Design guidelines for the Idyllwild Historic Preservation District are available online at www.rivcoparks.org/2012/05/01/idyllwild-historic-preservation-district-design-guidelines-drafts. This is the final draft of design guidelines that will govern maintenance, additions and remodels of historic district structures within the Idyllwild North Circle business core that forms the major part of the district.
A meeting to present those guidelines and explain the function of the five-member appointed oversight board is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, at the Nature Center on Highway 243.
For anyone interested in serving on the board (members must live within 3 miles of the district), the guidelines provide a roadmap of board and property owner responsibilities.
Covered in the guidelines drawn up by LSA Associates of Riverside, the same firm that conducted the initial survey of the district, are procedures for obtaining an alteration permit, and design guidelines covering roofs, exterior wall siding, windows, doors and storefronts, porches, decks and balconies, fences and walls, signs, lighting, driveways and off-street parking, landscaping, public rights of way, garages and accessory structures.
The final draft guidelines represent the next step in the process to “identify, designate, and preserve the unique character of Idyllwild’s commercial core.”
The guidelines acknowledge inherent grid-based difficulties such as available downtown parking that could be ameliorated by allocating space for and creating a downtown parking lot.
Functions specifically excluded from the requirement of obtaining an alteration permit are addressed in the guidelines: “Alteration does not include maintenance of gardens or ordinary maintenance and repair of an existing building, structure or façade within the boundaries of a historic district needed to correct any deterioration, decay of, or damage to a building.” Projects that do not affect non-contributing resources (not historically significant) are also exempt from review.
In prefatory comments, the report acknowledges the initial reason for investigation the feasibility of an Idyllwild district. “In 2008, County Supervisor Jeff Stone became concerned about the burden of blanket code requirements and strict Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA] compliance on the character of the Idyllwild community.” The resulting LSA survey identified 57 structures that contribute to the significance of the historic district, qualifying for various historical registers. The period covered ranges from 1915 to 1965. An existing county ordinance was revised to pave the way for an Idyllwild district, adopted on Jan. 11, 2011, and became effective on Feb. 10, 2011. On July 12, 2011, the county Board of Supervisors adopted resolution 2011-178 creating the Idyllwild Downtown Historic District.