Newton Kansan

The Newton/North Newton Historic Preservation Commission is offering help planning renovation projects to property in the McKinley Historic District — a 62-page book which can help project planners with historic guidelines.

"This is designed to be a handbook for property owners so they can understand how the guidelines apply to them," said Billi Jo Wilson, outgoing chair of the commission.

The Newton/North Newton Historic Preservation Commission reviewed the final draft of design guidelines Thursday.

The hope is having the book — which will be mailed to each property owner once it is printed — will prevent hangups in renovation projects.

"Far too often the commission sees a plan after so much work is done on the plan that to redo it would be to start completely over," Wilson said.

In May 2012, the Historic Preservation Commission was awarded a Historic Preservation Fund Grant by the Kansas Historical Society to develop the guidelines. The guidelines are intended to be used by property owners as a planning tool before rehabilitation and maintenance projects begin.

Christy Davis of Davis Preservation was selected as the consultant to draft the guidelines. Davis has worked with the Historic Preservation Commission on several previous grant projects, including the nomination of the McKinley District to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007, as well as planning the 2010 State Preservation Conference held in Newton.