Historic Zoning to vote on expansion Tuesday

Published 8:43 am Monday, October 13, 2014



The Historic Zoning Commission will once again consider the expansion of the city’s historic district during a called meeting Tuesday evening.
This will be the third time the expansion has been before the commission for a vote. Currently, the portion of downtown from Sycamore Street east to Highway 19E is in the historic district. The expansion would bring the rest of downtown Elizabethton into the historic district.
The historic zoning commission has been working on finalizing the expansion for at least a year and a half.
Director of Planning and Development Jon Hartman said the commission regulates the exterior of buildings within the district and is not concerned with the interior of the businesses or homes.
“The Elizabethton Historic Zoning commission regulates the exterior of buildings within the district in order to ensure historic materials and architectural character is preserved,” Hartman said.
He explained the only time property owners would need to apply to the commission for a certificate of appropriateness is if changes were being made to the exterior.
Commission Chair Sarah Baker hopes the vote for the district expansion will take place at this meeting. In the past two meetings where a vote has been scheduled, it has been delayed to allow time for more public input.
“I hope that it does come for a vote this time,” Baker said. “This is something that we have been working on for some time.”
To spread awareness on the expansion, the commission and the city’s planning department have sent out letters to all property owners in the district, and have held a series of open houses to explain the purpose of the expansion.
“We have reached out to people,” Baker said. “The planning department has reached out to people, has phoned and sent letters.”
In addition, two polls have been conducted asking property owners in the proposed expansion area their feelings on the expansion.
The last time the expansion came up for a vote commissioner David Pinckard requested they delay the vote to allow more input from property owners.
The called meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

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