Property Owners Who Rent — a subgroup of the Chautauqua Property Owners Association — held its final meeting of the season Wednesday afternoon to discuss Architectural and Land Use Regulations.
The meeting — held in the Presbyterian House Chapel — was led by Vice President of Campus Planning and Operations John Shedd, who currently doubles as the Architectural and Land Use regulation administrator.
“(ALU) regulations are about trying to protect your property value and the community, as well as protecting the National Historic Landmark (designation),” Shedd said. “With that comes responsibility on the part of the property owners and on the part of the Institution. You — the property owners — are stewards of your property.”
All construction to buildings on the grounds must be reviewed and certified by the Operations Office, however, if projects require a variance from allowable limitations they must go before the Architectural Review Board — a board of trustees committee. Roof, mechanical and structural work is reviewed by the Town of Chautauqua code enforcement officer.
To have a project approved, a certificate application must be completed and returned to the Operations Office with appropriate documents. Then, the project can either be reviewed by an administrator or, if it falls outside of ALU regulations and requires a variance, it is sent to the ARB, which meets five times a year and holds meetings open to the public.
The 2013 revised regulations outline a number of zoning guidelines, which vary between the five districts designated by the ALU booklet. Such guidelines include: the ratio of impermeable to permeable surfaces on a given property; maximum building heights; square footage ratios; acceptable building materials and tree removal practices. Specifics are outlined in the booklet, which is available online or in print at the Operations Office in the Colonnade.
Currently, Shedd’s office is working to update the 2013 regulations, he said. The updated version will not be an extensive overhaul of the existing regulations, but rather an edit; a timeline for when the regulations would be updated and available to the public is to be determined.
Shedd said the Institution is trying to incentivize historical preservation of homes by making ALU and ARB bureaucracy “easier and quicker.”
“We understand the need for modern convenience, we understand the need for low maintenance projects at your house,” he said. “We encourage you as the property owners to do as much as you can to maintain your historic property. … That also improves your property value, so if you are maintaining it within the guidelines of historic preservation, that is probably to your advantage.”
Additionally, POWR Chair Richard Parlato announced the themes for next season’s POWR meetings: the CPOA’s new communication platform; security, rules and regulations; and the 150 Forward strategic plan and how it may affect property owners who rent.