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HDC_11 16 2022LITTLE ROCK HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT 723 West Markham Street Little Rock, Arkansas 72201-1334 Phone: (501) 371-4790 Fax:(501) 399-3435 www.littlerock.gov LITTLE ROCK HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION SPECIAL CALLED MEETING: AGENDA Thursday, November 16, 2022, 4:00 p.m. Willie Hinton Neighborhood Resource Center, 3805 W. 12th Street I. Roll Call Members Present: Chair, Amber Jones Vice Chair, Christina Aleman Mark Hinson Jonathan Nunn Tom Fennell Members Absent: Vacant Position Amber Haugen Staff Present: Hannah Ratzlaff Walter Malone Staff Absent: Deputy City Attorney, Sherri Latimer Citizens Present: Joe Flaherty II. Finding a Quorum Quorum was present being six (6) in number with one vacant position. Ill. Minutes A. None IV. National Register Nominations A. None. V. Deferred Certificates of Appropriateness A. None. VI. New Certificates of Appropriateness A. None. VII. Other Matters November 16, 2022 A. Resolution of Support Hannah Ratzlaff, Staff, presented a draft Resolution of Support composed by Commissioner Aleman and herself. Ratzlaff summarized that the document was a resolution of the Little Rock Historic District Commission in support of a grant program for owner -occupants in local ordinance districts to assist with necessary maintenance repairs and to provide technical assistance to residents of historic properties for projects, historic rehabilitation tax credit applications, and grant applications. The Historic District Commission intends to present this resolution to the Board of Directors for consideration. Additionally, the resolution is intended to be a concurrent support document and initiative to the Local Ordinance District report and establishing ordinance for the Central High School Neighborhood Historic District. Chair Jones asked when the resolution would be presented to the Board. Ratzlaff stated it is intended for the December 6th Board of Directors meeting and would need to be finalized and provided to the City Clerk's office by November 18t". Chair Jones asked what actions might be taken by the Board of Directors concerning the resolution. Ratzlaff said that the resolution is not a document that the Board would vote on and sign into action. It is a recommendation by the Historic District Commission for the Board to consider. If it is found favorable, the Board might ask their staff and/or the City Manager to pursue action. Commissioner Nunn asked if the Commission would be on the agenda to speak in support of the document. Ratzlaff said it would be a presentation item which would be discussed at the beginning of the Board's agenda. Commissioner Nunn suggested providing a short power point presentation. Walter Malone, Staff, said visual presentations are typically made at the agenda meeting, which would be November 29t". He said there was no action taken with a presentation with the understanding that what is presented is then taken under advisement. Commissioner Fennell asked if the resolution can be put into action if the LOD proposal fails at the Board level. Ratzlaff said that though there are properties and property owners in the MacArthur Park LOD that would benefit from the submitted grant program and technical assistance, it's likely that consideration of the resolution would die if the LOD proposal fails. The genesis of the resolution is to further support historic properties within the Central High School Neighborhood Historic District. The resolution, as written, recommends a program that would assist the MacArthur Park LOD as well. Commissioner Fennell suggested it be more evident in the resolution language that future LODs would be able to benefit from the grant program. Fennell asked if a City Director needed to sponsor the resolution for it to be heard. Walter Malone, Staff, clarified that the resolution of support is the LRHDC expressing a desire to the Board of Directors that something be done. A sponsor is unnecessary to get the presentation on the agenda. Fennell suggested, as November 16, 2022 Commissioners and residents, the Commission reach out individually to their Ward Director about the resolution. Commissioner Nunn expressed he believes support can be garnered for the grant program with it being focused on the Central High School Neighborhood Historic District and existing LODs and does not necessitate opening the target properties to all historic districts in the City. It should remain focused on the original target properties at this time. He expressed concern that the grant funds would be depleted without meeting the original target need. Ratzlaff stated that it was important for the resolution to state explicitly what the target is in order to guide the funding details and grant terms at a later point in the process. She said the Commission does not need to hammer out those details at this point. Commissioner Aleman stated that in the drafting of the resolution, she did not want the resolution aims to be lost if the proposed LOD failed since it could be a needed tool for other properties in the existing LOD, MacArthur Park, and future LODs beyond CHSNHD. There are other low-income/fixed-income owner -occupants of historic properties in historic districts across the city. Commissioner Nunn stated the resolution needs to be clear and explicit that the grant is intended for low- income and fixed -income owner -occupants. Grant funding should not be available to, or depleted by, development projects or rental properties. He gave the example that the grant is not intended to assist in a million -dollar fourplex investment in MacArthur Park but to assist a grandmother in repairing her rotten porch in Central High. Ratzlaff clarified that the current resolution language excluded incoming producing, non -owner -occupied properties and achieves Nunn's aims. A development project, like a fourplex restoration, would not be eligible to apply. Ratzlaff stated that MacArthur Park has a diversity of incomes among homeowners and there are properties in need of assistance that would benefit from this grant program. Commissioner Fennell made the point that since the language of the resolution targets existing and future local ordinance districts, it remains an actionable item whether the proposed LOD is passed, which is in line with the Commission's broader responsibilities. Commissioner Aleman suggested the grant be written in such a way that 75% of funding is provided to CHSNHD projects and 25% is provided to MacArthur Park projects. Commissioner Hinson said household incomes can't be assumed in each district without data and limiting by percentages up front might not turn out to be the true need. Ratzlaff said a more detailed analysis would need to take place before grant eligibility and terms are finalized. At this stage, the goal is to secure funding in the City budget. She stated that, based on population and neighborhood demographics (Census data), the CHSNHD would likely end up receiving a higher percentage of grant funding naturally. The CHSNHD area holds more than three times the properties of MacArthur Park Historic District. Ratzlaff said that because this was a Resolution of Support, the Commission could be explicit about the grant targets without going into the details of how. 3 November 16, 2022 Commissioner Fennell suggested a motion to approve the Resolution of Support with amendments. Ratzlaff asked if there were any specific edits to diction. Chair Jones said that there was a confusing and possibly contradictive paragraph about tax credits that needed to be edited. After some discussion, Commissioner Nunn suggested removing the paragraph since it was not essential to the argument. Commissioner Aleman supported. Jones and Ratzlaff agreed. Commissioner Nunn discussed the possible presentation to the Board and the benefit of visualizing key data insights that the resolution identifies, such as the expense to the City to demolish historic properties. Nunn said the numbers show winners all the way around for the City and residents with this grant proposal. Ratzlaff summarized the main amendments, which were: to add language that the grant is intended explicitly for low-income and fixed -income owner -occupants in local ordinance districts and the tax credit paragraph needed to be removed. Commissioner Aleman added that the resolution also needed to be clear that the grant initiative is a result of the proposed LOD for the CHSNHD and the two are meant to be considered concurrently as a holistic approach. Commissioner Aleman asked who would oversee the grant program and who would have final say in its eligibility, targets, and terms. Ratzlaff said she did not know who would manage the program since this is at the beginning stages but there would be obligations and pressure to stick to the original aims of the grant found in the Resolution of Support. Commission Fennell made a motion to support the resolution with amendments. Chair Jones seconded. The motion passed with 6 ayes, 0 noes, and 1 vacant position. The Commission discussed plans to attend and present at the December 6th Board of Directors meeting. Ratzlaff said the finalized and signed Resolution of Support needs to be received by the City Clerk's office by November 18th to be included on November 29t" agenda meeting. B. December 1st meeting Chair Jones asked about the agenda for the next HDC meeting. Ratzlaff said the Commission would hear a COA application and that the Legal Basics NAPC CAMP training was scheduled for the January 5th, 2023 HDC meeting. Commissioner Jones asked if staff had seen applications for the open Commissioner position. Ratzlaff said she had not yet. VIII. Citizen Communication No citizens chose to speak during this time. 4 November 16, 2022 IX. Adjournment There was a motion to adjourn, and the meeting ended at 5:02 pm. Attest: &JJAS�� Chair Staff 5 1-6 - .26a3 Date b/��Z3 Date I 2 RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT 3 4 A RESOLUTION OF THE LITTLE ROCK HISTORIC DISTRICT 5 COMMISSION IN SUPPORT OF A GRANT PROGRAM FOR 6 OWNER -OCCUPANTS IN LOCAL ORDINANCE DISTRICTS TO 7 ASSIST WITH NECESSARY MAINTENANCE REPAIRS AND TO 8 EQUIP THE PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT 9 WITH NECESSARY QUALIFIED STAFF TO DEVELOP AND 10 MANAGE SAID GRANT PROGRAM AND PROVIDE 11 TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO OWNER -OCCUPANTS FOR 12 MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR PROJECTS AND OTHER 13 SERVICES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. 14 15 WHEREAS, the City of Little Rock (the "City") is a locally and nationally significant city; and 16 WHEREAS, the City enjoys twenty-five (25) nationally designated historic districts and boasts of over 17 4,000 historic structures and sites on the National Register of Historic Places; and 18 WHEREAS, on May 4, 1976, the City established a Historic District Commission (the "Commission") 19 by Ordinance No. 13,154; and 20 WHEREAS, on May 5, 1981, the City established the MacArthur Park Local Ordinance District by 21 Ordinance No. 14,042; the City's sole Local Ordinance District ("LOD") to date; and 22 WHEREAS, the purpose of the LOD is to protect, preserve and enhance the City's historic assets and 23 visual characteristics through public review; provide a framework for redevelopment; safeguard the City's 24 cultural heritage; and stabilize and improve property values in such districts; and 25 WHEREAS, following Commission Staffs investigation and report, the Commission recommends 26 approval for a proposal to establish an additional LOD for the Central High School Neighborhood Historic 27 District pursuant to the authority granted by the Historic Districts Act; and 28 WHEREAS, the Central High School Neighborhood Historic District, including sections of Wright 29 Avenue and Central High neighborhoods, has become endangered after suffering forty-two (42) 30 demolitions, over three hundred (300) existing vacant lots, over one hundred fifty (150) existing vacant 31 buildings, thirty-four (34) unsafe/vacant structures, property neglect, and inappropriate alterations; and 32 WHEREAS, the MacArthur Park, Wright Avenue, and Central High neighborhoods are significant 33 areas of heritage tourism, and in 2021, the Central High School National Historic Site and the MacArthur 34 Museum of Arkansas Military History welcomed 122,248 combined visitors, with visitor expenditures 35 providing over $4.1 million in value added and over $7.7 million in economic output in surrounding local 36 getaway economies; and [Page 1 of 3] 1 WHEREAS, the establishment of a LOD for the Central High School Neighborhood Historic District 2 is desirable and is in furtherance of the public's interest and welfare to preserve and protect the Historic 3 District, and the buildings, structures, and surroundings therein; and 4 WHEREAS, in addition to establishing protection and public review, there is urgent need for a 5 multipronged and holistic approach to the preservation of the City's historic resources, and local incentives 6 for private property owners is a common tool for historic cities across the nation but are not currently 7 utilized by the City of Little Rock; 8 WHEREAS, the Wright Avenue Neighborhood Association and the Central High Neighborhood, Inc. 9 have expressed and identified a need for additional support to residents within the Central High School 10 Neighborhood Historic District to be established concurrently with the protection of their National Register 11 Historic District; and 12 WHEREAS, certain maintenance repairs can be financially burdensome or impossible for fixed- 13 income and low-income homeowners and occupants within in the existing and proposed LODs, and tax 14 credits and grant applications for historic structures require specialty knowledge, while ownership of a 15 historic home is a valuable individual and generational asset; and 16 WHEREAS, there is an opportunity to fill a gap in historic preservation funding tools for owner- 17 occupants of contributing structures for basic maintenance expenses, such as roof repairs, window repairs, 18 weatherization, life safety repairs, etc.; and 19 WHEREAS, historic homes are often made of reparable and sustainable materials whereas new 20 construction is rarely reparable and often not affordable to the majority population; and 21 WHEREAS, a maintenance grant program and increased technical assistance to historic property 22 owners is socially sustainable, supports housing affordability, strengthens the unique and diverse 23 architectural character of the city, establishes investment in historically disinvested areas, reduces the loss 24 of historic structures, reduces vulnerabilities to displacement, supports owner -occupied residences in 25 historic areas, and is a proactive, preventative action for the City's expenditures on litigation and demolition 26 costs; and 27 WHEREAS, it costs the City between $44,000 and $140,000 to demolish one structure in a historic 28 district, not including litigation costs, while the state average for a new roof costs only $6,900; and 29 NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION OF 30 THE CITY OF LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS: 31 Section 1. Establishment of a grant program targeted to low-income and fixed -income owner- 32 occupants of existing and future local ordinance districts administered through the Planning & Development 33 Department alongside the establishment of a LOD for the Central High School Neighborhood Historic 34 District (Ord. No. xxxx). [Page 2 of 31 1 Section 2. Dedication of $250,000 in annual grant funds from the City for the next three budget cycles 2 to fund said program which shall be developed and managed by the Planning & Development Department 3 for the purpose of providing needed financial support to low-income and fixed -income owner -occupants 4 for maintenance and repairs of historical structures located in the protected local ordinance districts. 5 Section 3. This grant shall be targeted to low-income and fixed -income owner -occupied structures 6 within local ordinance districts and all maintenance and repair projects shall meet the Secretary of Interior's 7 Standard for Rehabilitation in order to maintain the structure's contributing status or bring the structure to 8 contributing status. 9 Section 4. The Planning & Development Department will garner qualified professionals, either through 10 volunteers or paid staff, to provide grant application and project assistance, and to provide assistance to 11 historic district owner -occupied structures in state tax credit applications. 12 13 PASSED: November 16, 2022. 14 ATTEST: APPROVED: 15 / 16 17 H i ah katilaff,"Ilrban Designer Amber Jon , hair 18 19 [Page 3 of 3]