Changes in the Comstock historic district
Before I get on with my main topic for today, I would like to make a public apology to Lyon County Comptroller Rita Evasovic.
In a recent story regarding the request for additional funding from the Yerington Senior Center I misquoted comments attributed to her regarding activities at the Yerington center. I made a mistake and take full responsibility for it.
In condensing her personal comments to me regarding the hours the Yerington center is open I should have quoted her as saying “The Yerington Center is not open as many hours as those under the Silver and Gold program.” She did not, nor did any other county official, said anything negative regarding their programs and I was remiss in not pursuing the subject further with her and Yerington center officials before submitting my story.
The Lyon County comptroller’s only authority is to do as instructed by the county commissioners. She pays bill as instructed by her superiors. Judging from recently published concerns by users of the Yerington Senior Center, however, it appears there are some underlying feelings of distrust toward Rita and the county’s support of the center.
If there are genuine concerns, I would suggest center officials request a public workshop with county officials to discuss these issues in an open forum. Perhaps it is time for some face to face public communication.
In conclusion, I would hope that any future calls or letters to the editor on the subject would be directed at my irresponsibility in covering the issue and not at one of Lyon County’s finest and most dedicated employees.
Comstock Historic District Boundary Changes
The Comstock Historic District Board is considering some significant changes to Dayton’s historic district boundaries.
Attending a recent meeting of the board, it was distressing to hear the tenor of the talk surrounding these changes carry a tone of appeasement to those wishing to be removed from within district boundaries.
I was encouraged, however, when I later heard a tone of resolve as board members spoke strongly of the need to be consistent when enforcing district regulations.
Of course, it is certainly easier to be consistent when those who complain against abiding by the rules of the district are allowed to withdraw or are eliminated by design. And, as the suggested changes in current boundaries was being discussed, I definitely got the impression some on the commission would like nothing more than an existence free of any further hassles with Dayton residents.
There will be a number of opportunities in the coming months for residents to express their wishes as to what they want Dayton’s historic district boundaries to be. No final decision will be made before the proper number of public hearings are held and there was nothing said during the meeting to suggest the plan presented to the commission this week was intended to be anything but a starting point for discussion.
However, as the issue is debated in the coming months, the historic commission and residents alike must keep in mind the purpose of an historic district is to maintain and protect buildings, structures and sites of historical significance within its established boundaries. They also establish guidelines for building of new structures, remodeling or alteration of current structures, signs and fences. In doing so, they preserve the historic integrity of an area that might otherwise be lost forever.
The original boundaries of the Comstock Historic District were established for just this purpose. Caution should be taken when changes are being considered.
According to historic district records, the original boundaries were established in 1971. In 1990 the boundaries were altered when a portion to the north of Logan Alley and west of Pike Street, was removed from the district. Past records indicate the section was removed because there was nothing historic left and it had lost its historic integrity.
I assume the remainder was left unchanged because the commission felt there was sufficient reason to protect it.
The tentative proposal made this week, however, now suggests removing an additional two and a half blocks on the north end of the town because the area has lost all of its historic resources.
If so, how did this happen? And, if there are no other historic resources within this area, why were the U.S. Postal Service, the telephone company and others required to follow district guidelines as they constructed and remodeled their facilities? And if other recently constructed structures do not conform or add to the historic integrity of the district, whose fault is it?
The most integral part of preserving Dayton’s past is enforcement of district standards in a consistent manner. If the strong words of commitment to this philosophy made by commission members at this week’s meeting hold true, there should be no need for future consideration to removing even more properties from under the protection of the historic district.
Dayton’s past will be well served if this is so.
Think about it.