So where are we now with the guidelines for a local historic district?

Please review these guidelines and when you are finished, please go to the front page of the website and follow the prompts to take the community survey.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION DESIGN GUIDELINES, DRAFT January 20, 2020

Introduction

Architectural and Site Characteristics

Review Criteria

Alteration and Rehabilitation

New Construction and Additions

Non-contributing Buildings

Exceptions

Demolition

INTRODUCTION

These guidelines are intended to supplement Chapter 1143 Historic Overlay District regulations in the Greenhills Code of Ordinances and to assist property owners, architects, and contractors who are considering work in the Greenhills Historic District, including changes to existing buildings, demolition, or new construction. The guidelines are not a rigid set of rules but serve as a guide in making improvements that are compatible with the district’s character. They set broad parameters in which changes should occur, while maintaining amply opportunity for design creativity and individual choice. The guidelines give the owners and the Planning Commission a way to determine whether the proposed work is appropriate to the long-term interests of the district. Applicants are encouraged to consult with the Municipal Manager during the planning stages prior to formal application for a building permit.

ARCHITECTURAL AND SITE CHARACTERISTICS

The Greenhills Historic District includes over 300 contributing resources. Stylistically, the design and materials of all the major civic and commercial buildings reflect the influence of Stripped Classicism and International style, which provide the village center with a distinct, architectural unity and civic identity. Many of the residential buildings exhibit a functional, modernistic variant of the International Style, with flat roofs, smooth surfaces and flat-roofed entry porches with simple supports. However, in the A and B sections, a simplified Colonial Revival style predominates, characterized by brick exteriors and gabled slate roofs.

In the late 1940s, Cape Cod cottages were built in the D section as well as Gambier Circle. A wide array of dwelling types was created by varying the number and type of interconnected units, experimenting with different roof types, adding porches and vestibules, and incorporating garages in different groupings and positions. The shopping center, built in the 1930s through the 1950s, is characterized by a flat roof and a flat-roofed canopy supported by a colonnade of square brick columns over a wide concrete walkway along the front.

REVIEW CRITERIA

ALTERATION AND REHABILITATION

Exterior Materials – Retain and repair original exterior materials—whether wood, asbestos siding, brick, stucco or concrete block. For exterior wall resurfacing, use materials that match the appearance of the original. Wood or fiber-cement board (AKA Hardie plank) may be used to repair or replace deteriorated exterior board siding. Avoid aluminum or vinyl siding, but in cases where they are used, the exposed width of such siding should match original siding found in the district, typically 6 ¾ to 7 inches. Architectural features such as windowsills, transoms and door trim should not be removed or covered.

Paint Colors – Use neutral colors such as white, beige, taupe. Contrasting colors may be used on doors, trim and porch recesses, with no more than 3 different colors on a building or storefront. Avoid vivid colors. It is not recommended to paint brick that is not already painted.

Windows –Retain or restore original window openings; do not reduce or enlarge. Replacement windows should fill the entire opening. Aluminum, aluminum-clad wood, or fiberglass-resin (AKA Fibrex) windows will last longer than vinyl. Bow or bay windows are not appropriate to 1930s-period homes or commercial buildings. Double-hung windows with one-over-one sashes may be used for dwellings, paired or tripled or combined with picture windows in wide existing openings. Do not use muntin grids between the glass only.

For homeowners who wish to keep original steel windows, it IS possible to restore them by removing paint and rust and repainting and installing new glazing compound. They are generally not energy efficient, but they can be made more so by caulking around the openings, adding weatherstripping, adding storm windows or installing thermal glass in place of the existing glass. For commercial and institutional buildings—shopping center, community building/school, churches—retain existing historic metal and glass-block windows. If replacement is necessary, match the originals in size, material, profiles and configuration.

Storefronts – The shopping center is lined along the front by storefronts in bays divided by brick pilasters. When the shopping center was remodeled circa 1995, it was refaced with synthetic stucco and some storefronts were altered, but several original storefronts remain, which have a low brick bulkhead, three-part aluminum-framed display windows, transoms, and 3/4-glazed doors. Retain existing or restore storefront openings and clear glass windows and transoms. Use 3/4-glazed doors. The treatment of the rear of the shopping center, which has many alterations, is more flexible, but remaining original features such as steel windows, aluminum panels and flat canopies, should be retained.

Doors – Retain original door openings facing a street; do not reduce or enlarge. Retain original doors, such as the glass-and-wood-doors with horizontal panes on 1930s dwellings and six-panel wood doors on 1940s homes, if they are in good condition. Replacement doors should be of a simple, compatible style; Victorian-style doors with stained or leaded glass or doors with oval or arched windows are not appropriate to the period or style of dwellings in Greenhills. Energy conservation may be achieved with a storm door; full-glazed designs are preferred if original storm doors are beyond repair. Full-glazed aluminum doors are appropriate for the shopping center and other commercial and institutional buildings.

DoorhoodsMaintain original doorhoods or replace in-kind to match. Often, they were flat- roofed with pipe columns or brick or stucco supports. Colonial-inspired homes and Cape Cod cottages had doorhoods with shed, hipped or gabled roofs supported by wood brackets. Flat roofs on doorhoods may be slightly sloped to improve drainage while maintaining a flat appearance.

Awnings– Awnings are permitted only on commercial buildings; they must be shed-style awnings, not curved or “waterfall”-style. Cloth or synthetic materials that replicate woven cloth are preferred. Vinyl and shiny plastic materials are prohibited. Colors for awnings should complement the surrounding buildings, streetscape and any street furniture in the area. Vivid colors are prohibited.

Colonnade – A flat-roofed colonnade with square brick columns is a character-defining element of the shopping center. In 1995, the fascia, or sign board, at the edge of the colonnade roof was raised and the roofline subsequently altered with gables. Retain the colonnade and fascia as-is or restore to their historic appearance.

Roofs/Parapets – Retain the historic roofline or parapet—whether flat or gabled. Mansard and pent roofs are prohibited. Use roofing materials that are compatible in color with the building. Dimensional fiberglass shingles are a good alternative to slate. Avoid the addition of skylights and rooftop utilities where they can be seen from the street. A standing-seam metal roof is a practical and attractive alternative for the Farmers’ Shed.

Porches, Breezeways, Carports, and Decks – Preserve original porches and breezeways. In all new construction or alteration of these items, use a compatible design and materials such as glass, wood or brick. New decks may be added only on rear elevations to minimize their visual impact. Wood construction with a painted finish is most compatible with dwellings.

Attachments – All attachments, such as light fixtures, street number signs and shutters, should be compatible with the building on which they are installed. Use simple contemporary light fixtures. Preserve original street number signs. Shutters were not used on houses in Greenhills before 1950 and are not compatible with International-style buildings or paired or grouped windows. If used, shutters should match the height of the window and be sized properly to cover the window if closed.

Utility Systems – Utility and mechanical systems, such as water or gas meters, central air-conditioning units, satellite dishes and solar panels, should be inconspicuously placed avoiding the street sides and screened from view. Permanent installation of air-conditioning units through walls or in windows is not allowed, but removable window units are permitted on a seasonal basis. Roof-mounted solar panels shall be installed to match the slope of the roof. In the case of a flat roof, solar panels may be angled, provided they are not visible from a public right-of-way.

ADA Ramps – Ramps for handicapped accessibility that are compatible in design and material are permitted. For dwellings, use wood construction, painted to match the house, and installed so that the ramp is removable in the future without damaging the house.

Walls, Fences and Screens – Retaining walls and fences are not typical of the district. Fences, including those installed to screen waste containers, should be compatible in material, design and color with the building.

Garages and Garage Doors – Retain original garages, which were typically simple, flat-roofed masonry buildings. When replacing garage doors, use 16-panel steel doors, preferably solid. If garage doors with windows are desired, select single-pane rectangular windows, not arched or divided lites, across the top. For grouped garages, keep doors consistent. Carriage-style doors are not appropriate for the district.

Accessory Structures – Accessory structures, not including garages, shall be limited to garden sheds of gable-roofed wood construction with a maximum floor area of 100 square feet and a maximum height of 10 feet above grade. Only one shed is allowed for each dwelling unit and must be located in a rear yard.

Site Improvements and Street Furniture – Retain original walkways, steps, benches, landscaping and lighting that contribute to the character of the district. All new site improvements, such as walkways, steps, and lighting—and street furniture, such as tables, chairs, benches, waste containers, and sidewalk enclosures, shall be compatible with the character of the district. Use muted rather than vivid colors. Wrought iron, wood and aluminum or powder-coated steel that gives the appearance of wrought iron are preferred for street furniture. New patios and terraces associated with dwellings may occur on the rear or side but not the front to minimize their visual impact.

Signs – In addition to regulations in Chapter 1149 Sign Regulations in the Greenhills Code of Ordinances, the following guidelines apply to signs in the historic district. Signs shall be compatible in design, material, color and style with the style and period of the building and the historic district. They must fit within the fascia to which they are attached. Signs may include not more than 2 different fonts, 3 lines of type and 3 colors, including black and white. Simple capital letters are preferred. Logos are permitted, but vivid colors are not. Window signs shall not cover more than 50 percent of the window area.

NEW CONSTRUCTION ANDADDITIONS

Materials – The type of materials and their color, texture, scale, and detailing should be compatible with those of the District and/or the original building.

Scale – The scale of new construction/additions and constituent parts should be compatible with the District and/or the original building and the scale of its parts.

Form – The shape, massing, and proportions of new work should be compatible with the District and/or the original building.

Detailing – The detailing, including, but not limited to, the following features and their placement on additions and new construction: walls, roofs, windows, doors, eaves, chimneys, railings, and attachments should be compatible with the District and/or the original building.

Height – The height of an addition should not exceed the height of the original building. The height of new buildings should be comparable with the height of existing adjacent buildings. The height of new buildings constructed in undeveloped areas should not detract from the character and appearance of the District.

Setback -The setback of new buildings should be comparable to the setbacks of existing adjacent buildings and to what existed historically in the District.  

Historic Integrity – Compatibility of new work to original work is required, but imitation of old work in new construction should be avoided. New work should appear to be new work. Where new additions meet original work, the connection should be carefully designed so as not to detract from the original but also to show that the connection is new. Design new buildings, structures, attachments, additions, and connections so that they do not appear to have been constructed when the affected historic structure was originally built.

NON-CONTRIBUTING BUILDINGS

Non-Contributing Buildings are usually of a different character than the contributing buildings due to their age and difference in their scale, massing, material, and detailing. All buildings not identified as landmarks or contributing within an historic district are considered to be non-contributing buildings. Additions and alterations to a Non-Contributing Building shall either be compatible with its own style and character or make it more compatible with the district.

EXCEPTIONS

Per Section 1143.07in the Historic Overlay District regulations, the Planning Commission may modify certain review criteria in cases of economic hardship when there is no economically feasible and prudent alternative that would conform to the guidelines. The applicant must demonstrate to the Commission that an economic hardship exists and that alternatives that meet the guidelines have been explored. When the applicant demonstrates that an alteration that would conflict with the strict application of the guidelines would permit the applicant to achieve substantial benefits without substantial harm to the historic district, the Commission may approve it upon such conditions as it may determine. See Section 1143.07for information on how to make a case for economic hardship.

DEMOLITION

Per Section 1143.06 Standards for Reviewing Applications, the Planning Commission may consider the following criteria in evaluating applications for demolition of a property in the historic district.

A.   Economic hardship.  The owner can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Planning Commission that preservation of the historic property will cause substantial economic hardship for the applicant, as defined in Section 1143.07.

B.   Non-significant elements.  The demolition request is for an inappropriate addition or a non-significant portion of a historic property and the demolition will not adversely affect those parts of the historic property that are significant as determined by the Planning Commission.

C.   Non-contributing buildings.  Non-contributing buildings may be demolished if the demolition will not adversely affect the character of the district. Any new construction on the cleared site will be subject to the applicable guidelines per Section 1143.06(b)(3). For more information, see Section 1143.06 in the Greenhills Code of O

Original Tree Plantings is Greenhills

The planting of trees was part of the Village’s development back in the 1930s. I came across a document that identified original tree plantings in Greenhills.  I compiled a list from that document which you can view below.  It is fun to look at the list and compare it to the trees you see growing along your street.  Many of our original trees are still surviving but we continually supplement the original inventory with new trees to insure we always have our beautiful tree canopy for future generations.

Planting strategies have improved over the years. For example, we no longer plant just one type of tree along a particular street as done originally.  We diversify the selection just a bit to be sure we do not have a total loss of tree coverage as we did – for example – along Gambier with the Emerald Ash Borer disease.  We no longer plant within 10 feet of a driveway, or within 20 feet of another tree.

Below is the original planting list that was used in the Village.

Adelle Walk                            None listed

Alcott Lane                             Red Maple

Alcott Park                              Red Maple on outside of park, plus Honeylocust and Norway Maple inside

Andover Rd                            American Elm and Pin Oak

Ashby St                                 Ash, any species

Avenell Ln                              Ash, any species

Avenell Park                           Japanese Cherry on outside of park, Swamp White Oak on inside

Bachman St                            Pin Oak

Belknap Pl                               Pin oak on outside of park, Ornamental crabs on inside

Bradnor Pl                               Norway maple

Briarwood Ln                          Japanese cherry

Brompton Ln                          Ash, Sweetgum in circle

Burley Circle                           Sugar Maple, with replacements of American Elm and Pin Oak

Burnham St                             Norway Maple

Chalmers Ct                            Sweetg um

Chalmers Ln                           Swamp White Oak

Cromwell Rd                          Sugar Maple, with replacements of American Elm and Pin Oak

Damon Rd                              Sugar Maple, with replacements of American Elm and Pin Oak

DeWitt St                                Norway Maple

DeWitt Ct                               Scarlet Oak, plus some American Elm

Drummond St                         Texas Oak – any variety

Enfield St                                Red Oak on north side of shopping center

                                                Londonplane in rear of shopping center

Sugar Maple, with replacements of American Elm and Pin Oak in front of community building

Eswin St                                  Sugar Maple, with replacements of American Elm and Pin Oak in front of Commons

                                                Londonplane in front of shopping center

Falcon Ln                                Ash, any species of Fraxinus)

Farragut Rd                             Sugar Maple, with replacements of American Elm and Pin Oak from Winton to Flanders, then Sophora from Flanders to Hadley

Flanders Ln                             Sugar Maple

Foxworth Ln                           Scarlet Oak

Funston Ln                              Sugar Maple

Flanders/Funston Circle          Sweetgum

Gambier Circle                        Ash

Hadley Rd                               Thornless Honeylocust

Ingram Rd                               Sugar Maple, with replacements of American Elm and Pin Oak

Jack Molloy Ln                       Pin Oak or Scarlet Oak

Winton Rd                              Pin Oak from south border to Cromwell

Sugar Maple, with replacements of American Elm and Pin Oak from Cromwell to Damon

Thornless Honeylocust from Damon to Sharon

Update on Local Historic District designation process

Work continues on the report to Council regarding the establishment of a local historic district.  The Village hired Historic Preservation Consultant Beth Sullebarger to prepare this report.  To date, 6 property owner meetings have been held for the purposes of discussing possible guidelines, reviewing the designation process, and getting input on the boundaries for a local district.

Commons themes discussed in all 6 meetings included the following:

What are the boundaries of the local historic district?

The boundaries have not yet been determined. The existing National Historic Landmark district boundaries include Greenhills’ original historic district that was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, plus Gambier Circle and single-family homes on the west side of Ingram and Farragut, and Damon Road.

The local historic district could include homes built in the 1930s as well as those built in the 1940s, since homes in both time periods exceed the 50-year mark for historic consideration.

Will the shopping center be included in the boundaries?

Yes!  There was consensus in all 6 meetings that – given the importance of the shopping center – it should be included in the boundaries.

Will the value of homes in the local historic district increase?

The value of homes does typically increase in an historic district. This is because there is a high degree of certainty offered through design guidelines that all surrounding homes will be maintained in a similar manner, thus protecting your property investment.

Would design guidelines cover paint color?

There was a consensus in each meeting that paint color should be regulated to the extent that a palette of colors (probably natural/ earth tones) would be permitted and bright primary colors would not. Concern was expressed by residents that just one home painted a hideous color could blight an entire neighborhood.

Would residents have to restore their properties to its original look if changes have already been made?

No. Any existing improvement can remain in place. The design guidelines would only apply going forward.

What if a certain type of item, such as a door or window, cannot be found or would be too costly?

The design guidelines will be drafted in such a manner that a variety of acceptable materials or rehab techniques will be identified and available in a range of prices.

If cost is truly a hardship, that will be taken into consideration.

Who will enforce the guidelines?

The Planning Commission (working with an historic consultant), and zoning and building department officials will be responsible for enforcing the guidelines.

Will the Village be able to restrict small satellite dishes?

No. Per federal regulations, design guidelines WOULD NOT, and legally CANNOT restrict TV dishes / antennas.

Are property owners giving up their rights as an owner?

No. Property owners are gaining an additional level of protection for their own investment, over and above current zoning codes. At the same time, they can insure that quality housing – as intended in the original plan for Greenhills – continues for future generations to use and appreciate.

Next Steps of a Local Historic District: The Historic Overlay District

I hope you are finding my articles on establishing a local historic district to be informative. In the first article I laid out the pros and cons of a local historic district.  In the second article, I have given some insight on what the guidelines could include.   So, what is the next step?

Section 1143 of the Greenhills Codified Ordinances provides for an Historic Overlay District – meaning that any local historic district guidelines that are created would be in addition to the current zoning requirements for those zoning districts.

The first step is the creation of a local district.  The beginning phases of this are currently being planned.  It will consist of a joint meeting of Council and the Greenhills Planning Commission.  The Planning Commission will serve as the official Historic Preservation Commission for the Village unless a separate commission is appointed by Village Council.  Planning Commission is required to seek input from an historic consultant in making decisions that impact any locally-designated district.  This will allow the Planning Commission to learn the importance of the architecture and design guidelines it is responsible for enforcing.

Planning Commission will need to create, review and approve an application form to be used for local designations.  Such designations can be for districts or specific properties. The criteria for designation are outlined in Section 1143.05(e), which you can view for yourself by clicking here. To be considered under that Section for designation, a property or properties must be fifty years old or older and retain integrity of design and materials.  The following criteria will also be considered:

(1)   Its character, interest or value as part of the development, heritage or cultural characteristics of the Village, the state or nation.

(2)   Its association with a significant historic event.

(3)   Its identification with a person who significantly contributed to the culture and development of the Village, state or nation.

(4)   Its exemplification of the cultural, economic, social or historic heritage of the Village, state or nation.

(5)   Its embodiment of distinguishing characteristics of a building type or architectural style.

(6)   Its identification as the work of an architect or master builder whose work has influenced the development of the Village, state or nation.

(7)   Its embodiment of elements of architectural design, detail, materials or craftsmanship which represent a significant architectural innovation.

(8)   Its relationship to other distinctive areas which are eligible for preservation according to a plan based on an historic, cultural or architectural motif.

(9)   Its unique location or singular physical characteristic representing an established and familiar visual feature of the Village.

(10)   Its potential to yield information important to prehistory or history (archaeology).

Council and Planning Commission must think about what area or areas should or could be designated and what additional regulations should be incorporated into a designated district or districts.  These are discussions that are an important part of the planning process for a local historic district.  Village Council and Planning Commission may decide to designate multiple properties to create the local historic district.  They can also select property outside of a local district boundary and apply the same architecture and design guideline restrictions to those properties.

All these decisions will be made with input from various groups and individuals.  The Village will continue to work closely with its historical consultant on identifying potential options for a local district and its guidelines, and the Village will soon hold public meetings where residents and property owners may ask questions and provide their own input on this process.  The goal is to create a district of properties that tell the story of Greenhills and will benefit from careful oversight to protect their architectural and design features: the features that make Greenhills unique!

What Might Design Guidelines Look Like in a Local Historic District?

In follow up to my first article on this topic, I would like to provide readers with some idea of what guidelines could look like in a local historic district.  I reached out to the Village’s historic consultant for much of this information.  Her assistance is much appreciated!

Right now, guidelines do not exist but would be developed with public input as part of a local district designation.  The purpose of having design guidelines is to ensure that over time, the main elements of a district remain in place.  Guidelines would set broad parameters in which changes could occur, while maintaining ample opportunity for design creativity and individual choice. They would supplement any requirements that currently exist in the Greenhills Zoning Code and would cover renovations to existing buildings, demolition, or new construction.

According to the Greenhills’ nomination for National Landmark Designation, the Greenhills Historic District includes 317 contributing resources. Stylistically, the design and materials of all the major civic and commercial buildings reflect the influence of Stripped Classicism and International style, which provide the Village center with a distinct, architectural unity and civic identity. Most of the residential buildings exhibit a functional, modernistic variant of the International Style, with flat roofs, smooth surfaces and flat-roofed entry porches with simple supports. However, in the A and B sections, a simplified Colonial Revival style predominates, characterized by brick exteriors and gabled slate roofs.

The Village’s historic consultant provided the following EXAMPLES of guidelines.  If the Village does enact a local historic district, these are the types of details that could be incorporated into guidelines and reviewed for building projects within the district boundaries.

Materials – Original materials should be restored and reused whenever possible. Where necessary, missing or deteriorated material should be replaced with recycled or new materials that match the original as closely as possible with regard to: type of material size of unit, color, shape, composition, texture, style, type of joint, placement detailing.

Cleaning/Painting – Cleaning of existing materials should be done by the least damaging method possible. Sandblasting would not be an acceptable method for cleaning. Painted brick buildings, when necessary, should be repainted rather than stripped or cleaned to reveal the natural brick color. The color of trim and decorative detailing on a building should contrast with the wall paint color; i.e., light colored buildings should have darker trim and dark colored buildings should have lighter trim. At no time should the detailing and the trim be painted the same color as the walls.

Windows and Doors – Original window and door openings should not be reduced or enlarged in size. Repaired or replacement windows should be double-hung and contain one-over-one, two-over-two, or six-over-six panes where appropriate. The elimination or permanent concealment of window and door openings on the primary or street facade should not be permitted, and elsewhere avoided. New window and door openings on the primary or street facade should not be permitted. Removable storm windows and doors should be utilized whenever possible. Aluminum storm windows and doors should be painted to match trim.

Appurtenances – All appurtenances, such as shutters, light fixtures, and signs, should be compatible with the building upon which they are to be installed. The installation of canvas canopies and awnings is permissible but should not obscure or require the removal of significant architectural features. Canopies and awnings made of plastic, wood or metal should not be permitted.

Wall Resurfacing – Wood clapboard or brick could be used as the repair or replacement material where appropriate. The use of aluminum or vinyl siding for resurfacing should be avoided. Artificial stone, brick veneer, asbestos, asphalt shingles and other similar resurfacing materials shall not be used. Architectural features such as cornices, brackets, window sills and architraves, and doorway pediments shall not be removed or obscured when resurfacing materials is applied. Siding should be applied horizontally, and all wood siding should be painted.

Roofs – The existing roofline and the architectural features that give the roof its essential character such as dormer windows, cornice, brackets, chimneys and cresting should be preserved. The addition of inappropriate features such as vents, skylights, and rooftop utilities should be avoided, or inconspicuously placed and screened where necessary as determined by the Commission.

Utility System Installation – The installation of utility and mechanical systems such as water or gas meters, central air conditioning cooling units, and elaborate electrical hookups should be inconspicuously placed, and screening should be provided; the installation of such systems should be avoided on the street facade. Wall or window air conditioning units on the street facade should not be permanently installed, but removable window units shall be permitted on a seasonal basis.

Decks – The addition of decks on the street facade shall not be permitted. Decks installed elsewhere shall not obscure or require the removal of significant architectural features. Balusters should be vertically placed not more than 6 inches apart. Solid plank railing shall not be permitted. Railing heights should not exceed 42 inches. Screened or glass-enclosed decks should be avoided.

Walls and Fences – Existing retaining walls and fences should be repaired and retained whenever possible. The installation of wood or chain link fences shall not be permitted on street frontage.

Site – The alteration or removal of existing walkways, steps, benches, and lighting which contribute to the character of the district should be avoided. All new site improvements should be compatible with the architectural character of the district. Tree removal should be avoided.

DEMOLITION

Demolition of existing buildings shall not be permitted unless one of the following conditions exist:

Demolition has been ordered by the Director of Buildings & Inspections for reasons of public health and safety.

The demolition request is for a garage, an inappropriate addition, or a building of a later period as defined and identified in these guidelines; and the demolition of said structure will not adversely affect the streetscape as determined by the Commission.

The owner can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission that the structure cannot be reused nor can a reasonable economic return be gained from the use of all or part of the building proposed for demolition..

NEW CONSTRUCTION AND ADDITIONS  

Materials – The type of materials and their color, texture, scale, and detailing should be compatible with those of the District and/or the original building.

Scale – The scale of new work and its constituent parts should be compatible with the District and/or the original building and the scale of its parts.

Form – The shape, massing, and proportions of new work should be compatible with the District and/or the original building.

Height – The height of an addition should not exceed the height of the original building. The height of new buildings should be comparable to the height of existing adjacent buildings. The height of new buildings constructed in undeveloped areas should not detract from the character and appearance of the District.

Setback -The setback of new buildings should be comparable to the setbacks of existing adjacent buildings.

Historic Integrity – Compatibility of new work to original work is required, but imitation of old work in new construction should be avoided. New work should appear to be new work. Where new additions meet original work, the connection should be carefully designed so as not to detract from the original but to also reflect the fact that the connection is new. If original openings are filled in, the outline of the original opening should remain apparent by setting new in-fill material back from the surface and leaving original sills and lintels in place. Historic integrity is to be maintained by designing new buildings, structures, appurtenances, additions, connections and filled-in openings so that they do not appear to have been constructed when the affected historic structure was originally built.

Buildings of a later period are of a different architectural character than the other structures in the historic district due to their age and the different character of their scale, material, and detailing. Additions to, or alterations and rehabilitation of these buildings shall either be compatible with the style and character each possesses or shall cause the above building to become more compatible with the district.

Again, these guidelines are merely an example of what the Greenhills Planning Commission could review prior to approving a proposed building project.  They indicate the level of detail and attention that could be applied to plan reviews for historic appropriateness.

So how would this review process work? When a property owner of a building within the local district seeks a building permit, the proposed project would be forwarded to the Greenhills Planning Commission for review and consistency with the pre-approved design guidelines. Whatever guidelines are made, the Planning Commission would have the authority to allow some modifications, as appropriate, in cases of economic hardship when there is no economically feasible and prudent alternative or environmental change which would conform to the guidelines. In those cases, it would be appropriate for the applicant to demonstrate to the Planning Commission that an economic hardship exists and that alternative changes which do meet the guidelines have been explored. The Planning Commission could approve it with any conditions it may deem appropriate.  After Planning Commission approves the proposed project, the permit would continue to the building department for review.

Design guidelines are intended to guide property owners and contractors into designing and building their projects with respect toward the architectural features that make Greenhills a unique piece of American history!