commission vice chairman.
A local historic district is a designation under city code that imposes additional zoning rules for property owners. Unlike work in other parts of the city that may only require a building permit, owners who plan significant work on their buildings must seek approval from the Historic Preservation Commission in the form of the certificate. The work must not significantly change the appearance of the property and use materials that from an approved list for the district.
During discussion of the two requests, the commission members recommended that the city planning staff determine which projects need the commission's scrutiny.
401 Independence St., Cape Girardeau, MO
360 N. Park Ave., Cape Girardeau, MO
383 N. Park Ave., Cape Girardeau, MO