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2013 has seen the loss of several historically significant Des Moines homes, including a one-of-a-kind double Lustron home, and two structures listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
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Mayor Cownie has convened a task force of building professionals, neighborhood residents, and government representatives to make recommendations on a new approach to demolition permits. The underlying goal is to encourage preservation of significant structures.
Questions before the group include how to balance rights of property owners against the public good of historic preservation, avoiding burdensome procedures for City staff, and protecting significant structures that may not have yet been identified.
The group is examining ordinances from cities that have already addressed these questions. Some examples are:
By early 2014, it is expected that the group will have arrived at a recommended ordinance and it will be making its way through the political process.