The City Council approved the guidelines at its meeting Thursday. The new guidelines state that property owners wishing to make a “material change” to a property in the historic district, which spans from First to Third Street, including Norton, Broadway and Anniston avenues, must first obtain a “Certificate of Appropriateness” from the commission.
A material change is defined as one that will “affect either the exterior architectural or environmental features of a historic property.” Owners will acquire a certificate through the Code Enforcement Department.
“It’s a partnership,” Assistant Commission Chairman Linda Dickson said at a council work session Monday. “It is nothing dictatorial. It is individuals that want to hold on to that shared vision for Sylacauga being its very best.”
The rules are based on U.S. Department of the Interior regulations and comply with the State Historical Commission. Dickson said the commission felt it was necessary to set a standard for the city’s historic properties.
“It is our thought that the time is right that we have to be more intentional about what is happening in the district, because it is the charge to the commission to be the eyes and the ears,” she said.
Also at Thursday’s council meeting, the council denied consideration of a request from Hillary Henderson, owner of Creekside Apartments on Moates Road, for exemption from the city’s mandatory residential garbage services. Henderson said the city’s ordinance states the service is required “unless proof can be provided they have secured a disposal permit through the Health Department as provided by law.”
Henderson said he has obtained a permit and would save 400 percent using his own disposal service.
“The only problem is the city of Sylacauga has to sign off on it,” he said. “I guess I ask what the reason would be for denial. I really don’t see a problem with it.”
Council President Jim Heigl said they would consider it when the city’s contract with Veolia Environmental Services is up for renewal next year. When Henderson asked if his exemption would violate the current contract, Heigl said he did not think it would.
“All I want to do is go by the ordinance, and the ordinance states if I get the permit, then it’s OK,” Henderson said.
Councilman Ken Horn asked Henderson to come to the next council work session on July 16.
The council also authorized swapping two tracts of land off Willowood and Sherwood in District 2 for the U.S. Land and Water Conservation Fund-supported park site formerly known as Moon Park. The park has been closed for several years and the land must be transferred to retain the LWCF funding. Also authorized was the relocation of a metal awning from the East Highland School property to the Animal Rescue Foundation.
Willie Brown of I Can Achieve Ministries told the council that these two decisions take away from the black community.
“The only way blacks can have anything is we are going to have to stick together to have it,” Brown said. “We do need a park there on Moon Hill, and we’re in the process of trying to get East Highland for a different purpose. Robin Hood used to steal from the rich to give to the poor, but now here’s the rich stealing from the poor community. This is not fair, and we are not going to tolerate it anymore.”
In other business, the council:
• Approved additions to the city’s paving project. The city will repave West Fifth Street from Avondale Avenue to Smith Avenue and Hillbrook Drive and Circle for $2,000 and $56,000, respectively. The city will also do patchwork on Western Avenue and Bolton Avenue at West Fourth Street for $8,000.
• Set a public hearing Aug. 21 at 6 p.m. to consider a recommendation from the Planning Commission for zoning of a 53.84-acre property at 1950 Hill Road.
• Approved a resolution designating City Clerk Patricia Carden to perform municipal election duties.
• Authorized a contract with Monroe and Assoc. LLC for demolition and clearance design and inspection services for more than 50 properties for the Community Development Block Grant project.
• Accepted the 2011 annual audit as prepared by Machen, McChesney and Chastain, LLP.
• Authorized Armstrong to obtain recommendations and estimates relative to drainage improvements at Verlie Collins Community Venter.
• Appointed Marcus Gann and Jeffrey Pruitt to the Airport Board; John Reeves to the Tree Commission; and Dale Baker to the Utilities Board.
• Accepted a proposal from Bagby Elevator Company, Inc. for labor and materials to upgrade the City Hall elevator for a proposed cost of $25,815.
• Approved a request from Police Chief Chris Carden to authorize an agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police for the use of a firing range and training facilities at an annual cost of $25 each for 42 employees through June 30, 2017.
• Approved a request from Carden to reallocate $3,300 budgeted for police department salaries to be used to purchase new breast badges.
• Accepted a recommendation to declare one GE Ericsson Model two-way radio as surplus and dispose through public sale.
• Approved a $10,000 payment to Ray and Gilliland, PC for correcting legal descriptions of voting districts used for the redistricting ordinance.
• Approved a $10 refund to Kevin Nannie for overpayment of municipal fees.
• Approved expenses for Court Magistrates Amber Johns and Krissy King to attend the AMCCMA conference in Orange Beach on Sept. 20-22 for $300 each.
• Authorized payments totaling $49,422.42 for June.
Councilman Manuell Smith was absent from the meeting. The next council meeting is July 17 at 6 p.m.
Contact Emily Adams at email@example.com.