Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission considering off-site public meetings

The satellite meetings could be held at properties previously reviewed, for example, the Greenleaf & Crosby Building.

The Greenleaf & Crosby Building Downtown at 208 N. Laura St. in Downtown Jacksonville.
The Greenleaf & Crosby Building Downtown at 208 N. Laura St. in Downtown Jacksonville.
Photo by Monty Zickuhr
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The Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission is exploring holding off-site public meetings at locations it has designated as landmarks.

Ethan Gregory, commission secretary and a broker associate at Allison James Estates & Homes, made the suggestion at the group’s meeting March 27. 

The commission meets monthly at the Ed Ball Building at 214 N. Hogan St. Downtown.

Commission staff will determine feasibility. Considerations include public access, technology and stenographer capability. 

Gregory said the Jacksonville Housing and Community Development Commission occasionally meets at various sites in the city.

“I think it’s something we can possibly do. Holding a couple meetings a year at places we’ve previously landmarked or places that were recently renovated,” he said.

“It kind of lends itself to commercial historic properties more so than houses really just because of the space needed. I think it’s a great way for us to see what we’re landmarking and actually go out there and see it, but also I think it’s a great way to involve the community and maybe we can get people from the neighborhood to show up.”

The Jacksonville Historical Society offices at 314 Palmetto St.
Photo by Monty Zickuhr

Gregory mentioned the Greenleaf & Crosby Building at 208 N. Laura St. and the Jacksonville Historical Society offices at 314 Palmetto St. as potential meeting sites. 

He said satellite meetings could start in 2025.

“And this is of course with staff’s willingness to organize this,” Gregory said. “I don’t want to put them under the gun and make them do it.”

Commission member Julia Epstein, a project architect with Dasher Hurst Architects, said off-site meetings could be good, as they would allow commission members to “be more part of historic preservation,” but said maintaining public accessibility is critical.

“If the public has the access that they need to review everything, I think that’s the biggest thing,” she said. 

Epstein said staff should not be overly taxed organizing meetings at satellite locations.

“Amplification and presentation space” are primary considerations, she said.

Arimus Wells, a city planner supervisor, said recommendations on how to proceed with satellite meetings could come as early as the commission’s April 26 meeting.



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