Historic Preservation Goal 1
The Town will continue to promote the preservation of the historic architectural resources and landmarks that contribute to Shepherdstown’s distinctive character and sense of place.
1.1 Historic Preservation Incentives
STRATEGY: Develop resources and incentives, financial or otherwise, to support property owners in their efforts to maintain and renovate historic structures and sites in a historically appropriate manner.
JUSTIFICATION: The restoration, renovation and maintenance of historic structures can present a financial burden to many property owners, resulting in the inaction of property owners to attempt to maintain or restore their properties. Establishing affordable resources within the community to assist property owners with needed financial or knowledge-based expertise can help the Town work with property owners to carefully restore and maintain the treasured Town’s treasured historic structures.
1.2 Illustrated Architectural Guidelines
STRATEGY: Prepare and adopt illustrations for the historic district guidelines.
JUSTIFICATION: While the Town has adopted detailed written guidelines that promote the preservation of historic structures, it should also consider the adoption of a more illustrative approach to the implementation of the guidelines to aid property owners and town officials in reviewing and making decisions on applications for certificates of appropriateness within the historic district. Illustrations should include illustrations of building elements and architectural details that more clearly articulate how to look at a historic structure and how to properly renovate and maintain the structure.
1.3 Expand Techniques for Sustainable Historic Preservation
STRATEGY: Continue to examine and consider ways historic properties can maintain compliance with the historic guidelines while incorporating sustainability principles and energy efficiency techniques that are compatible with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
JUSTIFICATION: Many of the Town’s residents desire to preserve their properties in the most sustainable and energy efficient way possible. The Secretary of the Interior continues to evaluate and recommend new sustainable, energy efficient techniques for the renovation, remodeling and maintenance of historic structures. The Town should continue to evaluate and incorporate new techniques and practices as recommended by the Secretary of the Interior into its existing guidelines.
1.4 Develop Educational Materials, Resources and Workshops
STRATEGY: Develop a comprehensive public outreach program, materials and resources for owners of historic properties to explain the design guidelines, development review process, and maintenance techniques, holding workshops to provide this information on a regular and targeted basis.
JUSTIFICATION: During the planning process, it became apparent that some residents in Town were not familiar with why it was important to care for their historic property in manner that is architecturally appropriate. A comprehensive public outreach program with public outreach materials and workshops will help raise the awareness of the historic preservation process and practical techniques for maintaining the historic characteristics of individual structures. The program may also include events that provide basic information concerning how individual properties impact the overall integrity of the historic district.
1.5 Capital Improvements Planning and Project Review
STRATEGY: Adopt a policy that requires the Town to assess the impact of its construction projects and other capital investments on historic properties.
JUSTIFICATION: It is important for the Town to continue to provide leadership in the preservation of historic properties, ensuring that the construction of new structures, like the recent Town Hall construction, are carried out in a manner that maintain the highest degree of compatibility with the Town’s historic character. New infrastructure projects and other capital improvements should be planned so that each improvement will maintain the integrity of the Town’s historic resources ensuring that requirements private property owners must meet are being applied to Town owned and operated facilities.
1.6 Protect Threatened Historic Properties
STRATEGY: Work with local and regional historic preservation organizations to identify threatened historic properties and develop plans for preserving them.
JUSTIFICATION: It is important to leverage the expertise of the local and regional historic preservation community in maintaining the historic architectural resources and properties throughout Shepherdstown. A key step in maintaining these resources is monitoring and measuring. By continuing to improve the inventory and monitoring of historic properties, the Town will be able to more effectively measure its success in helping to maintain those resources and more effectively engage in preservation of those resources in a proactive manner.