By Gary Wamsley
Vice Chair Jeff Medanich opened the meeting of the Feb. 25 session of the Berthoud Historical Preservation Commission. The first order of business was discussion on the outcome of the appeals allowing several properties to opt out of the downtown historic district and the current status of the district.
Commission members were understandably unhappy with the results of the Town Board meeting. Board Liaison Glen Buckingham also expressed his feelings that the trustees had used criteria outside the ordinance to reach a decision that did not follow from the quasi-judicial process that was supposed to be followed. However, Buckingham lauded the commission for all it has accomplished over the last seven years and asked them to continue to consider their cup 85 percent full rather than 15 percent empty.
He also said he was disappointed he had not been able to sway the vote and felt it appropriate to find another trustee liaison. Buckingham is term limited and must step down next year and thought this would be a good time to find a new liaison.
Trustee Shepard then asked to be recognized. He said he supported the goals of the commission and would be happy to be the board liaison. He spoke about his vote to allow exclusion, adding that his decision was based on property rights issues. Even after a commission member read the ordinance and the grounds for exclusion, which do not include property rights, Shepard maintained his position.
At the request of Museum Director Tom Vaughan, the commission added some clarifying comments to the Carlson Building documentation after which they discussed the walking tour of the downtown historic district and plans for Historic Preservation Month.
Among the last items of business was the acceptance of the resignation of Sue Brungardt from the commission. Brungardt addressed the members and said she is not resigning because they “lost” the vote, but because she has had such poor support from the Town, noting that no one pays attention. She felt new leadership might have a better chance of getting the ideas across to Town staff and elected officials. The board asked her to consider remaining on the board and commended her for her years of hard work on the commission’s behalf.
Brungardt concluded her remarks with a comment about property rights. She said, “In 1968 the town of Berthoud decided to widen 6th street. They said they would only take 2 feet, then decided to take 5. Because of the increase, the trees in front of Uncle George Jensen’s home had to be removed. My uncle watched and then went in the house and sat in his chair and died. Don’t tell me about property rights.”
In the final minutes the commission came back to the issue of board liaison and determined that Mayor Patterson or Trustee Hindman were their choices for the job.