Hi Becki, welcome to the Preservationeers.
>>Any suggestions or advice?<<
Yes, be sure to study people and psychology as well as laws and regulations. You will learn that simple acts by ordinary people are sometimes as powerful as laws and regulations set up by the mighty.
On one of my projects the family that owned the property had a very practical preservation program relating to the road. This property was an 8 acre triangular plot with the main house (1850 Greek Revival) right at the apex of the the triangle, at a 5-corners intersection of country roads, about 1/4 mile from the center of a small Maine town.
In the 1920s the property owners were very concerned about the encroachment of the roadway as automobile traffic was increasing and the roadway was widening. There plan, which was implemented, was to plant a series of trees along the edge of the road to protect their property. Many folks thought, "Ha! This is futile," for here in Maine practically everyone can cut down a tree as easy as eating breakfast, and usually quicker. Well, each Fourth of July the family sponsored a big celebration at their place and planted a tree. Each tree was named after a national or local person of great importance.They alternated each year, national, then local. Each tree was planted by a local youth who had achieved some greater or lesser acomplishment. (You see it was quite well thought out.) About 30 trees were planted over 30 years, it became a great local tradition, through the middle of the 20th century.
I arrived on the scene in the late 1980s to advise on the Greek Revival building and site, which is now owned by the town and operated as an historical/educational facility. When my work came to landscaping and grounds I quickly learned that the town was embroiled in nasty negociations with the state highway commission, which wanted to widen one of the roads adjacent to the property. As you might suspect many tree planters, some now elderly, and some in their prime, rose to the occasion and stood, along with George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Taylor, at several meetings and beside their trees to protect the property from roadway encroachment. The roadway was not widened, the trees still stand and continue to grow, and protect the property. They saved the road as well as the property.
John (I love trees) Leeke,