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The original item was published from 12/2/2019 4:02:28 PM to 12/12/2019 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: December 2, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Workshops to focus on historic design guidelines

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Efforts to establish design guidelines for Bristol, Tennessee’s three historic districts will officially begin Tuesday, Dec. 10, during two separate public workshops led by City staff and a consultant with decades of experience in historic preservation. 

Planning Services Manager Cherith Young said the workshops are the first step toward developing official guidelines for future projects in the Downtown, Fairmount, and Holston Avenue historic districts. The first session will begin at 2 p.m. and will focus on commercial properties. The second session will start at 6 p.m. and will be geared more heavily toward residential properties. Both sessions will be held in the conference room of the Ewell L. Easley Municipal Annex.  

Phil Thomason of Nashville’s Thomason & Associates will kick off the meetings by introducing the purpose of design guidelines and outlining the many ways that design guidelines can benefit the City and its historic districts. Thomason has assisted dozens of communities throughout the U.S. with similar projects since establishing his firm in 1982. Thomason is no stranger to Bristol.  He prepared National Register nominations for the Bristol, TN/VA Commercial District, and consulted on the Bristol Renaissance Center/E.W. King building renovation.  He also prepared multiple National Register nominations in Bristol, VA, including; the Solar Hill Historic District, the Bristol Warehouse Historic District, and the Virginia Hills Historic District.   

As the process moves forward in the coming months, the City will hold additional workshops for the public to review and comment on the draft and final versions of the design guidelines.  Once complete, the City may consider the establishment of a Historic Zoning Commission to oversee projects in historic districts, Young said. Many neighboring communities, including Kingsport, Johnson City, Blountville, and Elizabethton, already have historic design guidelines in place, she added. 

The design guidelines project is being supported in part by the Historic Preservation Fund, administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, and the Tennessee Historical Commission.  The federally funded matching grant is competitive, and the City of Bristol was one of 32 communities across the state who were successful in their bid for funding.  

For additional information, please contact Young at (423) 989-5518.

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