Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic  Commission

 
 
Charlotte-Mecklenburg
HISTORIC LANDMARKS COMMISSION
March 14, 2016
Location: 2100 Randolph Road, Charlotte, N. C.
Time:  6:00 p.m. –  7:50 p.m. 
 Minutes
Present:
Mr. Nathan Clark/ County
Mr. Larken Egleston/City
Mr. Joe Elliott/City/ HLC Treasurer
Mr. David Erdman/Mayor
Ms. Laura Hoover/County
Ms. Paula Lester/County, HLC Chair
Mr. Mark H. Miller/County
Mr. Len Norman/City, HLC Projects Chair
Mr. Kenneth Pursley/County, Design Review Com. Chair
Mr. John Shurley/County, HLC Vice-Chair
Ms. Jill Walker/Mayor/HLC Secretary, Survey Com. Chair
Mr. Cameron Wright/City
Dr. Dan L. Morrill, HLC Consulting Director
Mr. Stewart Gray, HLC Preservation Planner
Ms. Mary Dominick, HLC Administrative Assistant
Ms. Mary Lynn Morrill, HLC Recording Consultant
Ms. Jennifer Errington, Attorney
 
Visitors:
Mr.Mike Gregory,  UNCC Graduate Student
Ms. Jocelyn Westpfahl, UNCC Graduate Student
Mr. Casey Moore, UNCC Graduate Student
Dr. Aaron Shapiro, UNCC Faculty
Mr. Jordan Rymer, UNCC Graduate Student
Ms. Christina Wright, UNCC Graduate Student
Ms. Brianna Dancy, UNCC Graduate Student
Ms. Denise McLain, UNCC Graduate Student
Ms. Kate Moore, UNCC Graduate Student
Ms. Regina Bates, Torrence Lytle School
Mr. Tyson Bates Torrence Lytle School
Ms. Natalie Copeland
Mr. Kraig Makas, Randolph Scott House
Ms. Leila Farsiani
Ms. Ann Willey, Randolph Scott House
Ms. Olivia Groves

 
1. Consideration of Minutes
 
MR. NORMAN PRESENTED A MOTION SECONDED BY MR. WRIGHT THAT THE  MINUTES FOR THE FEBRUARY 8, 2016, MEETING OF THE HISTORIC LANDMARKS COMMISSION BE APPROVED AS DISTRIBUTED.  THE COMMISSION  UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.
 
MR. EGLESTON PRESENTED A MOTION SECONDED BY MR. NORMAN THAT THE MINUTES FOR THE FEBRUARY 8, 2016, CLOSED SESSION MEETING OF THE HISTORIC LANDMARKS COMMISSION BE APPROVED AS DISTRIBUTED.  THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.
 
2. Chair’s Report:   Ms. Paula Lester
 
Ms. Lester welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Ms. Lester reported that Mr. Pursley will serve as Chair of the Nominating Committee.  Mr. Elliott and Mr. Egleston will serve as members.  A slate of officers will be presented at the May HLC meeting, and the vote will occur at the June HLC meeting.

Ms. Lester reported that the HLC terms of David Erdman, Jill Walker, and herself would expire on June 30th.

Mr. Pursley requested that anyone interested in serving as an officer contact him to express his or her interest.
 
Ms. Lester stated that Commissioners should keep a check on their attendance by reviewing the attendance sheet posted on the HLC's website.  The new website address is cmlandmarkscommission.org.  
  
3.  Director's Report:    Dr. Dan L. Morrill
 
Dr. Morrill reported the following information:
 
1) Edward Rozzel House, 11647 Old Rozzels Ferry Road, Charlotte, N.C.  Staff has met with Bobbie Mabe, who has stated her desire to lease the Edward Rozzel Farm for five years.  She would establish a business there to teach people to grow and market produce.  Staff understands that there are many details that must be addressed, e.g. rezoning,  But Staff believes there are compelling reasons to give the idea serious consideration.  First, the house is being vandalized, and there is every reason to believe that this circumstance will continue.   In short, the status quo is not acceptable.  Second, Ms. Mabe has expressed her willingness to put "sweat equity" into the restoration of the house.  It is true that the Commission would have to bring the house up to code to allow a Certificate of Occupancy to be issued.  But Staff believes that entering into a lease with Ms. Mabe would be the most cost effective means to assure the preservation of the historic home.   Third, placing a "teaching farm" on the property would advance the "public good."  Fourth, time will likely increase  the market value of the property.  Staff would appreciate your reaction to the issue of continuing to negotiate with Ms. Mabe toward the end of putting this plan into place.  


Mr. Erdman inquired about the current zoning of the property.  Dr. Morrill responded that a determination of zoning would be part of the due dililence process.  
 
2)  Delburg Cotton Mill House, 303 Delburg St., Davidson, N.C.   Peter Wasmer, Project Manager, is working with the architect to complete the plans for bidding.  These plans will be brought to the Design Review Committee and the Historic Landmarks Commission in the near future. 
  
3)  Torrence-Lytle School,  302 Holbrooks Road, Huntersville, N.C.  Staff has received from a prospective buyer of the property its offer to purchase the Torrence Lytle School.  Staff recommends that the offer be reviewed by the Commission and, if the Commission wishes to pursue the offer, to refer the offer to the Assets and Facilities Management Department of the County  for review and comment.  The Commission does have the option to reject the offer at this meeting and move ahead with the first phase of the restoration of the property.
  
4)  General Motors New Style Bus 1074.   Clarke Power Co. continues to work on restoration of the bus.  The next step will be to drive the bus to Mooresville where a new air conditioning system will be installed.  Staff has met with the Charlotte Area Transit System to discuss a possible cooperative arrangement with CATS.  The initial response was positive.  Staff will be working with the HLC attorney to draft an agreement between CATS and the HLC.  The County is providing insurance coverage.  
 
5)  Outen Pottery, 403 Jefferson St., Matthews, N.C.  Improvements to the property are underway.  The Town of Matthews has agreed to perform landscaping in the immediate vicinity of the kiln and the workshop.  The process of declaring the deed covenants on the property null and void continues.    Peter Wasmer is the Project Manager of the physical changes to the property.  The Outen Pottery Task Force continues to meet, and Staff has developed a video explaining the significance of the site. 


Ms. Errington reported that the owner of the adjoining property has not responded to the letter of notification of legal procedures.  A hearing before the Court will occur on April 16th.
 
6)  Phillips House and Morris Barn,131 West Charles Street, Matthews, N.C.  The Commission owns the property.  Staff has met with officials of the Town of Matthews to discuss preservation strategies for the property.  Staff believes that it will be most important for the Commission to work closely with the Town of Matthews in determining how best to assure the long term preservation of the property.  The plan is for the Commission and the Town to build community consensus for the establishment of parameters that any buyer of the property must satisfy.  Then a Request For Proposals would be submitted to developers.  The Assets and Facilities Management Department has approached Graham Adams about being a consultant on the project.  He will appear at the March meeting of the Design Review Committee.
  
7)  William Grier House.  Douglas International Airport owns this house.  Staff  has met with Airport officials and will continue to consider perservation strategies.
  
8)  Former Mt. Carmel Baptist Church.  Campus St., Charlotte, N.C.   Discussions continue on how the Commission might participate in the preservation of the Former Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, a designated historic landmark.  
  
9)  Thrift Piedmont and Northern Depot.  The North Carolina Department of Transportation has moved the depot to land purchased by the NCDOT.  The State has informed Staff that it will not need financial assistance from the HLC to complete the project. 
  
10)  Dicussions are occurring regularly with County officials about project management. The County is being most helpful in assisting the Commission in developing its budget request for the upcoming fiscal year. 
 
11)  Walter's Barbershop, 114 Main Street, Huntersville, N.C.  Stewart Gray has been preparing the Survey and Research Report, so that the designation of the property can move forward.  Staff has met with officials of the Town of Huntersville to discuss the project.


12)  Streetcar 85.  The Streetcar was moved on March 9th to the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, N.C.  The Commission will be responsible for securing a generator and a cart to power the Streetcar.  


13)  Atherton Cotton Mill House.  2005 Cleveland Ave., Charlotte, N.C.  The owner of the Atherton Cotton Mill House has contacted the Commission and wishes to reactivate the contract with the Historic Landmarks Commission.  The Commission has voted to make an offer on the house subject to approval of a text amendment to the zoning ordinance that will allow the front porch to be reconstructed.  A hearing on that subject will occur before the Charlotte City Council on March 21st.  This will be treated as an agenda item in the meeting.


Mr. Gray reported that Jill Walker played a major part in prompting the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Staff to propose the zoning text amendment to allow greater latitude for historic elements of historic landmarks.

14)  Staff has met with the County Assets and Facilities Management Department to finalize the operational budget for the HLC for the upcoming year.  The budget requires no additional funding, but the budget items have been adjusted to reflect more accurately the activities of the Commission.  A copy of the budget request has been distributed.  Please contact Staff if you have any questions. 
 
 
4.   Design Review Committee Report:  Mr. Ken Pursley
 
 Applications For Certificates of Appropriateness.

A.  Consideration of an Express Review Application for the Randolph Scott House, 1301 Dilworth Road, Charlotte, N.C.

Mr. Pursley reviewed the application.  Staff stated that the applicant is seeking approval for the renovation of an existing detached garage and the addition of a swimming pool.  Staff explained that the owners have received approval for the renovation of the existing garage but are seeking alterations to the approved plan.  Staff explained that because this is an express review application, the Design Review Committee has not reviewed the application.  Staff recommended that the Commission approve the plans as submitted with the exception of not allowing the addition of a new window on the original garage.

MR. SHURLEY PRESENTED A MOTION SECONDED BY MR. WRIGHT THAT THE HISTORIC LANDMARKS COMMISSION ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS FOR THE RANDOLPH SCOTT HOUSE, 1301 DILWORTH ROAD, CHARLOTTE, N.C., TO PERFORM THE MATERIAL ALTERATIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PLANS INCLUDED WITH CERTFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS APPLICATION 16-1O EXCEPT THAT THE ADDITION OF A NEW WINDOW IN THE ORIGINAL GARAGE NOT BE ALLOWED.  THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.
 
5.  Survey Committee Report:  Ms. Jill Walker

A.  Consideration of Survey & Research Report on the Walters's Barbershop, 112-114 S. Main St. Huntersville, N.C.

Staff reviewed the Survey and Research Report on the Walters's Barbershop, which constitutes the legal finding of fact demonstrating that the property meets the criteria of special signficance set forth in N.C.G.S. 160A-400.

MR. PURSLEY PRESENTED A MOTON SECONDED BY MR. SHURLEY THAT THE HISTORIC LANDMARKS COMMISSION RECOMMEND TO THE TOWN BOARD OF HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. THAT THE WALTERS'S BARBERSHOP (INCLUDING THE INTERIOR OF THE BUILDING, THE EXTERIOR OF THE BUILDING, AND THE ENTIRE TAX PARCEL), 112-114 SOUTH MAIN STREET, HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., BE DESIGNATED AS A HISTORIC LANDMARK.  THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.

B.  Consideration of Funding an Update of the Survey and Research Report on Midwood School, 1817 Central Avenue, in Charlotte, N.C.

Mr. Egleston explained that the owner of the property is the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.  The owner intends to offer the property for sale in the near future, a fact that might put the building in jeopardy.  A UNCC graduate student prepared a report on the property several years ago.  The issue before the Commission is whether it wishes to pay for the update of the report.  Staff explained that there was sufficient money in the HLC's operation budget to pay the fee.  Staff has contacted a consultant who will update the report for a fee of $1000.

MR. NORMAN PRESENTED A MOTON SECONDED BY MR. SHURLEY THAT THE HISTORIC LANDMARKS COMMISSION ALLOCATE UP TO $1000 TO FUND AN UPDATE OF THE SURVEY AND RESEARCH REPORT ON MIDWOOD SCHOOL, 1817 CENTRAL AVENUE, CHARLOTTE, N.C.  THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.

6.  Projects Committee Report -- Mr. Len Norman

A.  Consideration of an offer from prospective buyer of Torrence Lytle School, 302 Holbrooks Road, Huntersville, N.C.

Mr. Norman and Ms. Errington reviewed the contents of a Letter of Intent to purchase Torrence Lytle School.  The Commission discussed the issue at length and heard from a prospective buyer.  The Commission determined that it would concurrently negotiate with the prospective buyer and initiate the environmental cleanup of all buildings on the Torrence Lytle Campus and stabilize the original building (Building A).

MR. MILLER PRESENTED A MOTION SECONDED BY MR. SHURLEY THAT THE COMMISSION DIRECT THE PROJECTS COMMITTEE TO CONTINUE NEGOTIATIONS WITH A PROSPECTIVE BUYER OF  TORRENCE LYTLE SCHOOL, 302 HOLBROOKS ROAD, HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., AND REPORT THE RESULTS OF THOSE NEGOTIATIONS TO THE COMMISSION.  THE COMMISSON UANANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.

MR. ERDMAN PRESENTED A MOTION SECONDED BY MR. MILLER THAT THE COMMISSION PROCEED WITH THE ENVIRONMENTAL CLEANUP OF ALL BUILDINGS ON THE TORRENCE LYTLE SCHOOL CAMPUS, 302 HOLBROOKS ROAD, HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., AND WITH THE STABILIZATION OF THE ORIGINAL BUILDING (BUILDING A) ON THE TORRENCE LYTLE SCHOOL CAMPUS, 302 HOLBROOKS ROAD, HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTON.

Staff advised the Commission that the next two agenda items involved the prospective purchase of the real estate and must be considered in closed session.

MR. EGLESTON PRESENTED A MOTION SECONDED BY MR. WRIGHT THAT THE COMMISSION CONVENE IN CLOSED SESSION TO CONSIDER THE PROSPECTIVE PURCHASE OF REAL ESTATE. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.

MR. SHURLEY PRESENTED A MOTION SECONDED BY MR. WRIGHT THAT THE COMMISSION RECOVENE IN OPEN SESSION.  THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.

Special Note:  In closed session the Commission voted to submit an offer to purchase the Atherton Cotton Mill House, 2005 Cleveland Avenue, Charlotte, N.C., and to proceed with the prospective purchase of the Walters's Barbershop at 112-114 South Main Street, Huntersville, N.C.

7.  Treasurer's Report:  Mr. Joe Elliott
 
Mr. Elliott distributed the  monthly Treasurer's Report and explained its contents.  He also distributed the recommended Operational Budget for the Historic Landmark Commission for FY 17.
 
8    Old Business
 
There was no old business
 
9.  New Business

Mr. Egleston expressed concern that the Double Door Inn might be threatened by expansion of the Central Piedmont Community College Campus.  Dr. Morrill said he would contact CPCC officials.

Mr. Norman suggested that the Survey Committee consider what public buildings might be considered for historic landmark designation.
 

The Commission adjourned at 7:50 pm.