Thursday, Sep. 27 2012 5:03PM
Main St. proposes architecture standards
Property owners are invited to give feedback on mandatory rules at Oct. 3 meeting
By Russ Pulley
A set of design standards for downtown Lee’s Summit, two years in the making, are being proposed by Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street Inc.
At its quarterly meeting Sept. 25 the organization heard a report on the standards that have been developed by its Design Committee, in cooperation with the city’s Planning and Development Department and the Historic Preservation Commission.
The Main Street membership also voted on revisions of its bylaws, approving them unanimously.
An earlier version of bylaw revisions was presented at the group’s annual dinner in June, but the vote was delayed because many in the general membership objected to a proposal to have the Board of Directors appoint future board members. The committee working on bylaws held a meeting on the issue and rewrote the proposed bylaws to retain member rights to vote on board directors.
The mandatory design standards would be for new construction on vacant lots and for major renovations to maintain the traditional appearance of the area.
“Wouldn’t we want them to look like our downtown buildings?” said Christine Bushyhead, a member of the design committee in her presentation to Main Street. “That’s what these standards are trying to achieve.”
For example, the standards would require a new building renovation to resemble structures with the same setbacks and mass. The standard would require using materials that fit in the character of downtown, often brick. There would be rules and permits required for demolition of historic buildings which would go through the Historic Preservation Commission.
The design standards also take in account for differences in the kinds of buildings in the core and those in a transition zone that includes businesses and residences on the edges of the downtown core, Bushyhead said.
More detailed information about the standards are available at www.downtownls.org/desig-
There will be an informational meeting for property and business owners and residents at 6 p.m., Oct. 3, in the Howard A Conference Room, City Hall, 220 S.E. Green Street.
Based on feedback, the design standards will be tweaked before being submitted to the city. The proposed revisions would become part of the city’s Unified Development Code would eventually go to the Planning Commission and the City Council for hearings and adoption.
Main Street members were generally supportive, but some suggested caution in implementation and its details.
Charla Henry, owner of Henry’s Antiques, said she wants to replace the roof on her business which is housed in a former church on Douglas Street.
She said it has been extremely difficult for her to find materials to match those being replaced, which are no longer manufactured.
“Sometimes you can make so many rules people can’t do them,” Henry said. “I want something that looks like it as much as I can get.”
Bushyhead said Henry is the kind of business owner the standards are intended to protect.
“We’re worried about the person who doesn’t care,” Bushyhead said.