Justification

The need for a private, non-profit preservation agency that focuses upon the acquisition of the fee simple or any lesser included interest in historic properties and sites in the built environment of Charlotte-Mecklenburg is critical.

There are existing historic preservation agencies in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

1.  The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission was founded in 1973.  It has been a robust and capable instrument of historic preservation.  The Landmarks Commission is an agency of local government and derives its powers from State Enabling Legislation.  There are 337 locally-designated historic landmarks in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, far more than in any other county in North Carolina.  The Commission has a multi-million dollar revolving fund.  It has purchased and secured the preservation of over 40 historic properties in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. 

The Historic Landmarks Commission can only legally acquire the fee simple or any lesser included interest in locally-designated historic landmarks or in contributing buildings in local historic districts.  This means that the vast majority of endangered properties in Charlotte-Mecklenburg are beyond the reach of the Historic Landmarks Commission.

As a public agency, the Historic Landmarks Commission must statsfy stringent requirements of due process.   This requirement frequently increase the cost, the pace, and sometimes even the viability of beneficial initiatives.

Clearly, a private non-profit agency would be far more nimble and could do so much more with less money.

2.  The Charlotte Historic Districts Commission recommends the designation of local historic districts and performs design review over intended material alterations to properties located therein.  The Town of Davidson also has a local historic district.  Both the Charlotte Historic Districts Commission and the Davidson Historic District Commission are agencies of local government and derive their powers from State Enabling Legislation. 

These agencies can only purchase the fee simple or any lesser included interest in properties in local historic districts. Also, both must satisfy the stringent regulations required for the expenditure of public money.  Finally, neither has funds to purchase properties.

The Charlotte Historic Districts include:  Dilworth, Hermitage Court, Plaza-Midwood, Fourth Ward, Wilmore, and Wesley Heights.  The Davidson Historic District includes the downtown commercial area.

3.  Historic Charlotte is a private, non-profit historic preservation agency in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.  It is affiliated with the Charlotte Museum of History.  It is currently working to relocate the Siloam Rosenwald School to the site of the Charlotte Museum of History.  It also plans to become an advocate for historic preservation.  It has no immediate plans to purchase and sell historic properties.  

4.  The Mecklenburg Historical Association was established in the 1950s and was largely responsbible for the founding of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission.   The purchase and sale of historic properties is not part of its agenda.

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We Preserve Mecklenburg County would:

Focus exclusively upon the acquistion of the fee simple or any lesser included interest in historic properties and the disposition of same by sale, lease, or other means consistent with the purposes of historic preservation.

Not operate historic sites or historic museums.

Not make advocacy a major part of its activities.

Make its principal activity the securement of exlusive, assignable, renewable options to purchase historic properties with the purpose of placing preservation deed covenants on properties when the options to purchase are assigned.










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