The Pineville Town Council is considering historic landmark designation for the exteriors of 18 homes at 408-427 Park Avenue in the town.
Tuesday evening the council and Park Avenue property owners heard a report from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmark Commission Director Dan Morrill confirming that the area is historically significant.
Morrill said the Park Avenue area is the best preserved mill village in the county. The one-story, frame T-plan mill homes have mostly retained a high degree of integrity. Park Avenue's wide, divided street, a significant element of the landscape plan, was developed for the village by noted planner Earle Sumner Draper.
Morrill also explained the consequences of historic landmark designation. Owners of the homes can apply for an automatic deferral of 50 percent of the local property taxes, but restrictions are placed on the property.
If an owner wants make any significant changes to the exterior, they must obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic Landmarks Commission. If an owner desires to demolish the property, the Historic Landmark Commission could delay the process by 365 days, allowing the town time to find a way to save the property. And, with the owner's consent, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission can buy the property and then resell it with covenant restrictions, something they have done several times on other properties in Pineville.
Town administrator Mike Rose said the next step is to make sure all property owners understand what the designation would mean and give them time to ask any questions. Rose said the town would be in contact again with all property owners and the issue would probably come back to the Council in August.
Mayor George Fowler assured the property owners that no decision would be made until everyone is comfortable.
"We want to make sure that we are all on the same page so it can be a win for you as well as a win for Pineville," Fowler said.
In other business council members:
Heard plans for May 21. The town's farmers market will have its opening day beginning at 8 a.m. on Main Street in the parking lot of the Pineville Police Department. From 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., residents can celebrate the official opening of the newly renovated Jack Hughes Park, 513 Main St., with a bounce house, clinics for boys and girls, food, displays and more. That afternoon, merchants along Main Street will have a variety of sidewalk displays and special sales.
Rescheduled the June town council meeting to June 21, 6:30 p.m. The council will hold a public hearing on the 2011-12 budget at that meeting.