Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC) – August 21, 2019

215 Lowell – Finding of Historic Significance

We commended the owner of this 1908 Victorian house for seeking historic designation.  Located in the St. Cecilia neighborhood, this house contributes to an area just south of downtown with the potential to become a historic district.  The HDRC approved the finding of historic significance, which will send the case to zoning, the next step in the designation process.  Read our full statement.

110 Lexington – El Tropicano Hotel – Renovations

Some of the proposed renovations to this Mid-Century Modern landmark on the River Walk caused us concern.  Our statement opposed removing the original stone veneer at the entrance and demolishing the eastern wing of the hotel.  By the time the HDRC heard the proposal, the applicant had already removed these two items from the request, which  received approval with stipulations.  Read our full statement.

214 Lotus – Finding of Historic Significance

We supported the Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) staff’s request for a finding of historic significance.  This c. 1909 Queen Anne Victorian style house had been marketed for sale recently as a historic property and the original section of the house appeared to have retained many of its character defining exterior features.  However, at the HDRC meeting, the owner presented photos of deteriorated conditions to support his demolition request.  These differed dramatically from the photos that the OHP staff had taken, prompting a motion for the Design Review Committee to conduct a site visit.  Read our full statement.

335 Trail – New Construction

The applicant’s proposed design for multi-unit infill needed to better incorporate architectural elements commonly found throughout the River Road Historic District.  We concurred with the OHP’s findings, including those concerned with protecting a nearby portion of a Spanish Colonial acequia.  After much deliberation, the commission made a motion to return the case to the Design Review Committee.  The HDRC also suggested that a civil engineer be engaged to verify that the proposed drainage plan would not divert water into the acequia.  Read our full statement.

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