January 10, 2018 10:12:11 AM
The Starkville Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously voted to support a recommendation for creating an architectural review process for the city.
The commission's decision will go before the board of aldermen as a joint recommendation in partnership with the Starkville Historic Preservation Commission, which made the same request.
A letter co-authored by Michael Fazio, of the SHPC, and P&Z Chair Michael Brooks notes the need for a review process as Starkville continues to grow. The letter says Starkville is an attractive place for development but that projects often come from outside sources. It further adds that developmental pressures, good and bad, will only grow in the future.
"New and re-development will have profound effects on the Starkville landscape during ensuing decades, and often there is only one chance to see that what is constructed is attractive and conforms to the city's high standards," the letter reads.
City Community Development Director Buddy Sanders said because Starkville's various areas and neighborhoods are too varied for a one-size-fits-all code, the process would review projects to ensure they fit within their area.
"On certain projects, in certain zones, if there was an application for construction or a renovation that was considered re-development, the architectural style and material of the building would be reviewed by a professional," Sanders said.
Should the board of aldermen approve an architectural review process, it would take place for projects before building permits are issued. City Planner Daniel Havelin said the process could possibly happen after a site plan is approved.
"Once the construction documents are created, and you go to get a building permit, that's when, depending on the trigger, they would go for an architectural review phase," he said. "You'd get approval for the façade, the materials they're using -- once they're approved they could go straight for getting a building permit."
It's too early to tell what form the architectural review process will take, and Sanders said much of the process will depend on how aldermen decide to set it up. He said it could be a consultant who is an architect, or an internal committee with architectural knowledge.
The board of aldermen may take the issue up at its next board meeting Tuesday.
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