July HP and Appearance Board Meeting
- Last Monday night(7/24) the monthly Historic Preservation and
Appearance Boards met for their monthly joint meeting. There were
enough(all?) board members present, so the meeting could proceed with
the business at hand.
I was the only guest in attendance, but I unfortunately missed the
first 20 minutes though.
Although my notes should not be misconstrued as official meeting
minutes, the following were some highlights.
Apparently during the first few minutes of the HP board portion two
items near-and-dear to my heart were covered while I was tardy.
First, it was apparently agreed to adopt my suggestion about using
websites such as www.presnc.org to help advertise and promote historic
properties for sale in our neighborhoods. Presnc.org actually
provides one free ad for local historic boards to advertise, and it
was agreed in the meeting to take advantage of this immediately. The
first home selected for posting was the Poe house at the corner of
Weatherspoon and Horner, which I think is an excellent candidate.
Also, the board may present this idea to the local board of Realtors
to see if they may like to partner in featuring more local historic
homes and share the costs of additional ads. I think this is great
news as it will really expand the audience of potential buyers that
have a specific interest in older homes that otherwise may not be
aware of what Sanford has to offer. Plus it may help move some of the
properties that have been on the market for quite some time.
If you have never browsed the Presnc.org website, please take a moment
to do so at your leisure. It is very interesting to see all the NC
properties and other information available: http://www.presnc.org/
Second, as I walked into the meeting, the board was discussing how to
proceed in producing a regular newsletter for the neighborhoods and
setting up a neighborhood get together. Details weren't settled, but
the board was very excited about putting together a neighborhood BBQ
or other type of activity to build a new rapport with the residents,
and moving ahead with a regular publication to share news, tips, etc
with the neighborhoods. Hopefully we'll hear more about these efforts
in the near future as details are settled.
At one point it was also suggested that regular awards for "most
improved property", or "best landscaping" plaques might be good to
implement for the neighborhoods.
Also, general issues such as reviewing several approved and open COA's
were reviewed, and feedback from residents on a variety of issues was
discussed with a definite attitude toward positive resolution and
improvements the boards can make.
I think this portion of the meeting is particularly interesting, as it
provides a great deal of insight into what is happening in the
neighborhood, and an opportunity for guests to inquire into the
process or gather more information on a topic.
Also discussed was the coming separation of the Historic Preservation
and Appearance Boards into distinct bodies. No specific date has been
set, but this is a goal of the near future. Several members of the
current joint board offered their interest in specifically sitting on
the new Appearance Board once it is established. Over time, I'm sure
we'll learn more about the specific purview each board will have, and
how the neighborhoods will interact.
One aspect that seemed clear though was that the Appearance Board
would be much more widely focused on city-wide "appearance" issues and
recommendations, where the Historic Preservation Board would then be
able to focus more on the preservation specifics of the local historic
This news sounded very positive, as many examples of opportunities and
challenges around "appearance" issues were discussed. This discussion
made clear that the members of the board were acutely aware of many
issues residents have of a non historic preservation nature that still
affect appearance and impact property value and quality of life.
Also discussed were challenges with cut-through traffic on North Gulf,
and on-street parking. No decisions were made, but it was discussed
to investigate additional stop signs, reduced posted speed limits, and
possible installation of speed bumps to discourage non resident
traffic. It was pointed out that this is definitely an area where
community involvement can pay off, as the city often looks to the
residents to make these recommendations.
I'm quite certain there were other important topics covered, but it's
been a long day, and that's what I recall off-hand... so that'll have
to do *laugh*
I would really encourage anyone to come attend these meetings at least
occasionally, as they are very informative. And it may provide you an
opportunity to contribute an opinion as well.
- Well thank goodness they are FINALLY separating the appearance and
historic boards. I mean it has been in their city ordinances since
day one (about 10 years) that it is illegal to have both boards act
as one and according to the city it is not allowed to sit on two
boards.. We have only requested this action for over 3 years. Some
of us have been in talks with others in the city to push separating
the downtown sandford inc from the residential portion also as
conflict of interests have sprung up - the bank to name a recent
issue and also to provide a director that can give each section it's
100%. The two areas are so totally distinct in their needs it seems
Glad you went Al, the ideas they came up with sound okay. But I'd
much rather see some guideline enforcement being done than
some "pretty" signs saying who pays to have their yards landscaped.
Maybe if the block captains got out and walked their respective
blocks and introduced themselves to their residents they could also
notice all the guideline infractions being done.
AS for get togethers our "Park" area has had them for some time and
we are all very close here. I'd recommend it to all the other
blocks. There is alot of work to be done on these committees and I
would say that trying to get back resident "trust and respect" is
going to be the toughest for them to overcome. Good luck as I am
one that you need to woo back over - been burned too many times.
But I am open to see change - drastic change would be nice.
- Neighbors:The board we serve on is called Sanford Historic Preservation and Appearance Commission, ONE BOARD. As you pointed out this was set up by city council over ten years ago. We on the SHP&A asked to separate the two boards with the work being done with county codes and overlays of corridors. We hope the Appearance Commission will be given 'teeth' of enforcement rather than as an advisory body as is the case now.Both boards will need volunteers to be representatives for their neighborhood......why not make your request to city hall NOW.Ken LaughinghouseChariman SHC
- Sorry to point out this but you are mistaken. Yes you call the
board one but it was not set up that way. In the UDO and the city
ordinaces that set up the boards they were to be two different
boards. The city has known this was not in compliance for a long
time and has done nothing to fix it. David Montgomery has known it
was being done wrong for some time also as many of us brought it to
his attention during the bank fiasco (and months before that also).
The North Carolina Historic Office also informed members of the city
government that the boards could not be run as one. The State
attorney also informed them it was out of compliance. And if you
look up the boards on the city web page it states that there are two
boards but that the same members sit on both. That in itself is
against city ordinances. If people would just read the ordinances
which by the way are easy to read they'd know the rules, they'd know
the duties of the various jobs. Yes the city council has decided to
finally do something that should have been done from the get
go..doing things right from the beginning makes it easier all the
way around. I am not trying to be difficult but am having a hard
time with the constant changing of stories depending on who you talk
I still have a problem with the way the historic board is layed out.
Why do you have people on there who don't have to follow the
guidelines telling those of us here what to do.? Just a question?
Why doesn't Hawkins have it's own guidelines to follow? Why is
Jeremy Hathcock allowed to be on the board? He is a renter - he
doesn't even pay a mortgage or taxes. I pay taxes to the city and
county on my historic house. I pay a big water bill to water my
lawn and keep it looking green but because I am married to a miltary
member and we are keeping out Texas residence until we are sure they
wont' move us again ( we have plans to stay and retire here but the
military sometimes doesn't agree ) Why am I denied the right to be
on the board. It is a severe slap in the face and an insult to live
in the neighborhood and I can't be on the board governing it but 6
people who don't live here can. Explain that please.
Yes I am a thorn in the side of David Montgomery's office I am sure
but when things are wrong I don't sit by - guess that is the Yankee
in me. Not as laid back as the south.
Yes we need more volunteers to fill board positions..how is it going
to be separated? I kinda find it funny that the city council
decided to only appoint one resident again and to put a person back
on who doesn't live here but owns a house in the district that was
on the city's condemmed list..ironic huh?
resident/owner in Rosemont-McIver who knows the rules