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.