VPC Presents Preservation-Based Hazard Mitigation Solutions for Vulnerable Historic Properties in Monroe County, PA

Vision Planning and Consulting (VPC) facilitated two meetings in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, for the Phase II of the Pennsylvania Historic Museums Commission’s (PHMC) Disaster Planning for Historic Properties Initiative. VPC’s presentation to County officials, local officials, and community members discussed how settlement and development patterns increased the vulnerability of historic resources; regulations, ordinances, and guidelines for historic properties; and sample solutions.

VPC Team members discussed how building surveys from Phase I were used to develop the list of 36 representative properties selected, based on location; building type/style; architectural characteristics/details; and/or the resources representation of an important historic theme, such as those properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Attendees were presented with a sample of preservation-based hazard mitigation actions, which not only aim to protect historic resources from the impacts of natural hazards, but do so in a manner that does not jeopardize their historic integrity, significance, and/or historic designation/eligibility. Changing the appearance, materials, or location of a historic property can potentially alter or remove those features that made the property special to begin with. The goal is for a historic property owner, whose resource may not be included on the representative property list, to be able to find a similar property on the list, for appropriate hazard actions for their own property.

Local news station, BRC 13, was in attendance for the County meeting and VPC’s Planner, Andrew Estrain, was interviewed. Mr. Estrain explained that historic resources are unique considerations within the realm of hazard mitigation planning, and must be treated as such. Hazard mitigation actions applicable to properties in the traditional hazard mitigation planning process are not always applicable for historic properties. “Changing the appearance, materials, or location of a historic property can potentially alter or remove those features that made the property special to begin with. The goal is to protect the resource AND preserve the historic integrity, and that is what this project aims to do”.

READ MORE  VPC presents Flooding and Sea-Level Change findings to Talbot County Board of County Commissioners

To see the news segment, click here.

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