Historic commission advances N. Main Street credit union plans

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 15, 2019

SALISBURY — The city’s Historic Preservation Commission approved the site plan for Sharonview Federal Credit Union at 403 N. Main St. on Thursday, but with requirements that applicants Amy Quarrick and Nancy Everhart return before the commission to address parking lot screening.

The commission is requiring a brick wall or greenery to block the view of parked cars from the street in the historic district.

Taylor Ellerbee, who lives on Park Avenue, said during the public hearing that she would prefer to see a business that would promote foot traffic at night as opposed to a credit union that has daytime hours only. She frequently walks down Kerr Street and had concerns about screening not only for drivers but for pedestrians and having proper lighting on the sidewalks.

Ellerbee also recommended that the credit union have a walk-up ATM to make the location more pedestrian-friendly.

Commission member Sue McHugh said she was concerned about the lack of plans for parking lot screening, especially after approving a previous case that resulted in a parking lot with no lighting or screening.

Catherine Clifton, the city staff liaison, said some of the commission members’ concerns would be addressed when the applicants go before the Planning Board for rezoning. McHugh said she didn’t want to belittle another commission member, but she would also like to see the parking lot screening addressed at a future Historic Preservation Commission meeting.

The commission also asked the applicants about the possibility of having a walk-up ATM.

Everhart said Sharonview had considered it but because a walk-up machine at a nearby branch is not used much and the ATM would be on Main Street, planners decided to forgo having a walk-up ATM. She added having an ATM behind the building is not recommended because of security concerns.

The commission, along with the City Council, previously approved demolishing the building currently at the site.

The site plan for the credit union is a one-story 4,970-square-foot branch with two drive-up lanes.

The commission also approved a new roof for owner Ligon Lee Gillespie at 321 N. Church St., despite the proposed new roof not meeting guidelines.

The Church Street building was formerly a blacksmith shop and was built in 1963.

The commission members argued the building’s roof was not historic and Gillespie should be able to replace the tar-and-gravel roof with a pitched-gable roof supported by a truss system. Gillespie said he has been patching the roof for years and a gable roof would last for 40 years while a replacement for the tar-and-gravel roof would last 10 years.

Chairman Andrew Walker said the guidelines are to guide the commission but members could ultimately decide whether the roof is historic. Member Steve Cobb said although it was in the 50-year guideline, it is not contributing or historic.

Acey Worthy asked the owner if there is any historical significance to the tar-and-gravel roof. Gillespie said there is none. When he bought the property, it was before the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and jail were built, and they have non-pitched roofs.

Gillespie said he is considering a roof color similar to others in the historic district.

In other business:

• Discussion of additional lighting fixtures at the Bell Tower as part of the Bell Tower Green project was postponed.

• Darian Wagoner, the owner of 1325 N. Main St., received approved to replace his building’s terrazzo stone panels with a square brick pattern after a December winter storm caused damage to the building and he was unable to locate replacement terrazzo panels.