Heritage Preservation Commission reorganizes

The Colusa Heritage Preservation Commission last week selected Colusa native Jon Wrysinski as its chairman.

Wrysinski will take over the position from longtime president Jim White, who will serve a vice chairman. Cass Garcia will remain as secretary.

The commission also includes Megan Mena and David and Margo Cheuvront. Colusa’s Community Development Manger Bryan Stice (Planning Director/Building Inspector) serves as liaison between the HPC and the Colusa Planning Department and City Council.

Wrysinski, who was nominated by White to take over as chairman, said that although he agreed to serve another four-year term on the commission, he was initially hesitant to commit to the helm, largely because he felt the commission lacks real authority with the City Council.

“That’s just frustrating for me,” Wrysinski said at the Heritage Commission’s Sept. 25 meeting. “Even if we had a position that we feel strongly about, I’m not sure we are in a position to do much about it.”

The Colusa Planning Commission, also an advisory body, has expressed similar frustration with having no say, particularly on cannabis manufacturing in Colusa’s historic downtown or riverfront.
According to the city’s municipal code, the HPC can make recommendations to either the planning commission or city council on a number of topics, including designating landmarks and historic districts, and hear and determine permit applications for construction, alteration, demolition and remedial work on landmark sites or in historic districts.
They can also take steps to preserve structures, and advise property owners, if they request, on improvements not requiring the issuance of a city permit, like painting and landscaping.
The HPC’s most recent recommendation was to Big Moon Sky, who, at HPC’s request, painted their cannabis manufacturing company on Sixth Street to blend in with surrounding structures, prior to moving in.
The Commission also planned the city’s blowout sesquicentennial celebration in June, which netted the organization a profit to perform other activities, officials said.
The Commission also annually recognizes an individual or individuals at the annual May Surprise who have restored a historic home or property.
White, in his last official actions as chairman, asked the HPC to review Colusa’s ordinance 484 of the city’s municipal code pertaining to landmark and historic preservation for discussion at their next meeting, tentatively scheduled for 4 PM on Oct. 9. at Colusa City Hall. ■