In October 2012, the Downtown Development Authority partnered with State Fire Marshal Butch Browning, the City of Shreveport, the State of Louisiana, SWEPCO and others to unveil a commonsense process of rehabilitating historic downtown buildings. This so-called Performance Code works by bringing everyone together before the first plan is drawn and first construction dollar spent.
The partners (State Fire Marshal, City Permits & Inspections, City Fire Prevention, MPC/ZBA, State of Louisiana DOTD, SWEPCO) will provide an opportunity for aPreliminary Review to walk through a developer’s plans for his/her building. ThisPreliminary Review will give all sides the opportunity to ask questions, identify potential problems and expenses, and brainstorm ways to make safe, commmon-sense tradeoffs that will allow the historic building to return to use. After the Preliminary Review is completed, the developer/owner will have a better sense of what difficulties may be encountered and the best ways in which to deal with them. In addition, the partners will schedule a Courtesy Walkthrough of the downtown property which will also assist in identifying potential areas of concern.
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The Downtown Development Authority will work to keep the lines of communication open between the developer/owner and the partners and in getting timely responses to the developer’s questions. To schedule a Preliminary Review, contact the DDA at 318-222-7403.
At the Performance Code unveiling in October, Don Zeringue, the Chief Architect at the State Fire Marshal’s Baton Rouge office, presented a PowerPoint outlining some opportunities in the rehabilitation of older buildings.