The Malvern Borough Historical Commission will present information about a possible new ordinance to preserve the historic character of local properties at the Tuesday night Borough Council meeting.
No ordinance has yet been proposed, but the eventual language will likely include a review process for people who seek to significantly alter a historic building or who allow one to fall into disrepair, according to Historical Commission member Lynne Hockenbury.
The commission has been gathering public input to craft the resolution in a series of meetings this year.
Roughly 300 households in Malvern Borough received letters inviting them to attend the meeting, according to Borough Manager Sandy Kelley.
"The list of people invited was larger than the list that the Historical Commission is recommending as there have been no decisions made yet as to who this ordinance would affect," according to Hockenbury.
Hockenbury filled in some of the details in an email:
We are not recommending a HARB (Historical and Architectural Review Board) as that would require many more regulations and a board of very specific people with specific education. We are recommending a review process for properties that wish to remove more than 50% of the structure currently standing or to remove a significant architetural feature (such as a dormer, a porch, changing the roof line, etc). The ordinance would also include regulation for demolition by neglect (allowing a property to fall into such disrepair that the only recourse is to demolish it) and also requirements for any new subdivisions that might be created within the designated area.
The Historical Commission feels that the Borough of Malvern is a unique town that maintains much of it's historical and architectural origins and with some thoughtful discussion and planning, could continue to be so for many years to come.
The Borough Council meeting will be held Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the borough meeting room.
[Edited 5:40pm to correct that Hockenbury is a member of the historical commission, not the chairperson. The commission has no chairperson.]