Change of historic proportions envisioned

Published 10:11 am Monday, May 5, 2014

Historic downtown may soon find its home in the Elizabethton Historic District.
The Elizabethton Historic Zoning Commission has announced its intention to expand the district to include remaining portions of downtown Elizabethton. Currently, only the eastern half of downtown is in the historic district.
“This expansion will bring properties along East Elk Avenue and East E Street from Lynn Avenue to Sycamore Historic-Distric-Expansion-Map-1-300x200Street into the historic district,” said Planning and Development Director Jon Hartman.
The expansion boundaries run from the Bonnie Kate Theater on Sycamore Street to the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library. The district would extend west to Lynn Avenue, with the boundaries extending from E Street to F Street. All of downtown Elizabethton in those boundaries would be included. East Elk Avenue from Sycamore Street east to the Monument is already included in the historic district.
Historic Zoning Commission Chairman Sarah Baker said expanding into the remaining portion of downtown will make the entrance signs to downtown Elizabethton official.
“The signs say welcome to Historic Downtown Elizabethton, but the problem is it’s not all in the historic district.” Baker commented. “Being in the Historic District will provide protections to the historic buildings and offer opportunities for renovation and improvements.”
To help explain and offer information on the expansion, the Historic Zoning Commission will host an open house at the home of commissioner Helen Wilson on May 22 from 5-7 p.m. at 209 South Riverside Drive, Elizabethton.
Hartman said the open house will help inform and educate property owners in the expansion area about the purpose, benefits, and the impact the historic district can have on their property.
The Commission is set to vote on the expansion at their June 16 meeting.

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