HDC requests timeline on progress

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Debbi Ashley came to the Historic District Commission last Wednesday with a plan to complete foundation repairs at her house at 226 Spring St.

Commission Chairman Steve Holifield told Ashley, “We have a duty to work with you,” but he and other commissioners pointed out that she has been coming to the HDC since 2012. “That’s a really long period of time for that house to remain in that condition,” commissioner John Nuckolls said.

“No one wants it finished more than I do,” Ashley responded.

Commissioner Dee Bright said she did not object to the timeline for the current project, but asked what recourse the commission would have if Ashley once again fails to complete the project. City Historic Preservation Officer Glenna Booth said Ashley came to the HDC in response to a property maintenance complaint. If she does not comply, she can receive a citation. The city could hire a contractor and either place a lien on the property or add the bill to the property taxes.

Commissioners noted that Ashley’s application did not include handrails on the porches. She asked to delay putting a railing on the street level porch, because it would hinder further construction within the building. Commissioners suggested she make part of the railing removable, but approved her request with the provision that the plan include handrails on the front porch and upper deck, and that she provide a progress report in three months.