By STEPHANIE MOJICA
11:39 AM EST, November 27, 2012
Danville City Commission unanimously voted Monday to accept changes to the city’s historic preservation ordinance as proposed by the state and recently accepted by the city’s Architectural Review Board.
Danville has about six months to get its ordinance in accordance with Kentucky Heritage Council guidelines or it will likely lose its federal Certified Local Government status, said City Attorney Stephen¿Dexter.
One of the major problems with the ordinance was Mayor Bernie Hunstad’s desire to have all signage within the city handled by the Danville-Boyle County Planning and Zoning Commission rather than the ARB, according to discussion during the meeting.
The state said that notion was unacceptable for the historic district. Hunstad said Monday he simply intended to have a “one-stop shop” for people desiring to place signs at their businesses or homes.
Ordinary maintenance and repairs of buildings within the historic district still do not need to come before the ARB, which Dexter said the committee “warmly embraced.”
“(The ARB¿members) didn’t want to be seen as a Gestapo,” Dexter said.
The next step is for Dexter and state officials to investigate what type of monetary penalties will be appropriate if someone demolishes a historic building within the district.
During the public comments portion of the meeting, Danville resident and licensed attorney Mark Morgan suggested the penalties for demolition in the historic district be something “meaningful,” such as twice the value of the property. He said low fines for demolition would not deter companies from destroying historic buildings in hopes of making a profit.¿Dexter acknowledged the ARB has had discussions along similar lines and that the matter is under careful consideration.
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