New guidelines coming for Ruston's downtown historic district

RUSTON, La. (KNOE) - New guidelines are coming to Ruston’s downtown historic district.

Ruston held the first of four meetings seeking the public’s input on design standards to help preserve the historical presence of downtown. (Source: KNOE)

The city held the first of four meetings seeking the public’s input on design standards. These standards will be a set of guidelines that downtown building and business owners must follow when altering their historic downtown structures.

“It’s not to freeze it in time. It’s actually just to give guidance for any alteration to any exterior buildings, or additions or infields to any vacant lots, you know things like that to really keep the character of Ruston over time,” said Brian Davis, Executive Director of the Louisiana Trust of Historic Preservation.

One business owner feels he might be the reason behind these new set of rules.

“I just added balconies recently and I think of the reasons why we’re doing some of these regulations, or guidelines now might be because of me,” said Brandon Crume.

Brandon Crume owns Re/Max Results Realty. He says his business added balconies back in December that drew some criticism.

“I’m a modern person. I like to modernize things, I don’t want it stuck in the stone ages, and I like to have it look a little bit different than everyone else. I don’t want a vanilla box. I want minds to stand out and I feel like everyone should have a little bit of character,” said Crume.

Brian Davis from the Louisiana Trust of Historic Preservation says he wants to encourage projects similar to Crume’s, as long as it remains consistent with the rest of downtown.

“Say if you want to include solar panels then we want to encourage that, or if you want new signage then we want to encourage that, but here’s how we do it so everyone can look cohesive in the historical district and the character of the district is maintained. These guidelines will help ensure that,” said Davis.

A new plan in place that Crume hopes will make future renovations easier to complete.

“I’m hoping these guidelines and steps will be put in place so that it will be a whole easier to do the next time,” said Crume.

Tuesday was the first of four meetings. The next meeting is set for September 17th.