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The Idyllwild Historic Preservation District’s Local Review Board is now ready to review projects. At its Jan. 30 meeting, Riverside County Historic Preservation Officer Keith Herron told the board that the county’s Planning Department is prepared to accept applications for permits to alter resources with the local historic district. (See accompanying map.)

“Good news,” Herron began. “The Board of Supervisors approved the draft permit application and fee.”

While no permit has come forward, according to Herron, the Planning Department is now prepared to implement the “Design Guidelines” for the Idyllwild downtown historic district.

Only properties that contribute to the district’s historic values will require a permit for alteration, Herron stressed, and he will assess the property’s contribution.

The board discussed how it could raise the community’s awareness of the district and the need to comply with its guidelines. Member Nancy Borchers suggested a potluck dinner celebrating the district’s establishment and speakers. While no decision was made, the board is assessing various modes of educating the public of its responsibility.

The board also discussed how it might have to address changes to a structure’s exterior, which may affect its historic value. One question, which was addressed, was the board role in assessing paint colors.

Herron referred to the guidelines, which specify that re-painting previously painted surfaces is routine maintenance, which generally does not require an alternation permit.

“Because there are so many themes, arts and craft, modern and ranch, for example, it seemed to the author of the guidelines that a recommended paint scheme was not merited,” Herron explained.

However, the board could investigate the value of establishing a particular palette of colors for one or more of the themes, Herron suggested.

Currently the Local Review Board has four members: Chair Warren Monroe, Barbara Jones, Ron Kammeyer and Vice Chair Borchers. The board is authorized for five members so a vacancy exists.

Individuals interested in joining the IHPD Review Board may contact Olivia Barnes in Supervisor Jeff Stone’s office.