New Castle News

Local News

March 22, 2012

City may elimiate historical review board

NEW CASTLE — New Castle’s Historical Architectural Review Board would be eliminated under proposed revisions to the city’s zoning ordinance.

City solicitor Jason Medure has presented a draft to council with the proposed language changes in the ordinance and deletes the section that establishes the board.

In comments made to council at its work session Tuesday, Medure said the board has done “more harm than good to the city.”

Residents, he said, don’t need to be “harassed” when making improvements to their homes.

Wednesday, Medure elaborated, “There have been several complaints by North Hill residents relating to people acting under the guise of the (board) where they have no authority.”

The zoning ordinance, adopted in 2009, establishes the boundaries of the historic district, which essentially covers much of the North Hill and extends into a portion of the downtown.

It also sets standards for making renovations and improvements to houses in the district.

If the city zoning officer denies a permit for improvement in the district, the property owner can appeal. Under the current ordinance, the board, in its advisory capacity, would consider appeals then present a recommendation to council. Council would have the final say.

Under Medure’s proposal, any appeal would be submitted to council, which would conduct a public hearing.

He said the board’s purpose to hear appeals “was never activated because there’s never been an appeal.”

Medure said any private citizen concerned about maintaining the integrity of the district can notify the zoning officer of any violation.

He also proposes language changes from “will” and “shall” to “encouraged.”

For example, the current ordinance states that a structure “will be preserved, repaired, renovated or expanded” in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s standards for rehabilitation. The amendment would change “will” to “are encouraged to be preserved, ...”

Asked whether the language changes weaken the ordinance, he said, “I just think it’s providing clarification.”

He added that as long as residents abide by Department of Interior guidelines, they can then take advantage of a tax deduction. The department just requires homeowners to follow the guidelines to get the benefit.

“Not all homes on the North Hill have historic value or historic significance.”

Audrey Przybylski, the board’s chairwoman, read part of a statement at the work session, but was not able to complete it because of a three–minute limit on public comments.

In the statement, she said “the real issue is getting the public educated about the ordinance.”

In other cities, permits are reviewed by the historic review board, she said, and suggested New Castle do the same. It would make it “easier and more civil in working with the public.”

She said Wednesay board members would meet to discuss the proposed ordinance changes.

Medure said the amendment would first be reviewed by the city and Lawrence County planning commissions before council introduces the ordinance. Council would conduct a public hearing before voting on adoption.

(Email: jmanna@ncnewsonline.com)

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Kara_Petro.jpg Westminster names alumni director

    Westminster College has named Kara Petro as its director of alumni relations.

     

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • LATCOM_Unspoken.jpg County fair concert to benefit LATCOM

    The Christian band Unspoken will perform a benefit concert for LATCOM at this month’s Lawrence County Fair. The event will take place at 7 p.m. Aug. 13 in the fairgrounds grandstands.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • FallenWarriorRide.jpg Fallen Warrior Ride to preface soldier tribute

    Area motorcyclists will be heading out once again this month to pay tribute to the nation’s soldiers and veterans. The second annual Fallen Warrior Ride is scheduled to leave Cascade Park at 6 p.m. Aug. 15 for a one-hour, circuitous route to Laurel High School. Once there, riders — led by the Patriot Honor Guard of Western Pennsylvania — will parade into the Lawrence County Fairgrounds, where they’ll join a Salute to the American Soldiers: For God and Country, a crusade by Vision Ministries of Lawrence County.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • LOVEkitchen.jpg Love Kitchen: Little Caesars provides special delivery for Rescue Mission

    The Little Caesars Love Kitchen rolled into the City Rescue Mission for a special delivery Wednesday. A pizza kitchen on wheels, the big rig travels across the United States and Canada to meet the needs of the hungry, the homeless and disaster survivors.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • fairphoto.jpg County fair looks for a few good bakers

    The countdown to the 2014 Lawrence County Fair has begun. In less than two weeks, the fairgrounds will be brimming with animals, vegetables, fruit, flowers, music, food and fun. This year’s fair runs from Aug. 11 to 16.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • CarolineOrrico.jpg Local teen off to state DYW event

    Lawrence County’s 2015 Distinguished Young Woman is heading back into scholarship competition.

     

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • NicholsonOffice.jpg County to buy new office for Nicholson

    Before the end of the year, the Lawrence County commissioners plan to move District Judge Jennifer Nicholson into new offices.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • PortersvilleSS.jpg Portersville Steam Show summer event arrives

    The Portersville Steam Show will stage its summer event Thursday through Sunday at its show grounds.

     

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Veteran.jpg Veterans seminar to view technology

    A veterans benefits seminar has been set for Friday. The program will run from 2 to 4 p.m. in the commissioners room of the Lawrence County courthouse.

     
     

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Part-time guard position created

    The Lawrence County Salary Board created a part-time temporary court guard position Tuesday.

     

    July 30, 2014