HDC approves door, sidewalk and dog park fencing in brief meeting

Thursday, November 22, 2012

In a brief meeting Tuesday night, the Eureka Springs Historic District Commission took care of business before heading into the holidays.

The new owners of 21 Linwood Ave. appeared following a site visit to their property to formally request approval for new French doors on the side of the house, as well as a 12-by-12 ft. deck on the same side.

Although HDC rules prohibit changing the exterior structure of an historic home if the change will be visible from the street, Linwood Avenue is a dead-end, and since these changes would only be visible from the narrow angle of the end of the dead-end street, the commission approved the changes.

James DeVito, owner of DeVito's Restaurant, also received the thumbs up from the HDC, in this case to add a new retaining wall and 45 feet of sidewalk at the restaurant.

"We are hoping our one neighbor will go ahead and do their sidewalk, which would complete the sidewalk on that side of the street all the way to the train depot," said DeVito.

Finally, Parks & Rec Director Bruce Levine and Parks Commissioner Rachel Brix came up to discuss options for fencing for the dog park to be built at Harmon Park. Although the HDC had previously approved a five foot tall, black, vinyl-coated wire mesh fence as adequate for the site, Brix explained several people, including Parks & Rec Commissioner Daniel Jackson, had expressed safety concerns about the fencing due to the playground next to the proposed dog park site.

The alternative proposed by Brix is black, vinyl-coated chain link. "Yes, it's chain link fence," Brix said. "You can't put lipstick on a pig, but the black vinyl makes it practically invisible from only a few feet away, same as the earlier choice. And although you and I know the other type of fencing is more than adequate, this will make people feel safer."

Commissioner Richard Grinnell agreed, pointing out that not only is the park site not in the middle of a residential area, the closest houses are up the hill, so it isn't encroaching neighbors; additionally, he pointed out HDC requirements only say the fencing must be green or black, and that ivy or other greenery be used if possible to help conceal it.

The commission agreed. The fencing will go up.

The next HDC meeting will be on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 6 p.m.

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