Preservation commission delays vote on policy for vinyl siding

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 15, 2000

Historic Preservation Commission members postponed voting on a policy for vinyl siding because three of the board’s eight members were absent.

The proposed policy drawn up by the commission and the city planning department states that requests for vinyl siding on historic structures will continue to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, excluding buildings listed individually on National Register of Historic Places or those eligible for listing.

Marty Seibert, commission chairperson, said the Mississippi Department of Archives and History will determine if structures are eligible for the register.

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The policy also prohibits aluminum or vinyl siding on sides of the structure that are &uot;clearly visible&uot; from the public right-of-way.

&uot;There is a distinct look to vinyl siding that is a look you don’t want in your historic district,&uot; Seibert said.

&uot;It will be up to this board whether it is visible from the street or not,&uot; she said.

Cliff McCarstle, owner of Custom Exteriors, which installs vinyl siding, spoke in opposition to the policy at the meeting.

McCarstle said companies from outside Natchez sometimes install vinyl siding on historic structures in town without permission from the commission with no consequences.

&uot;I’m punished because I play by the rules and that’s not right,&uot; he said.

Commissioner Anne Allmand said the commission depends on the public to notify them when siding is being installed without permission.

The U.S. Secretary of Interior guidelines recommend that vinyl siding not be permitted on historic structures in any case.

&uot;The simplest solution for us would be to say no vinyl siding at all,&uot; Commissioner Andy Sartin said. &uot;But we’re trying to be — for lack of a better word — lenient.&uot;

The commission plans to meet informally at noon Friday at the city planning office at City Hall to come to an agreement on the policy.