By Ashley Rader
Sarah Baker wants to make what the signs already say “official.”
The Elizabethton Historic Zoning Commission is moving ahead with plans to expand the historic zoning district to include the downtown business district.
“The signs say ‘Welcome to Historic Downtown’,” said Baker, the commission’s chair. “I want to make that official.”
The commission has been discussing plans to expand the historic district for close to a year, with the main goal to include the entire downtown business district.
On Monday night, the commission unanimously approved expanding the historic district to include all of East Elk Avenue and East E Street from Sycamore Street to Lynn Avenue and the north side of East F Street from where it joins into East Elk Avenue to Roan Street.
Baker said she wanted to see all of the downtown included in the historic district. She said there are historic buildings such as the old Coca-Cola building on E Street and many on East Elk Avenue that should fall under the protection of the historic zone.
Also, part of the downtown business area is already in the historic district. East Elk Avenue from Sycamore Street to Highway 19E is currently included.
Baker said she would ask the owners of some businesses close to the new proposed boundaries whether they were interested in being included in the expansion. These include Felty-Roland Florist and Tetrick Funeral Home.
Commissioner Jeff Treadway asked about the procedure for making the expansion official.
Director of Planning and Development Jon Hartman said a public hearing would be called to allow residents time to speak.
Hartman encouraged the commission to have an open house or a workshop before the public hearing to give members more time to explain the expansion to any concerned property owners.
Baker agreed the extra session would be a good idea for the commission to consider.
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