• 54°

My Turn, Karen Lilly-Bowyer: Face facts on landmark moratorium

By Karen Lilly-Bowyer

I would like to thank Al Heggins and Tamera Sheffield for their vote to continue the Salisbury Historic Landmark Designation Program. 

Thank you for doing your homework. As for the rest of the council, I have a question or two. 

Have you read the state historic preservation guidelines or are your continuing statements on wanting to refine Salisbury’s plan disingenuous? 

Mr. David Post continues to say that he doesn’t want the 50% tax credit to be the motivating factor for landmark designation. The 50% tax credit is written into the state law. Every North Carolina city or county that has a landmark designation program is required to provide the tax credit and, as Ms. Catherine Garner pointed out, if the property owner does not follow the historic guidelines, they lose the tax credit and are required to pay back any tax credits that they received.

Mr. Brian Miller continues to say that he doesn’t like the idea of giving the designation to standalone properties that are not in a historic district. One of the primary reasons why the law was written was to protect the standalone properties that do not have the added advantage of being in an historic district. Again, have you taken the time to read the law?

It seems that the only people who are confused about this program are Mr. Post, Mrs. Karen Alexander and Mr. Miller.  The Historic Preservation Commission certainly understands the program. They are on the front line. If a property doesn’t have a chance of meeting the strenuous standards set out by the State Historic Preservation Office, then it is not given the go-ahead to move forward. If a property does move to the state level and it is approved, what right does the city council have to disqualify the property? They are not the experts in historic preservation.

When every major city and most smaller cities in North Carolina embrace the state landmark designation program, why would our current city council vote to put our program on hold? The answer to that question goes back several years. The council put the program in place to help a company that wanted to develop the Empire Hotel. They never thought, as Brian Miller once said, that anyone else would try to use the program.  

The standards for designation are written into state law. If some of our council members want to add standards or require property owners to prove that they will invest money in the property to receive landmark designation, then they will have to convince the State Historic Preservation Office to ask for a change in the laws. 

Since the majority of state municipalities are satisfied with the laws the way they are, I don’t see that happening. Please face the facts. You passed the landmark ordinance. If you have remorse, vote to revoke the ordinance. Don’t make excuses and pretend that you care about historic preservation!

Karen Lilly-Bowyer lives in Salisbury.

Comments

Coronavirus

Three deaths, 29 new COVID-19 positives reported

Crime

Blotter: Bullet holes found in woman’s Park Avenue apartment

Crime

Man faces assault charges for domestic incident

High School

Photo gallery: Carson girls win West Regional, headed to state championship

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls headed to state championship game

Local

Commissioners set date for public hearing on potential solar energy system rule changes

Health

Two of Rep. Sasser’s bills successfully pass through Health Committee

Local

Rep. Warren’s measure to allow removal of public notices from newspapers put on back burner

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs future of previously rejected housing development

Local

Salisbury City Council hears public comments, receives presentation on Main Street reconfiguration

Crime

Blotter: Man charged with felony drug offenses

Nation/World

California crash kills 13 of 25 people crammed into SUV

Nation/World

Biden vows enough vaccines by end of May

Coronavirus

State to vaccinate medically vulnerable starting March 24

Coronavirus

One new death, 20 new COVID-19 positives reported in Rowan

Kannapolis

Kannapolis man dies in moped crash

Crime

Salisbury Police chief addresses K-9 video, says officer separated from animal

Local

Rowan Rescue Squad sets record straight on fundraising typo

Local

City approves DOT agreement, Salisbury Station project could begin next year

Local

County plans to use vulture effigy, enforce violations to remedy animal carcass feeding problem

Education

Two weeks after ending enhanced protocols, Catawba has no COVID-19 cases

News

Council to hear revised version of Downtown Main Street Plan

Local

Veto override of NC school reopening bill fails in Senate

News

Political Notebook: Majority of likely voters, local legislators support school reopening bill