Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission

Agenda – Projects Committee

October 8, 2019 – 8:00 a.m.

1.  Chair’s Report: Edwin Wilson

2.  Director’s Report: Dan Morrill

 a.  Former Wesley Heights United Methodist Church, 205 Grandin Road, Charlotte, N.C.

Former Wesley Heights Methodist Church

Map of Property

Approved Site Plan

This church was designed by Louis Asbury, Sr., and opened in December 1927. It is currently owned and occupied by a congregation that has placed the property for sale for $1.95 million. Leaders of the west side of Charlotte believe that this property is worthy of preservation. Staff and two Commissioners have visited the church, and it is an impressive building. The property includes the church building and one adjoining house. The property has conditional zoning, which assures the preservation of the building, but would place fifteen residential units on the property, including eight in the church. 

3.  Update On Projects

a.  Torrence Lytle School, 302 Holbrooks Road, Huntersville, N.C.

Proposal for Demolition

The prospective buyers of the Torrence Lytle School, originally known as the Huntersville Colored School, are no longer under contract, and the property is not currently listed for sale. The Historic Landmarks Commission has voted to demolish all buildings on the property except the original 1937 school building in preparation for offering the property for sale again. There is some feeling that it would be unwise to proceed with that arrangement because the most economically viable building for adaptive reuse is Building C – the Cafeteria Building.

Objective: To prepare the Torrence Lytle School for listing by a realtor familiar with north Mecklenburg in anticipation of the completion of the renovation of the Waymer Center by February 2020: 

1)  Demolish the ca.1950 wing buildings adjoining either end of the original school building;

2)  Secure the services of an architectural firm or other appropriate party to investigate development options for the property;

3)  If necessary, perform essential repairs to the Cafeteria Building in hopes that a buyer can make use of the building, which is in the best shape of all the buildings on the campus;

4)  Perform repairs on the original school building, including the auditorium, which are necessary to make it ready to offer for sale. 

b.  Wallace House Property, 9425 Robinson Church Road, Charlotte, N.C.

The closing on the Wallace House property will occur on Tuesday, October 8th. The current owners, William and Dixie Kelly, would like to remain in the house as tenants for at least three months to move personal property to their new home. There are many issues which must be addressed, such as: whether to connect to City water and sewer, whether to subdivide the property, and whether to approve a lease arrangement with the owners. Staff assumes that the Commission will want to list the property for sale in the near future.

Objective: To prepare the Wallace Property for listing by a realtor familiar with east Mecklenburg:

1)  Consider the establishment of a process for public input into future uses of the property;  

2)  Determine whether the property will be sold as a whole or subdivided into more than one parcel. If appropriate, a site planner should be hired to prepare a plan for the property; 

3)  Prepare and execute a lease with the Kellys to assure that the Wallace House and property remain secure. If necessary, a lease will be executed with subsequent lessees to achieve the same objective.

c.  Charles E. Barnhardt House, 3217 Maymont Place, Charlotte, N.C.

The closing on the Barnhardt House occurred on Thursday, September 19th. The Commission has received $678,520.83 from the sale. The money has been deposited in the revolving fund.

4.  Explanation of Policy for Processing Options to Purchase

1)  All Options to Purchase must be approved by the BOCC.

2)  Purchase price must be “reasonable” as determined by appraisal or realtor’s comps.  If latter is used, language must be included stating that price could be adjusted.

3)  HLC should seek to identify buyer to whom to assign the option.

4)  If the HLC decides to purchase the property, the HLC must return to the BOCC for approval after performing full due diligence.

5)  In instances when the HLC isn’t planning to purchase the property, it may choose to perform some elements of due diligence.  However, it would be based on HLC direction to the Consulting Director.

5.  The Committee will consider several matters in closed session pursuant to NCGS 143-318.11. 

6.  Old Business

7.  New Business


1.  Chair’s Report — Edwin Wilson

2.  Director’s Report — Dan Morrill

a.  Prospective Demolition of the Building at 331 East Boulevard, Charlotte.   

Staff Recommendation: The Projects Committee Recommend that the HLC seek to negotiate an exclusive, assignable option to purchase the property.

b.  Staff recommends that the Projects Committee initiate a program to secure preservation easements on existing historic landmarks and on properties that hereafter are processed for historic landmark designation. Staff also recommends that meetings be held with neighborhood associations of local historic districts to explain the benefits of historic preservation easements. 

c.  Staff recommends that the Projects Committee notify owners of historic landmarks of the benefits of entering into an Option to Purchase by the Historic Landmarks Commission when their property is offered for sale. Also, this information should be presented to the neighborhood associations of local historic districts. 

3.  Status of Current Projects.

a.  Torrence Lytle School.  Earnest money has been deposited in the HLC Account.  

b.  Former Mount Carmel Baptist Church.  Preservation strategies continued to be examined.

c.  Wallace House Property.  The Due Diligence Period has been extended until November to allow sufficient time to complete environmental studies of the property.  The HLC is still under contract to purchase the property.

d.  Ingleside.  The closing has occurred.  The settlement sheet contained an initial installment payment of $57,425,32.

e.  Charles E. Barnhardt House.  The closing on the Barnhardt House will occur in September.

4.  Consideration of New Projects.

a.  John Douglas House, 1760 Christie Lane, Charlotte.

Staff Recommendation: The Projects Committee Recommend that the HLC seek to negotiate an exclusive, assignable, renewable option to purchase the property.

b.  John Mayes House, 432 E. Morehead Street Charlotte.

Staff Recommendation: The Projects Committee Recommend that the HLC seek to negotiate an exclusive, assignable, renewable option to purchase the property.

c.  Frank R. McNinch House, 2401 Sharon Lane, Charlotte.

Staff Recommendation: The Projects Committee Recommend that the HLC support Preserve Mecklenburg’s seeking to negotiate an exclusive, assignable, renewable option to purchase the property.

5.  Old Business.

6.  New Business.



July 26, 2019 – 7:30 a.m. 

1.  Chair’s Report: Edwin Wilson

2.  Director’s Report: Dan Morrill

a.  Edgewood Farm.  Preserve Mecklenburg has played an important role in bringing the owner of the property and a prospective buyer together to enter into a contract to purchase Edgewood Farm, a 20-acre site which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  The prospective buyer is currently conducting due diligence.  

b.  Victor Shaw House Property.  Preserve Mecklenburg has obtained an exclusive, assignable option to purchase the Victor Shaw House Property.  Preserve Mecklenburg is working with a prospective assignee to secure a rezoning of the property.  A site plan will be submitted to the Historic Landmarks Commission for design review if the rezoning is approved.

3.  Update on Projects: Dan Morrill

a.  Former Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, 412 Campus Street, Charlotte, N.C.

The Charlotte Housing Authority on July 16th granted a 60 day continuance on the order of demolition which it has imposed on the Former Mt. Carmel Baptist Church. The principal reason for granting the continuance was the Board’s expectation that the Historic Landmarks Commission and Johnson C. Smith University, the property owner, would be able to agree on shared funding for bringing the church building into conformance with the building code. JCSU will present a proposal with specific requests for funding to the Committee. 

b.  Wallace House, 9425 Robinson Church Road, Charlotte, N.C.

The owners of the Wallace property have been asked to perform additional test sites on the property to determine the amount of dispersion of environmental contamination. The owners were scheduled to present a report and copy of the sealed opinion letter on July 22nd. The attorney for the owners has informed the Commission that the report will be delayed because of the inability to perform the field work within the time period which was established.  

c.  Former Standard Oil Company Service Station, 1010 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte, N.C.

The Historic Landmarks Commission is under contract to close on the property at the end of due diligence, which shall occur on October 10th. Sandy Carnegie, HLC attorney, reports that the survey of the property indicates that part of the building is on an adjoining parcel. Also, no phase two environmental or structural inspection has been made on the property to date. The Committee will have to consider whether it will recommend that the Commission continue to pursue prospective purchase. 

d.  Louise Cotton Mill House, 1104 Pamlico Street, Charlotte, N.C.

The Historic Landmarks Commission is under contract to purchase the Louise Cotton Mill House at the end of due diligence, which shall occur on September 10th. A structural inspection of the property reveals that a fire occurred in the attic at some point in the past and caused considerable damage. The owner has been advised of this fact and has agreed to reduce the price of the property by $10,000. The Committee will have to consider whether it will recommend that the Commission continue to pursue prospective purchase. 

e.  Torrence Lytle School, 302 Holbrooks Road, Huntersville, N.C.

The prospective buyers of the Torrence Lytle School are scheduled to complete due diligence on July 25th. At its meeting the Committee will consider the present status of the property in terms of sale. 

f.  Ingleside, 7225 Bud Henderson Road, Huntersville, N.C.

The Design Review Committee reached a consensus to accept plans for modification, which will be acted on by the HLC at the August 12th meeting. The prospective buyers are scheduled to close on the property soon after approval of their Certificate of Appropriateness. 

g.  Barnhardt House, 3217 Maymont Place, Charlotte, N.C.

The Historic Landmarks Commission is under contract to a prospective buyer of the Charles E. Barnhardt House at the end of due diligence, which shall occur in mid-September. Staff is aware that vandalism continues to occur at the house and has directed Peter Wasmer to establish or activate an alarm system. 

h.  Excelsior Club, 921 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte, N.C. 

Mr. Parsons, Mr. Hughes, and Dr. Morrill met with the prospective buyer of the Excelsior Club and expressed their interest and desire to be of assistance to the buyer. 

i.  Frank McNinch House, 2401 Sharon Lane, Charlotte, N.C.

The owner of the Frank McNinch House is offering the property for sale. The owner is not interested in placing preservation easements on the property and will allow the eventual buyer to determine whether the house will remain. The asking price for the property is $3,950,000. Preserve Mecklenburg has contacted the owner and is pursuing the possibility of an exclusive, assignable option to purchase. 

j.  Mayes House, 435 E. Morehead Street, Charlotte, N.C.

The owner of the Mayes House, a designated historic landmark, reports that prospective buyers want to demolish the house, buy an adjoining lot, and construct a new building. Dr. Morrill explained the legal consequences of historic landmark designation to the owner. Dr. Morrill anticipates that it is likely that an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness to demolish the house will be forthcoming. Preserve Mecklenburg is considering approaching the owner to obtain an option to purchase the property. 

4.  Old Business

5.  New Business   

a.  Wesley Heights Methodist Church.  Preserve Mecklenburg is considering seeking an option to purchase the Wesley Heights Methodist Church on Grandin Road.  It is for sale for $1.95 million.  Designed by Louis Asbury, Dr., the church opened in December 1927.  The church is in the Wesley Heights Historic District.  Consequently, the HLC could secure the fee simple of any lesser included interest in the property. 


May 6, 2019 – 6:00 p.m.

1.  Chair’s Report: Len Norman

2.  Director’s Report: Dan Morrill

a.  Discussion of Impact of Option to Purchase Process.  Leslie Johnson has described the governing process as it presently stands.

       1)  All Options to Purchase must be approved by BOCC.

2)  Purchase price must be “reasonable” as determined by appraisal or realtor’s comps.  If latter is used language must be included stating that price could be adjusted.

3) HLC should seek to identify buyer to whom to assign the option.

4)  If the HLC decides to purchase the property, the HLC must return to the BOCC for approval after performing full due diligence.

5)  In instances when the HLC isn’t planning to purchase the property, it may choose to perform some elements of due diligence.  However, it would be based on HLC direction to the Consulting Director.

3.  Update on Projects: Dan Morrill and Peter Wasmer

Click Here for April 2019 Project Budget

a.  Torrence Lytle School, 302 Holbrooks Road, Huntersville, N.C.

No Purchase Agreement from prospective buyer has been received.  HLC has approved demolishing all buildings except the original school building, stabilizing the original school building, and placing the property back on the market.  There has been some discussion of retaining Building D (Cafeteria Building).

b.  Ingleside, 7225 Bud Henderson Road, Huntersville, N.C.

Closing is scheduled for June 4th.

c.  Barnhardt House, 3217 Maymont Place, Charlotte, N.C.

Mold and asbestos remediation is to occur this week.  Peter is working with obtaining money from County insurance to repair storm damage to the house.  House will be painted when repairs are complete.

d.  Edgewood Farm, 11132 Eastfield Road, Charlotte, N.C.

Staff has been working with the owner to devise a preservation strategy.  Possible candidate for Option to Purchase.

e.  Former Standard Oil Company Service Station, 1010 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte, N.C.

Peter Wasmer has ordered an appraisal.  Once Board of County Commissioners approves funding, Peter will order a Phase 2 Environmental Assessment.  Earnest money has been deposited.

f.  James C. Dowd House and Former Charlotte Fire Station #10, 2216 Monument Avenue and 2136 Remount Road, Charlotte, N.C.

Sandy Carnegie is reviewing Memorandum of Agreement prepared by Mecklenburg County.

g.  Louise Cotton Mill House, 1104 Pamlico Street, Charlotte, N.C.

Appraisal has been sent to Peter Wasmer.  Earnest money has been deposited.  Due diligence shall commence once County funding is approved.

h.  Victor Shaw House, 2400 Mecklenburg Avenue, Charlotte, N.C.

Prospective buyer of rear lots has not yet secured financing.  Good candidate for Option to Purchase.

i.  McConnell House, 4009 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte, N.C

Preserve Mecklenburg has submitted an offer to purchase a lot to which the house can be moved.  Owner of lot has yet to respond to the offer.  Staff has asked Martin Marietta to make a contribution to the move equivalent to the expense of demolishing the house.

j.  Excelsior Club, 921 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte, N.C. 

No additional information has been provided to the HLC.

k.  Former Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, 412 Campus Street, Charlotte, N.C. 

Johnson C. Smith University is developing a stabilization plan for presentation to the city code enforcement committee in August.  The University has asked the HLC to meet with University officials to discuss proposal offered by the HLC.

4.  Discussion of Ranking of Projects

5.  Consideration of Amendment To The HLC Manual Of Practice.

IV. MEETINGS

G. Telephonic and electronic attendance at meetings.

(a) Committee meetings. Commission members may attend committee meetings by telephone or other electronic means when they are unable to attend in person and with permission of the Chair and Vice-Chair. Commissioners who plan to attend by electronic means should notify the Chair and Vice-Chair at least 48 hours in advance. Commissioners attending electronically are entitled to vote and fully participate in the business of the committee meeting.

(b) Commission meetings. Commissioners may attend regular and special meetings by telephone or other electronic means where: (i) permitted by the Chair and Vice-Chair; (ii) necessary to achieve a quorum; and (iii) attendance is precluded due to weather, civil unrest, emergency, etc. Commissioners may attend Commission meetings by telephone or other electronic means for emergency meetings.

Under 13. GUIDELINES FOR PROJECTS AND REAL ESTATE ACQUISITIONS

4.         It is recognized by the HLC that real estate represents a sometimes-volatile market and there is the necessity to make decisions quickly in order to preserve historic landmarks. After the HLC has voted to purchase or sell a historic landmark and to further the purpose of being able to react quickly, the HLC shall have the ability to appoint the Executive Committee to negotiate contract details for the purchase and sale of historic landmarks. Further, the Executive Committee in carrying out its function of negotiation as set forth herein may utilize telephonic or electronic communications as long as a record is made of such communication and made a part of the record and entered into the HLC minutes as soon as possible within a reasonable time after the negotiations are concluded, subject to §143-318.11(a)(5). The Executive Committee may only negotiate the terms of a contract within the parameters as set forth by the HLC.

6.  The Committee will consider several matters in closed session pursuant to NCGS 143-318.11. 

7.  Old Business

8.  New Business