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|Historic Commission plans new processes|
|Written by Adrienne Nelinson|
|Saturday, 30 April 2011 18:51|
Asking for forgiveness rather than permission is not going to cut it with Tombstone Historic District Commission anymore.
"That phrase has worn itself thin in business and industry and that phrase is also wearing itself thin in Tombstone," said Steve Troncale, Tombstone historic district commissioner and city councilman.
With the addition of Mac McMillan, the new city building inspector, the HDC will now be able to enforce city codes that have been neglected for years.
People often begin construction or painting a building before applying through the commission, said Troncale. "In the past people basically got away with a bunch of stuff, but that's not happening today."
"Enforcement is not our first choice," said Troncale. "We'd rather people just follow the rules."
Troncale recalls when a business owner on Allen Street put a satellite TV dish on the balcony of their building facing the street.
"If they would have asked first we would have told them they couldn't do it, but they did it anyhow," Troncale said.
Troncale believes the root of this problem is that applicants need help understanding and getting through the application process.
This is the reason he and the other HDC members plan to schedule a workshop to develop a checklist for future applicants.
"It's going to be a brainstorming session," said Troncale. The HDC will use models from cities like Bisbee and documents from Tombstone that detail the ways that have fallen by the wayside.
The primary purpose is to help the applicants put together a more accurate application so small paperwork errors don't come before the HDC
For Lee McKechnie, owner of Tombstone Trolley Tours, time is money.
"My business is suffering because this is the busy season, and I want to start building this thing (a proposed theater that was tabled by the HDC)."
Troncale understands how tabling an application can be a great hardship for the applicant and that is why he is so motivated to enact a proper checklist.
"We will try to help them (the applicants) as much as we can to try and get a good, accurate application out of them," he said.
At the end of the day, this is all about keeping Tombstone as historically accurate as possible, said Troncale.
"We're always under a watchful eye and the watchful eye is the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office, god love 'em, and the U.S. Department of (the) Interior," he said.
As far as the laxness of previous HDCs? "We cant answer to the sins of the past but we will not repeat them," Troncale said.