Keeping up with History
A Task Force on neighborhood improvement is struggling to keep buildings in style with the town's history. The task force today heard about the dispute between a new business--in bright blue--imbedded in an historic neighborhood.
Some call the historic neighborhood 'Old Munichberg,' others call it 'Goose Bottoms.' If they cannot agree on the neighborhood name, how can they possibly agree on the rules for new construction?
Tom Northway is lucky his antique shop is already standing in the neighborhood. If it were up to the Task Force, it would never have been built.
"He was not in zone violation, so he could build it, but we wanted to prevent any more buildings like that being erected in the core of the city," Kas Mahfood of the Old Munichberg Association says.
Some neighbors protested the non-traditional building.
"And that was why the sign was put up that said, 'welcome the business, not blue buildings," Mahfood says.
Now, the task force wants to let both the city and neighborhood associations dictate new building styles and materials.
"You may have buildings that are commercial downstairs, residential use upstairs, a business next door to a home, but a lot of those still blend with one another," Mid-Missouri Apartment Association member Nikki Courtney says.
Task force members say the steel structure of Northway's shop does not fit in with the brick houses nearby, which they claim are all part of Old Munichberg.
"And so that's what we're concerned with keeping- the characteristics in those neighborhoods that have been there for many years and make it charming," Courtney says.
Northway wouldn't talk on camera, but he says his store is not a part of Old Munichberg and other than the mean-spirited sign, no one has contacted him.
Jefferson City has a program to help finance renovations of buildings to match historical neighborhoods.
The next task force meeting is on November 29. Members plan to look at specific, core areas of the city to decide some of the building standards.