Five historic districts will go before committee
Monday, 12 November 2012 by Matthew Girard
With plenty of feedback and input from citizens and ballots in hand, the City of Belton is preparing to go before the Historic Preservation Commission with five proposed historic districts.
After holding public input meetings for each proposed district during the month of October, city staff will present the South Main, Lower West Belton, Downtown, Central Belton and North Central historic districts to the Historic Preservation Commission Nov. 5, the Planning and Zoning Commission on Nov. 20 and the City Council on Nov. 27. All meetings will be at 5:30 p.m. at the Harris Community Center.
With the adoption of the new Historic Preservation Ordinance by the Council in June, the previous defined districts were scratched to better define the districts in the city. Although the districts are not yet in place, a 180-day moratorium was placed on the demolition of any historic structures.
Two previously included districts, Leon Heights and Upper West Belton, were left off the new proposed list.
Planning Director Erin Newcomer said there were a number of factors that contributed to removing Leon Heights and Upper West Belton.
"Fewer than half of the resources in Leon Heights were potentially contributing and they were so dispersed throughout the area that it was impossible to draw a boundary," Newcomer said.
Prior to the informational meetings, the city sent out response cards to property owners so the city could gauge the willingness of participants to be included in a historic district.
If more than 50 percent of property owners are opposed, that district was not created.
Upper West Belton had 21 properties with 13 "No" votes, Lower West Belton had 41 properties with 6 "No" votes, South Main had 10 properties with two "No" votes, Downtown had 120 properties with 17 "No" votes, Central had 77 properties with 24 "No" votes and North Central had 194 properties with 44 "No" Votes.
In all there are 242 properties located within the proposed historic districts.
City staff is also preparing for the purchase of property located at 900 Harris St.
At last week's City Council meeting, the Council authorized City Manager to make the purchase as a part of the 9th Avenue extension.
"It's a piece of property that was needed to the 9th Avenue extension and street realignment," Listi said. "It's several blocks down from the proposed bridge, but it's needed to line everything up."
There is currently a residence on the property, but the City will look into relocated the house in the future.
"We've been under negotiations with the property owner since the spring of this year," Listi said. "It has a really small house on it, but we need the property for the land to realign the street."