HLC Voting Requirements to recommend Historic Zoning

A proposal has been made to lower the bar for the Historic Landmark Commission to recommend Historic Zoning over the objection of a property owner - such that a simple majority is all that is required.

City Council will consider the amendment on August 31st. As FAN appears to be preparing for a CodeNEXT vote I would offer this for consideration on that ballot.

It takes 9 Council votes to override a property owner. Moving to a simple majority at HLC is too low of a bar, will create a burden on the zoning review process as countless time is being spent through CodeNEXT to streamline processes. No value bureaucracy adds no value cost which impacts affordability. Instead we could consider suggesting that buildings built after 1949 be exempt from HLC processes, other than those already given Landmark status. We have no shortage of 1950’s and 1960’s properties, and to the extent these type of processes are on auto pilot, we are spending considerable resources where no problem statement exists, and are falling short on many others where the problem statement is obvious.

As someone who would prefer to preserve properties from the 1960s rather than the 1930s, I take umbrage with arbitrary date restrictions. I would suggest we simply focus on just saying no to this idea. It’s simply a bad idea. I think taking away someone’s property rights in this manner should take more than a simple majority.

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@tthomas48, if this has any hope of being voted on with CodeNEXT agreed - we do need to focus on opposition to the amendment.

Having said that, an objective of historic preservation is to protect having examples from different periods and styles. Saw a statistic once, we have thousands of homes from the 50’s and more from the 60"s best I recall . No offense intended to 60’s architecture, but it’s not a salamander, more like a bat in terms of scarcity.

Ultimately, we need to ask ourselves, did HLC already do it’s job and it’s time to sunset that work? Or should we pare it back somehow? Or allow the workload and cost to continue to spiral upwards as the period of review increasingly becomes a significant part of our housing stock? Open to other perspectives, clearly I am not picking door #3.

I’d love to weigh in on this, but I think we might have to end our votes after Aug 31 for CodeNEXT.

@rcauvin would the CodeNEXT voting end on Sept 5 or does it end on another date to where the HLC issue could be added into the voting?

We can try to tee it up, but we need to get some clear language and compelling rationale that speaks to neighborhood inclusion, diversity, and improvement.

I’m not sure how we would handle it, but it’s always possible the council vote will be postponed. We could also try two separate ballots, one with this item on it, and the other for the CodeNEXT items. The drawback is that it is confusing and a little more work for voters.

@tthomas48 and @Phil_Wiley Do you want to create an official resolution (language and rationale) that we could vote on? We’d need the language finalized by tonight though.

If we included it, we should probably put it in with the other CodeNEXT resolutions so it’s not confusing with two separate votes in Helios.