Skirting rules on historic district
In response to and in agreement with Richard Brown’s Dec. 9, 2013 letter to the editor on solar lights in Depot Park:
I do not know the specific rules for maintaining historic districts/neighborhoods, and I am not sure I would like to navigate them, but I do know of examples in Rutland where stringent rules and guidelines were followed before making changes to historic districts. And downtown Rutland has been a National Historical District since 1980.
1) The planning for repairs to the Cootey building has been in progress for several years, with much of the extended time due to requirements of the national as well Vermont’s preservation guidelines.
2) The Rutland Historical Society housed in the Nickwackett firehouse in Rutland’s National Courthouse Historic District was not allowed to replace the original side door with a metal door of similar color and style. The acceptable choice was between repairing the original door and purchasing a new wooden door close to the look of the original.
3) The Historical Society has received separate requests for comments on wireless communication towers on three downtown buildings because of their possible impact on the historic district. The consultants on these projects were well aware that notification was required.
So how is it possible that the city of Rutland and Green Mountain Power did not have to go through proper channels when considering solar lights and their accompanying fixtures in Depot Park in the historic district?
Although I am an officer of the Rutland Historical Society, I am writing this letter as an individual and it may not necessarily represent the society’s position.