Asheville’s historic structures and landmarks play a big part in its draw and appeal to both residents and visitors. With some 46 local historic landmarks and four local historic districts, as well as those listed on the national registry, the city enjoys architecture from multiple significant historical periods. The preservation of those homes and buildings led to the formation of the Historic Resources Commission which, alongside the Historic Preservation Division of Planning & Development, reviews changes to the exterior of designated structures to ensure the integrity of historic districts and landmarks.
The HRC, formed in 1979, is made up of of members appointed by Asheville City Council and Buncombe County Commissioners, and meets once a month to review applications and discuss guidelines for historic districts.
To keep the public up to date on the evolution of the HRC and the facts surrounding National Historic Districts and landmarks, the HRC is preparing to launch its own E-newsletter. “We want to reach out and educate people about what it means to live in a historic district as well as keep people up to date about changes,” says Stacy Merten, who serves as staff liaison to the HRC and as Director of the Historic Resources Division of Planning & Development “We are in the process of evolving the HRC guidelines and the development approval process and we want to spread the word as much as possible.”
Recently, application submittals for Major Work Certificate of Appropriateness and review of Minor Work applications for Certificate of Appropriateness was moved to the City of Asheville’s Development Services Center located in the Public Works Building at 161 S. Charlotte Street to bring them under the same roof as other city permits.
Last year, the HRC updated its design review guidelines for the Montford Historic District to address community concerns, and potential updates are being discussed for the St. Dunstan’s Historic District.
And an upcoming initiative co-funded by the Historic Preservation Trust Fund and Buncombe County is expected to add ten acres and 35 structures to the Downtown National Historic District.
“There’s just a lot going on,” Merten said. “And the commission saw a chance to keep people up to speed.”
May is National Preservation Month, and to mark the occasion, the City of Asheville will host a talk by renowned Historic Preservation expert Mary Ruffin Hanbury on the benefits and strategies of preservation planning. The talk will be held May 26 at 5:30 p.m. In the Pack Library Activity Room.
To be added to the mailing list for the Historic Resources Commission E-newsletter, contact Christy Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org.