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Letter: Individual designation a boost for preservation

I was delighted to read that the Salisbury City Council voted to begin designating individual properties as historic landmarks. This process is long overdue.

Rowan County has been designating individual properties for about 20 years. The Rowan County Historic Landmark Commission works through the Rowan County Planning office. The commission’s website can be found under boards on the county web page. The following is a direct link: https://www.rowancountync.gov/1305/Historic-Landmarks-Commission-HLC.

The county commission evaluates historic properties that are not located in a municipality. The county does not charge a property owner for the designation process. As determined by the state, Rowan County Historic Landmarks receive a 50 percent tax credit.

As stated in the Salisbury news release, the application process does require research. Information on how to create an application for any local designation can be found on the North Carolina Historic Preservation website (http://www.hpo.ncdcr.gov/). Specific information about the application process can be found under the Local Historic Commissions icon (http://www.hpo.ncdcr.gov/commhome.htm). This information is also available on the Rowan County HLC web page.

After applications are accepted by a local commission, the application is sent to the state historic preservation office for review. It is, however, important to note that local applications are considerably less detailed than applications for the National Historic Register and can be completed by the property owner. The Rowan HLC works with the property owner to develop the application.

The City Council’s decision to recognize individual historic properties is a positive step towards local historic preservation. Now properties that do not lie within the city’s historic district overlays can be recognized as historically significant, and property owners will receive tax credits to offset some of the expenses that are associated with preserving historic property.

— Karen C Lilly-Bowyer

Lilly-Bowyer is chairman of the Rowan County Historic Landmark Commission.

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