February 10, 2017
Austin’s historic preservation program has been cited as ineffective, according to a recent city audit. One major issue was confusion over what, exactly, makes a structure “historic.” Another was lack of communication between the staff.
The audit had more to say, specifically that fees are not consistently collected – or secured – by staff, while justification for administrative approvals isn’t documented. Other problems pointed out include lack of application case tracking, and undocumented physical inspections. Furthermore, the Historic Landmark Commission regularly had no legal counsel present at meetings.
Audit recommendations included improving fee-collection processes, putting in place a process that would document reviews and justifications of administrative approval for relocation, alteration and demolition, and working with the Historic Landmark Commission to identify training needs and legal support.
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