Lake Norman & Mooresville

Commission sets sight on downtown

Even with growth, downtown Mooresville still keeps in step with the look of "old" Mooresville.

It is for that reason the Mooresville Historic Preservation Commission, formed about eight years ago, is operational. The commission consists of a board of seven people.

Brent Zande, 44, is chairman. Zande has lived in Mooresville since 1989 and has spent his career building custom homes.

The commission serves as an advisory to the town board regarding historic buildings and landmarks buildings. There have been six or seven properties landmarked by the historic preservation commission in the last year and a half.

"We have a town board in place that wants to protect history," said Zande.

The most recent house that was given the landmark designation is 745 N. Main St. in downtown Mooresville. Normally, a homeowner asks the board for his house to become a landmark. The benefit for the homeowner is that property taxes are based on half the tax value of the home. The state historic preservation office determines the tax credit.

There are guidelines for a home to be considered a landmark by the commission. The building must be at least 50 years old and not altered from its original state.

After a homeowner applies for the historic designation, the commission determines approval as a landmarked site.

The benefit to the town is that demolition can be delayed up to a year in order for the town and the commission to work with the owner to find alternatives. After a building is landmarked, the commission gets a say in any exterior improvements.

Zande said he believes the commission's job is to ramp up the effort to protect historic sites. The Mooresville Historic Preservation Commission is trying to get nonprofit designation, and it raises money every year through a tour of homes. The tour of homes will be held Oct. 22-23. .

Each building landmarked by the commission receives a plaque, and money raised covers the cost of those plaques. Additionally, the commission members want to buy signs to designate the specific neighborhoods such as Mill Village and the Cascades.

The commission would like to have money to buy old homes, save and restore them, and re-sell them.

"We are really moving as quickly as possible to preserve the history that is here. Mooresville is a great place, with great schools, and a great history. We are stewards of this time frame," said Zande.