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Tempe Historic Preservation Plan

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Adopted 17 July 1997 by the Tempe City Council, Resolution 97.44;
revisions adopted 15 June 2000, Resolution 2000.34.

I. Introduction

Tempe enjoys a rich multi-cultural heritage evident through its historic buildings, neighborhoods and structures. Less visible, but equally important, are the archaeological resources of Tempe's past. Protection and enhancement of Tempe's heritage is critical to preserving the unique identity of our community. The blending of the past with the present enriches our city and all of its citizens.

In November of 1995, both as an expression of civic pride and the beginning of the future of historic preservation in Tempe, the Tempe City Council unanimously adopted the Tempe Historic Preservation Ordinance. Most importantly, the ordinance created the Tempe Historic Preservation Commission, the Office of the Tempe Historic Preservation Officer, and the Tempe Historic Property Register.

As one of its first acts, the Commission prepared a Preservation Plan. The Plan identified goals and policies for historic preservation in Tempe. These goals and policies are hereby refined and updated.

II. Goals

The Commission recognizes three goals for historic preservation in Tempe:

1. To identify, preserve and protect significant historic properties and archaeological sites.

2. To foster economic vitality through preservation of properties which contribute to the historic character of the community.

3. To integrate historic preservation planning with that conducted by boards, commissions, neighborhood and redevelopment planning efforts as a means to protect and enhance community heritage and compliment City redevelopment plans.

III. Goal Components

1. Advise. Advise the City Council and other applicable City boards and commissions on all matters within the Commission's purview.

2. Inventory and Designate. Recommend, to the Planning and Zoning Commission, inclusion on the Tempe Historic Property Register. Identify, through inventory and assessment, methods, structures and localities where historic properties are imperiled, in order to ensure that alternatives to destruction are considered, and, use such methods to set preservation priorities and promote the identification and classification of properties that are eligible for historic designation.

3. Review. Review requests to alter, remodel, rebuild or otherwise develop designated properties. Review requests to demolish or remove a designated property.

4. Assist. Assist in making ownership of an historic property as beneficial as possible. Help by designating properties tot he Tempe Register and assisting their owners to obtain incentives for preservation by rehabilitation, restoration or maintenance. Develop financial and other incentives with the City that will encourage the preservation of historic properties.

5. Educate. Increase public awareness among residents and businesses of the value of historic preservation. Promote education in Tempe history and historic properties in local schools.

6. Compile. Compile information about historic properties and the historic character of Tempe for the purpose of identifying structures, properties, districts and archaeological sites worthy of preservation. Share this information with boards, commissions, neighborhood and redevelopment planning efforts, as well as the general public, so that it may be considered in current and future development.

IV. Policies

1. Prehistoric archaeological resources are of special concern to Native American groups. The City, represented by the Historic Preservation Officer and Commission, will consult with representatives of Native American tribes to identify concerns regarding the treatment of archaeological resources.

2. Preservation "in place" is the preferred outcome for the long-term management of historic properties. When this is not possible, relocation or documentation is the recommended alternative to preserve the historic characteristics of the property.

3. When the goals of the Historic Preservation Commission are in conflict with those of other boards, commissions, neighborhood or redevelopment planning efforts, a solution based on consensus and compromise (defined in a Memorandum of Understanding) is the preferred outcome.

V. Conclusion

As set forth above, this is a plan of action to implement the Tempe Historic Preservation Ordinance, and a mission statement for the Tempe Historic Preservation Commission. Strategic goals will be developed by the Commission as part of an action plan.