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Blackwell Historic District consideration delayed until Oct.

Jeremy Lazarus | 9/6/2018, 6 a.m.
A state agency is hitting the pause button on a decision to create a new historic district covering much of ...

A state agency is hitting the pause button on a decision to create a new historic district covering much of the Blackwell neighborhood in South Side.

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Julie Langan

Julie Langan, director of the state Department of Historic Resources, announced that the Blackwell district would be considered at a special meeting of the two boards that must approve the proposal, the state Board of Historic Resources and the State Review Board.

The meeting is to be held 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, at New Life Deliverance Tabernacle, 900 Decatur St. in Blackwell.

Ms. Langan stated that two recent developments forced the agency to postpone the presentation that had been scheduled for the two boards’ joint meeting on Thursday, Sept. 20, in Petersburg.

One reason is a snafu involving the legally required issuance of letters notifying property owners of the upcoming meeting. She stated the agency discovered that a third-party company the state Department of Historic Resources had paid did not send out many of the letters.

In addition, she stated that the National Park Service also has requested that DHR create a separate district for Blackwell rather than attaching it to the existing Manchester historical district. Ms. Langan stated the agency is complying with the unexpected request from the federal agency that oversees the National Register of Historic Places.

“We hate to postpone the presentation,” Ms. Langan stated, “but the upside is that the presentation will be in Blackwell.”

This is the second postponement for consideration of the proposed district, which originally was scheduled to be considered in June. Ms. Langan put it off until September after Blackwell residents complained of not having enough information and the agency held an unprecedented series of community sessions to explain the proposal that private developers are spearheading.

Ms. Langan has said that proposals for historic districts generally can be derailed only if a majority of property owners send in notarized letters of objection. So far, only one Blackwell property owner has provided an objection.