Historic guidelines topic of workshops
The first in a series of community workshops was held April 24 to begin development of historic design guidelines for downtown Markleeville.
The guidelines are being developed by Alpine County with the assistance of the Sierra Business Council, a non-profit regional organization.
The next workshops are 6 p.m. May 16 and 6 p.m. June 13 at Turtle Rock Park, 17300 Highway 89, Markleeville.
“A high level of public participation is one the most important features in developing guidelines which embrace the historic character of a downtown,” said Nancy Richards, Program Director with the Sierra Business Council. “The guidelines are built on what local residents think is special about Markleeville. At the May 16 workshop, we will be discussing in detail the big-picture issues and opportunities that have been identified by participants so far. We need to hear from residents, business owners, property owners and historians.”
Markleeville is known as a town of the 1800s mining era, and those roots are apparent in the historic Sierra town pattern developed when walking was the dominant mode of transportation.
The purpose of the design guidelines is to direct the town’s future character.
The current ordinance applies design review to commercially zoned properties along Main Street and Montgomery Street in the townsite of Markleeville.
One of the main topics identified for the May 16 workshop will be if those boundaries are appropriate.
or if they should be expanded to include residential and institutional areas. Historically, Sierra downtowns were “mixed use,” and modern day needs may dove-tail with that traditional pattern.
The historic period of architecture defined in the existing ordinance is “that style of architecture generally used in the Alpine County area in the state of California, in the period of 1850-1900” (Chapter 18.56 of Alpine County’s Zoning). The May 16 workshop will address if this time period and architectural style is appropriate or if it should be redefined to protect and enhance later styles of architecture. Discussions will also focus on whether architectural features of other historic Sierra communities, outside of Alpine County, should be considered.
Other topics identified in the first workshop as well as in conversations with residents are: the design review process; architectural details and materials; mass and scale of new construction; signs and lighting; and focus on the river. These will also be discussed at the upcoming workshop.
Following the May 16 workshop, Sierra Business Council will draft design guidelines options which will be brought back to the community at the June 13 workshop.