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John Thompson

Elizabethton Bureau Chief
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Elizabethton Downtown Historic District may be on way to expanding

January 28th, 2014 9:13 am by John Thompson

Elizabethton Downtown Historic District may be on way to expanding

Historic Zoning Commission Chairwoman Sarah Baker wants to extend the district from Sycamore Street to Lynn Avenue.(Lee Talbert/Johnson City Press)

ELIZABEHTON — The Elizabethton Downtown Historic District could be expanding in the next few months.

Historic Zoning Commission Chairwoman Sarah Baker said only half of downtown Elizabethton is in its historic district. The district currently extends westward only to Sycamore Street, leaving out several blocks of downtown.

“I would like to make that sign that welcomes people to historic downtown Elizabethton accurate,” Baker said.

The group discussed possible boundary expansion during a meeting Monday.

“I would like to see it extended from Sycamore Street to Lynn Avenue,” Baker told Elizabethton Planning Director Jon Hartman.

Seeking more of the group’s guidance, Hartman had the members gather around a map of central Elizabethton. Baker provided more detail at that time, suggesting the expansion should include businesses on both sides of Elk Avenue and both sides of East E Street to Lynn Avenue. Among the buildings on E Street she was interested in including were the old Coca-Cola warehouse and the library.

The commission unanimously agreed with Baker’s proposal. There was also a suggestion of taking in a few tracts just ouside the proposed boundaries if the property owner wanted inclusion. Those included Felty-Roland Florist on F Street, and a few business north of E Street, including Tetrick’s Funeral Home, Elizabethton Newspapers and Mapes Piano String.

Baker said there were advantages for a business included in a historic zone, including tax credits.

Hartman said the next steps were to hold a workshop session on the proposal, with public input and a public hearing.

The commission also plans to invite the Elizabethton City Council to attend its February meeting.

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