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Director's Report

March 11, 2002

Action Items.

1.  Patricia Nystrom will be sending me a list of items the Commission must act on in anticipation of its closing on the Grier House.  These involve the Commission's acceptance of the fact that Portrait Homes will not be obligated to begin construction on the townhomes until three years after closing and that the Commission will agree to terminate entrance rights along the existing driveway to the house when the new entrance road is constructed.

Information Items.

1.  At its January meeting, the Commission voted to seek County Commission approval for a special allocation of Land Bond money to its Revolving Fund so that the Commission could purchase the Southern Public Utilities Streetcar Barn at Bland Sts. and South Boulevard.  At that time Charlotte Trolley had not committed to writing its financial commitment to this undertaking.  That commitment has now been made.  Click here to read Charlotte Trolley's Letter. Charlotte Trolley will continue to seek funds to allow it to purchase the building, but at this point it can commit only to paying $3000 monthly rent if the Commission buys the property.  This is an important issue, since the Commission has agreed to repay the County from Revolving Fund money if no other source of repayment to the County is identified.  The essential issue before the Commission is whether you wish to continue with the action you have already approved.  If so, staff will direct Patricia Nystrom to begin contract negotiations with Pappas Properties.  Hopefully, the contract will be brought to the HLC for its action at its May meeting.  Staff will also convene a meeting with County, City, HLC, Pappas Properties, and Charlotte Trolley representatives to determine how each party might participate in making this project happen.

2.  Please be advised that the Commission will hold a joint public hearing with the Charlotte City Council on March 18th to consider historic landmark designation for the East Avenue Tabernacle A.R.P. Church and the Grinnell Fire Extinguisher Company Complex.  I anticipate that you will be safe if you arrive at 7 p.m.

3.  I have had extensive conversations during the past month with the County Budget Department.  I had to identify a $700 cut in this year's budget.  The money was taken from printing.  The Budget Department will not recommend any betterments in the HLC's budget for next year.  The budget might well be cut, primarily in printing and in Professional Fees.

4.  A public meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on March 19th at the W. T. Alexander Plantation as part of the rezoning process.  Adjoining property owners and neighborhood organizations have been invited to attend.

5.  All impediments to the County's transferring the Palmer Fire School to the Commission have been removed.  The Commission will be acquiring the property and seeking proposals from developers.

6.  Meetings have occurred with CATS during the past month to discuss the Environmental Review process for the South Corridor Light Rail Line.

7.  Special thanks to the County Parks and Recreation Department for replacing the roof on the Davidson on-room schoolhouse at Rural Hill.

8.  The County will be planting a flowerbed around the sign in the front yard of the Ratcliffe-Otterbourg House.  I am interested in exploring placing a flagpole in the front yard.  I will discuss this possibility with the Design Review Committee.

9.  Discussions continue with officials concerning the designation of the Charlotte Coliseum (Former) and Ovens Auditorium as historic landmarks.  The Coliseum Authority will support designation of the exteriors of both buildings once renovations have been completed -- the Fall of 2003.  The Authority will also consult with the HLC before any changes are made to the exteriors of the buildings.

10.  Staff did visit with the Vestry of St. Mark's Episcopal Church to discuss the prospect of historic landmark designation for Rectory.  The Vestry wishes designation to be delayed until a master plan is completed for the property.  I anticipate that they will ask me to participate in the planning process.

 

Respectfully submitted.

 

Dan L. Morrill