Keith Herron, Riverside County chief preservation officer, Park and Open Space District, is now the intermediary between the Idyllwild Historic Preservation District and the county. Herron was instrumental in guiding Ordinance 578.5, which created the Idyllwild district, through the process until it was adopted by the County Board of Supervisors.

Herron stated that design guidelines, being drawn by LSA and Associates, the agency that mapped the district, are nearly finished. Herron will present the guidelines to the community in early March.

Herron said he is still seeking applicants for members of the local district review board. Applicants must live within three miles of the Idyllwild district (the commercial core of Idyllwild, running along North Circle Drive). That would allow Pine Cove residents to apply. Although design and building experience is a plus, it is not required, Herron said.

One of the first jobs of the local district board is to review and recommend the final design guideline draft that Herron will present to the community in March.

The board has the power to suggest changes to the design guidelines such as making a specific requirement more flexible, or conversely, strengthening certain guidelines. The board can also comment on proposed new construction within the district, although their comments are non-binding with regard to new construction, Herron said.

On an ongoing basis, the local board will review and handle applications for changes to any site features within the district, including landscaping, fencing, lighting and signs; major building exterior features including roofs, windows, doors and siding; and additions to existing structures.

Herron noted that the initial LSA survey that photographed and categorized structures within the district would be the local board’s database and template for their recommendations and decisions.

Anyone seeking to apply for the district review board, or interested in more information about the board or district process, should contact Herron directly at (951) 955-4558 or kherron@co.riverside.ca.us.

At the tentative March community meeting in Idyllwild (date to be announced), Herron will explain the history leading up to the Idyllwild district, how historic districts in general work and the three specific categories of alterations to be administered by the local board: site and setting; exterior alterations and additions to existing structures.

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