Monday, February 28, 2011

Covington hosts national preservation training

More than 30 preservation professionals and advocates attended the Commission Assistance and Mentoring Program (CAMP), held on Friday at Covington City Commission Chambers.

Led by the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions, topics ranged from regulatory basics to comprehensive preservation planning to federal preservation standards. Speakers included Dan Becker, executive director of the Raleigh Historic Districts Commission; Robin Ziegler, a staffer on the Nashville-Davidson County Metropolitan Historic Zoning Commission; and Ramona Murphy Bartos, city attorney for the City of Guyton, Ga.

"The trainers have a combined over 50 years of experience in preservation and they were coming to us from some very successful preservation programs so we had some great stories and examples from their years in the field," says Beth Johnson, Covington's preservation and planning specialist.

The training was organized by the Historic Preservation Office of the City of Covington to fulfill Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 100 requirements for members of its Urban Design Review Board.

"The main theme of the training was teaching the preservation commissions and Urban Design Review Board to be stronger in their legal proceedings as well as how important preservation is," Johnson says. "We also spent some time talking about demolition by neglect and seeing an example of how a demo by neglect in Raleigh, North Carolina works."

In addition to Covington, CAMP attendees came from Cincinnati, Bellevue, Ludlow, Dayton, and Boone County.

"Having so much participation from the other cities shows that preservation is important to the region as a whole, and that, while it's important for us to promote and concentrate on the preservation in our individual cities, it's also important to work together regionally to make the preservation network and preservation ethic of the entire region as strong as it can be," Johnson says.

Many worked with advocacy groups such as the Cincinnati Preservation Association, Progress with Preservation, and the Israel Ludlow Historical Society.

"It was great to see so much participation from the neighboring cities as well as from the advocacy side as well," Johnson says. "It is very important that the advocacy side understands the legal framework that our preservation commissions and Urban Design Review Board operate under as it helps them be better preservation advocates."

To Johnson, it was time well spent.

"Being able to bring in other preservation professionals to talk about their experiences is so valuable because it brings in outside perspectives and other experiences for us to learn from," she says.