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Salisbury Historic Preservation Commission approves planter

By Mark Wineka
mwineka@salisburypost.com
A new granite planter with flagpoles on both sides has been approved for installation in front of Salisbury City Hall.
The Salisbury Historic Preservation Commission approved a certificate of appropriateness for the planter Thursday. The flagpoles will be 20 to 30 feet high, Urban Design Planner Lynn Raker said.
The new sidewalk planter will be used to better display the “Salisbury Sister Cities” bronze marker, which is part of the History and Art Trail. At present, the marker is imbedded in the sidewalk in front of City Hall, located at 217 S. Main St.
The planter will be 8 feet by 6 feet-10 inches in size and a foot high off the sidewalk.
Raker said the city’s first preference for the flagpoles was to have them attached to the front of City Hall. But there were concerns the limestone wall would not support the weight of the poles, Raker said.
If the city determines it can place the flagpoles on the building, it will return to the commission for that approval, Raker said.
During a public comment period Thursday, Clyde Overcash opposed the new planter and flagpoles.
As HPC members, he told the group, they should think about the appropriateness of the sidewalk additions.
Overcash said 30-foot-high chrome flagpoles historically are not seen in the middle of downtown sidewalks.
Neither are 48-square-foot planters, he said.
The granite planter also doesn’t match the iron lights, ceramic pots or limestone building, Overcash said. Overall, the city’s request is not appropriate, he concluded.
Raker countered later that the sidewalk in front of City Hall is at least 17 feet wide and that the planter would not be “a huge visual or physical barrier.”
There will be at least 8 feet of clearance for pedestrians from the back of the new planter to the doors of City Hall, Raker said. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires 4 feet of clearance, Raker said.
Commission member Jack Errante expressed concern about whether the planter and poles will allow enough clearance for cars parking in front of City Hall to open their passenger side doors. Raker said there was enough room.
The commission voted 5-0 for the certificate of appropriateness.
The commission also unanimously approved a sun mosaic panel to be installed on a side wall at 116 E. Council St.
Artist Robert Crum said his mosaic weighs about 50 pounds and is 36 inches high and 30 inches wide. From the street, it will be on the left side about 10 feet up.
It is made of Byzantine glass, and its wood frame will be bolted into anchors set in the mortar joints of the brick.
Crum estimated that it would protrude toward the alley about 2 inches.

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