German Village Gazette

GVS maintenance workshops

Navigating renovations process is topic of talks


The German Village Society has set dates for two workshops designed to help residents navigate the sometimes complicated world of building in a historic district.

Chris Hune, chairman of the society's Historic Preservation Committee, said it's been about five years since the society has held maintenance workshops.

"The core mission of the GVS is focused on historic preservation," she said.

"It's our responsibility to provide as many resources as we can to our members so they can help us continue our mission."

Both gatherings will be held at the Meeting Haus, 588 S. Third St. They are free and open to the public.

The first one, "Renovation 101: German Village-style," will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 21. Part of it will focus on technical matters, including the German Village Commission, the local architectural review board, and zoning issues.

Randy Black, historic preservation officer for the city of Columbus, will be on hand to answer questions.

Residents who have gone through the bureaucratic process will share their opinions about the subject.

Other conversations will center on choosing the right architect and contractor.

That meeting will be followed by the "Historic Home Workshop 2012," slated for 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 11.

Hune said it will cover everything about property maintenance -- from sidewalks and roofs to windows and masonry.

Professionals will be in attendance to offer advice on those matters.

They are being held late in the year to give people a jump start on next year's project, said Shiloh Todorov, director of the society.

"From our close work with the German Village Commission, we know that applications for historic commission review drop off considerably in the fall and winter," Todorov said.

"But these projects often take some thought, planning and research to do properly, so fall is the perfect time to start learning about and planning for your spring projects."

The intricacies of the application and permitting processes can be a surprise to some property owners, she said.

"The German Village Society does regular outreach to new residents to try to help them understand the process with the commission and to help explain what it means to live in a historic district," she said.

"Our Realtors who do a lot of business in the village are also great tutors. But, yes, people don't always fully understand the process until they engage in their own first project."