List of historic New Windsor buildings delayed Local input is requested before decision is made

September 08, 1996|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

New Windsor will not be taking a place on the National Register of Historic Places. At least not yet.

Angered that Carroll County's historic preservation planner prepared an application without local input, the Town Council voted unanimously last week to defer approving the list of nominated buildings until residents can review it.

"We should have been consulted," Councilwoman Rebecca H. Harman told county and state preservationists during the council meeting Tuesday. "You did this on your own and then said, 'Here it is,' to the mayor and Town Council."

Without town approval of the list, a review will be delayed until February at the earliest, and possibly until June. The Maryland Historical Trust meets three times annually and forwards its recommendations to the National Park Service for a final decision. About 50,000 structures in the state are eligible.

The town authorized the county to conduct the study and prepare the trust petition in April 1995. Kenneth Short, county historic planner, began the required research of New Windsor buildings at least 50 years old and considered valuable to U.S. history. He found more than half of them eligible.

The nomination includes descriptions and photos of historic resources and a map locating sites for inclusion on the national listing of properties.

"The town is eligible because of its cohesive collection of historic structures," said Peter E. Kurtze, administrator of the Maryland Historic Trust, which had scheduled the application for an Oct. 1 review. "New Windsor reflects a town plan developed through the 18th and 19th centuries."

But no town official heard any more about the nomination until Tuesday, when it came before the Town Council.

"Our biggest complaint is that the town was not a player," said Mayor Jack A. Gullo Jr. "We know the history here. If you had come to us, we could have helped."

The mayor cited several significant omissions that could have financial repercussions for the property owners. Listed properties are eligible for state and federal tax credits for renovation.

"This is a good thing for the town, and we want to see it happen, but nobody in this room even saw a draft copy," Gullo said. "Some people here have lost something their neighbors have gained and have had no opportunity to make a case."

Although researchers conducted an exhaustive search, nothing prohibits another look, Kurtze said.

"In some neighborhoods, the list is all that it has taken for people to take pride and rehabilitate their homes," he said.

Town officials will schedule a public hearing this month with Short and Kurtze.

"We will work with you and take into account any information you bring to us," Kurtze said. "We may be able to re-evaluate based on your information, but we are constrained by the guidelines the national register gives us."

Pub Date: 9/08/96

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