Members of the Cartersville Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to approve an adjustment to the design of a proposed downtown parking deck abutting Main Street and West Cherokee Avenue.
“We were here a little while ago, and we realized our submission plan had windows shown,” Bartow County Administrator Peter Olson said.
That, however, was before Bartow County officials had a discussion with its architecture firm about how much that design feature would cost.
“I asked them what windows would entail and he said ’It’s probably about 200 grand, it would require mechanical ventilation to exhaust it,’” Olson recounted. “It would also make it a lot hotter … he recommended deleting them, which of course, we appreciate the savings.”
In an email dated Sept. 3, Olson told Cartersville City Planner David Hardegree that the deck would retain the planned mullions, but the glass would be removed from the project entirely.
Olson told The Daily Tribune News last month that the three-story project — which would be sandwiched in between the State Farm and MyEyeDr. buildings in front of the County annex building — would cost about $2 million.
“The County has asked us to design it so that it could be converted to retail or residential space in the future,” said Ben Carter of the firm Carter Watkins Associates Architects, Inc. “So it’s not a bouncy parking deck.”
Cartersville Assistant City Attorney and HPC legal counsel Keith Lovell asked if the project would include shutters. Carter said the completed parking deck would not.
“Charleston, Savannah, you probably would see blinds of some sort,” he said. “But in Cartersville, I don’t think there were any precedents in the commercial district for shutters.”
Hardegree concluded the public meeting by noting that a series of updated historic district guidelines will be uploaded online shortly.
“It’s been three months, we’re supposed to be working on getting it resubmitted and hopefully getting Municode to put it in there,” he said. “Ultimately, these design guidelines will transfer over into a more user-friendly look.”
In fact, Lovell said the City of Cartersville is in the process of converting all of its ordinances to Municode.
“So there won’t be hiccups like this in the future,” he said. “The agendas, the ordinances and everything will be through one central database.”
As for the guideline changes, Hardegree said the bulk of the revisions were meant to clear up some vagueness and ambiguity in the City's ordinance language.
“But we left the demolition piece there for phase two, because it does need a little more thought,” he said.