Middletown moves toward adding historic district

MIDDLETOWN – The Middletown Planning Commission met Monday to discuss the possibility of establishing boundaries for a historic district in Middletown.

According to Commissioner Mark Davis, who was named committee chair at the meeting, establishing a historic district protects the integrity and continuity of older neighborhoods to preserve their value and history.

“The purpose of this is to offer protection to historic and other similarly recognized buildings and various things in town that are considered desirable and that we don’t want to lose,” he said.

Davis said if a historic district is created, property owners would face regulations regarding the upkeep and destruction of their buildings.

While the districts add value to towns and streetscapes, Davis said some homeowners feel the added ordinances can cause undue levels of red tape for homeowners to cut through.

He added that especially in Middletown, residents may resist government interference with how they handle their building. He said when he served Town Council in the past, he tried passing ordinances to create a historic district and the idea was not well received.

“Our experience is that this town is not receptive to that type of control,” he said.

Town Councilor Jeff Pennington, who put a draft of the ordinance together prior to the meeting, sat in on the meeting. Following discussion, the commission agreed Davis and Pennington would meet to work out kinks in the ordinance before the commission discusses it further.

The commission is slated to review the amended ordinance and schedule it for a public hearing at its September meeting.

Contact staff writer Jake Zuckerman at 540-465-5137 ext. 152, or jzuckerman@nvdaily.com