The local review board of the Idyllwild Downtown Historic District met to begin the process of adopting design guidelines, governing documents and application forms to be used for altering historic structures.

During the review process, Monroe, board chair, pointed out while reviewing the draft of the district’s design guidelines, that the district has had a number of different names as it has moved through the process toward final implementation. He noted the current name, Idyllwild Downtown Historic District, fails to clarify that Fern Valley Corners, once the village commercial center, is part of the district. Herron suggested the board, with input from the public, come up with a new name that could best be used to market the district and the greater Idyllwild area. “Put on your marketing hats,” suggested Herron.

The board, with Herron’s encouragement, acknowledged that one of their primary functions is to perform outreach to the community, educate them about the district, its value, and the ways in which the historic integrity of Idyllwild’s business core could be maintained.

The board discussed hosting a town meeting and conducting a walking tour of the historic district, pointing out the buildings that qualify as historic resources to educate residents about the value of Idyllwild’s historic resources.

Other issues which were discussed included new construction, which is not affected by the district’s governing ordinance 578.5, and that decisions, which the county’s planning department make on alteration applications from the historic district, are final, with no appeal process.

At the next meeting, Thursday, May 23, at the Idyllwild Library community room, the board will consider the following agenda items: either create new bylaws, which would have to be drawn up and then placed before the board of supervisors for approval, or use County Board Policy A-21 (guidelines already supervisor-approved and used by many county advisory boards); adoption or suggestions for changes in district design guidelines; and adoption of a district historic preservation plan.

Current documents relating to the district can be found on the county parks website

Members of the review board include Nancy Borchers and Barbara Jones of Pine Cove, Warren Monroe and Christina Stewart from Idyllwild and Ron Kammeyer from Fern Valley.