Historic board interested in Village Market, Village Lane

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The Village Lane and Village Market were the focus of last week’s Idyllwild Historic Preservation District Local Review Board meeting at the library.

Chair Warren Monroe relayed to other board members and to Riverside County Parks planner and architect Yun Baird that he had visited with Paul White of Idyllwild Bake Shop and Brew about ongoing renovations in the Village Lane. He said the shop is running out of money and has enough to sandblast the deck, make some repairs and re-paint the treads yellow.

Monroe said the front part of the shop was formerly a porch and when it rains, the roof “is leaking like a sieve.” The Whites (Paul and Katie) want to fix the roof and add a walk-on deck to the top of it that would extend with railing over the entrance to the lane, said Monroe. “I’m suspecting the county would be interested in the design,” said Baird, the county representative for the LRB.

Monroe also spoke about the bar the Whites are installing in the shop just behind the bake shop. He said when the Whites pulled up the flooring, they found old linoleum they were able to salvage and use as a kick-plate on the customer side of the bar. As to when the bar will open, Monroe said, “They have a long ways to go … The bar’s there but boy, do they have a lot of work to do.”

In response to why the property owners don’t help, Monroe said, “The owners have been in perpetual bankruptcy for many years.” He said they’re an older couple who live in Coachella Valley. Essentially, Paul White manages the lane for them for a discount on rent.

The board, including Nancy Borchers, Barbara Jones and Ron Kammeyer, reviewed some of the properties included and not included in the historic district. Art Connor, who sat in on the meeting, asked about Jo’Ann’s Restaurant and Bar, particularly because of the current sales offer that includes plans for a hotel. Borchers said Jo’An’s is not listed in the district.

But concerns were raised about renovations to Village Market, which was determined to be in the district. Borchers particularly asked about the old Village Market sign which she said had been taken down. “It’s been torn down, saved, they repainted it, they are going to refurbish the sign and put it up on the side,” she said. But she hasn’t seen it since and questioned how it will look facing the parking lot.

Questions also came up about whether the owners have a building permit for the ongoing renovations. Baird said she would look into it.

The group plans to meet up with the owners and discuss concerns, and follow up at the next meeting, scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday, July 27, at the library. The time change is due to the summer reading program.

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