OWN-selected architect starts work on historic overlay guidelines

       A contract with architect Al Feinstein marks the latest step toward a historic overlay on the older Westside.
       The contract is with the city as well as the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN), the city-recognized Westside advocacy group. OWN had selected Feinstein to create design guidelines that will give the owners of historic homes information on the appropriate ways to remodel their exteriors, should an overlay eventually be approved by City Council.
       Under the contract, the city will coordinate the project, and OWN, which is all volunteer, will manage Feinstein's efforts through a sub-group called the Historic Overlay Guidelines Committee. Kristine Van Wert (chair) and Dave Hughes (vice chair), who began leading the overlay effort about five years ago in hopes of preserving the Westside's architectural past, will head the committee.
       Committee meetings will be open to the public. “We invite residents to attend our meetings and stay up to date on our progress,” an article states in the new issue of OWN's Westside Story newsletter
       Two key features of the proposed overlay are voluntary compliance (tax incentives will be the “carrot”) and a “Swiss cheese” approach in which only residences in the zone that qualify under certain historical criteria (to be established through the guideline process) will be eligible.
       The $37,000 funding for Feinstein's work is provided almost equally from the State Historical Fund, a program of the Colorado Historical Society, and the city.
       Feinstein's firm, Feinstein Associates, has experience in working with historic properties, both in Colorado Springs and in Cripple Creek.
       At the signing Sept. 21, he said he was looking forward to getting started on the project.
       The Design Guidelines are intended to be published as a book and also be made available on-line. Prelimin-ary work by OWN has included digital photographs of more than 3,600 properties and a database that catalogues facade features.
       The project is expected to be finished by the end of summer 2008. Afterwards, the plans calls for the city Historic Preservation Board to turn the guidelines into standards and Planning Commission and City Council to vote on the overlay after public hearings.
       For more information, call Tim Scanlon, city senior planner, at 385-5394; or Van Wert at 630-2155.

Westside Pioneer/press release