Thursday, October 8, 2020

Columbia evaluates options after much of historical board quits

When: Columbia Council work session, Oct. 6.

What happened: Council discussed the future of the borough's designated national historic district following the recent resignation of most Historic Architecture Review Board members. Council members agreed they want the historic district to remain, but that going forward, enforcement of the historic district ordinance needs to be more consistent from case to case.

Background: On Sept. 1, council overrode the historic board's recommendation to deny real estate developer Cimarron Investments' request to use composite material rather than wood on a dilapidated balcony at 24-26 S. Second St. Four board members subsequently resigned, citing a lack of respect for historic preservation, bad precedent for future decisions and special treatment given to certain applicants. The resignations left the board without a quorum, impacting the borough's ability to get historic grants.

Historic ordinance review: Council is currently hearing cases relating to the historic district ordinance until the board is reconstituted. Borough Manager Mark Stivers said following the council meeting, a meeting would take place with former historic board members in hopes of getting them to reconsider their resignations.



Radical rag said...

Who wants to be apart of the boro?? Nobody- why there 1 sided the mayor, police chief, codes, all have friends and buisnesses they support, murphy puts a few $$ into the town help him where ever they can, if the catholic church ( holy trinity) screw the residents, give them what they want, if a local restaurant or sub shop loses parking who cares take there parking areas, and give them to someone else, who cares if little buisnesses succeed , who cares if the tax payer gets screwed over, columbia is a joke with all these friendships, do the right things, its getting old

Unknown said...

The only reason the balcony was dilapidated was that Cimarron Investments did not repair for 5+ years following purchase. When first purchased the balconies needed only a coat of paint. The control of window replacements was removed from HARB at some point in the past allowing all the window replacements by Cimarron Investments in Columbia. Most historic districts limit window replacements. Windows at 24-26 South 2nd Street are in good repair and only need paint.
HARB should only agree to reorganize if Cimarron uses wood to rebuild balconies at 24-26 S 2nd and retains historic windows. Cimarron should also to commit to retaining historic windows and rebuild chimneys in the tobacco warehouse on Bank Ave which is now receiving the same demolition by neglect as 24-26 S 2nd experienced from Cimarron.