Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Parker-Gray Historic District Update

The Growler's not sure why some people who live outside the historic district received this E-mail and others didn't, including those who actually went down to City Council on February 24 to demand an update. Guess P&Z keeps losing paperwork.

But here it is: information on the current status of the nomination of Parker-Gray to the state Landmarks Registry and the National Register of Historic Places.

This is definitely Good News.

"Parker Gray Nomination Update

The Parker-Gray National Register Historic District process is proceeding on schedule. The consultants employed by the City began survey work in the early fall of 2006 and have completed a survey of 1600 structures which includes 1200 structures located within the present locally-designated Parker-Gray District, as well as 400 additional structures surrounding the local district.

The consultants must enter information about each resource into the state electronic database and have completed 80% of the required entries, or 1250 of 1600 structures, with 350 remaining. The consultants must also complete photographs of each resource for the state. Throughout the project we have been working with David Edwards from the State Department of Historic Resources (VDHR), who is the northern Virginia representative based in Winchester. In Virginia, the Department of Historic Resources serves as the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)(http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/).

Another important part of the process is the National Register form which is currently being drafted by the consultants. The first draft of the form is expected to be provided to the Planning Department's Historic Preservation staff by the end of April or beginning of May. Staff will review and comment on the form which will then be submitted to the SHPO by the end of June or beginning of July. We expect that the State will need approximately three months to review the application with revisions to be completed prior to the state staff scheduling the application for review by the VA State National Register Review Board for discussion and nomination, which we expect to occur in the fall of this year.

If the State Board determines that the application meets the criteria set for establishing a National Register District, the Board nominates the application to the U.S. Department of the Interior who holds the Register. This schedule information is tentative and is City staff's best guess regarding what is expected. Once the application is submitted to the State, the City has no control regarding the schedule.

City Planning staff has attended the following Civic Association community meetings to discuss the National Register process and to distribute information:

1. November and December 2006 - Met with the Inner City Civic Association; [Growler: there weren't really two presentations. Lee Webb and Steve Milone were scheduled for the first meeting but never got a chance to speak, so they were rescheduled]

2. December 2006 - Met with Upper King Street Neighborhood Association; and,

3. January 2007 - Met with Old Town Civic Association.

Additionally, staff plans to hold a larger community meeting in June for all who are interested to share the research and survey findings and review the next steps in the National Register process.

[Remainder of E-mail includes discussion of 100 Year Building List and upcoming historic preservation conference in May]...

Should you have any questions or need additional information about any of our preservation efforts, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Rich Josephson"