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Proposed East Capitol Avenue area overlay district moves forward

Proposed East Capitol Avenue area...

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The Jefferson City Planning and Zoning Commission voted Thursday to recommend approval of a proposed measure to protect the historic nature of the East Capitol Avenue area to City Council.

The overlay district was proposed because of expected renovations and construction with the new urban renewal plan. It is aimed to ensure the historic feel of the area does not get lost in the revitalization efforts.

Residents had a chance to give their input on the overlay district Thursday night.

"You don't want to have people demolishing something and building something new that looks old, when really it doesn't look all that -- it doesn't fit in," resident Cathy Bordner said.

"Look what's happened to the area over time," resident Paul Graham said. "Let's not let the perfect become the enemy of the good here."

The overlay district would enforce several regulations on new construction or renovations in the area on everything from design standards to demolition. 

That would include things like what materials could be used on the facade and how many windows are allowed.

In a previous draft, property owners would not have to go through a special demolition process with the city's Historic Preservation Commission unless their building was 100 years or older.

But many residents thought that was too lenient.

"That will cover most of the buildings," resident Jane Beetem said. "But we probably could cover a little more and act as a buffer so that we don't accidentally tear down something that we wish later on we hadn't."

In the new proposal approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission Thursday, that requirement would fall on buildings 50 years or older.

It would also prohibit additions on the front of buildings.

Monday, the City Council passed a temporary demolition ban on the East Capitol Avenue area. It is aimed to protect historic buildings until the overlay district or a new demolition ordinance is passed.

The City Council must still approve the overlay district. It is set to hold a public hearing and vote on the issue at its meeting on April 17.


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