Borough revamps housing ordinances for historic district

Local News

This is an example of how impactful community input can be, as the State College Borough re-vamps its Heritage State College Project.

Since 1988 Eric Boeldt has cherished the historic district he lives in.

“It’s a great neighborhood, the houses are about 100 years old, mine’s almost that age,” Boeldt said. 

Built around 1922, Boeldt said the design of his home sticks with a theme to relish his community.

And he fully supports the Heritage State College Project, which the borough’s council and staff are establishing to protect that historic feel.

Douglas Shontz, Communications Specialist for the State College Borough, said  “There’s this certain character that they have. And we don’t want a house that is being developed in there that really disrupts that flow, disrupts that character.”

He added that the initial ordinance proposed tight regulations on anti-demolition, new construction, and additions, as well as small details like sizes of window panes.

“Say it be more red tape, more regulations in a neighborhood, homeowners, people who are developing the area, whether it be about increasing the cost, increasing the length of time, and so those were some of the main concerns that we saw,” Shontz said.

After phase 1: Community Input Events, Shontz said it was clear to the council that some of the guidelines could be less strict.

On Monday the council agreed to move forward with a plan that doesn’t require residents to submit designs for small cosmetic features on current properties.

Rather require those for new developments or additions that are a blank canvas.

“The ordinance is mainly there so that people do not do something really inappropriate homes,” Boeldt said.

Shontz said now on to phase two: Getting approval form the historic and architectural review board, then council, and lastly the state.

“It will affect you if you’re looking to buy in the area, if you’re looking to add an addition, do construction in the area,” Shontz said.

The next public hearing for the new ordinances is Monday, December 4th.

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