County officials plan to present design guidelines and recruit board members for the Idyllwild Historic Preservation District at an Idyllwild community meeting. County Preservation Officer Keith Herron will lead the meeting planned for 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 16 at the Nature Center on Highway 243.

The county board of supervisors authorized the district in July 2011. At this meeting, representatives hope to finish preparation for launching the historic district.

Herron will explain design draft guidelines for the Idyllwild district drawn by LSA Associates, the same firm that conducted the initial survey and mapping of Idyllwild’s North Circle Drive business corridor.

Herron will also explain duties of the five member local board that will have jurisdiction over the district. The board is responsible for reviewing and approving the final design guidelines. Once the board begins to operate, it will review all applications for changes to facades and exteriors of buildings within the district. The board will also adopt a district plan that establishes goals for the district including maintaining original historic qualities of buildings, structures and facades; retaining distinctive stylistic features; and encouraging alterations that don’t compromise significant historical or architectural materials and designs.

As of this writing, only three people have submitted applications to sit on the appointed board. Five are needed. Applicants need not have backgrounds in design, building or construction, although Herron noted those qualities are weighed when considering applicants. Applicants must live within three miles of the district.

The impetus for the district began with 3rd District Supervisor Jeff Stone’s concern over two issues confronting Idyllwild’s mostly older commercial buildings — how Idyllwild’s business core could comply with current county building codes and parking requirements adopted primarily for mostly newer construction in off-Hill communities, and for potential suits over Americans with Disabilities Act suits that had previously targeted Julian in San Diego County. Historic district status carves out certain compliance and timeline flexibility for both issues.

With approval of the guidelines by the community and installation of the five-member board, the Idyllwild Historic Preservation District would become the only district in the county’s unincorporated areas. Old Town Temecula had been previously designated before Temecula’s incorporation as a city. The May 16 meeting is open to all members of the community.

To view the design guidelines, go to