DAVIDSON – On a list of issues it hopes the state legislature prioritizes, town officials are zeroing in on historic property and tree preservation efforts while seeking exemptions to state statutes limiting local control over development.

At their Nov. 27 session, town commissioners unanimously adopted a revised 2019 State Legislative Agenda and agreed to ask the town’s new voices in the North Carolina General Assembly – Davidson resident and N.C. District 41 Senator-Elect Natasha Marcus and N.C. District 98 Representative-Elect Christy Clark – to introduce and pursue the issues in the legislature’s long session that begins in January.

The town’s nine-item list includes a request to expand the town’s ability to delay demolition of historic structures or structures within designated historic districts. There are also requests to give the town more authority to regulate the removal of “heritage trees” on residential lots and to exempt property within the town’s National Historic District from N.C. General Statute provisions that allow a property owner to create three lots on a 2-acre or smaller parcel without local government supervision.

The town is also asking for modifications to Senate Bill 25, which limits municipal government control over design and aesthetics matters, to allow for better regulation of structures specifically along the N.C. 115 corridor between Davidson and Huntersville.

These requests are all tied to Davidson town board ongoing discussions about ways to protect historic structures and preserve the character of many older town neighborhoods.

Davidson’s legislative agenda also seeks state funding for a north Mecklenburg-based magistrate – a cause equally endorsed by Cornelius and Huntersville officials – and state financial backing for pedestrian safety enhancements in town.

Grant for lake amenities

Also at the Nov. 27 session, commissioners acknowledged the acceptance of a $148,100 grant to be used for shoreline amenity additions at the Lake Davidson Nature Preserve off Jetton Street. The town received the grant from Duke Energy through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner. The money will be used to build a fishing pier and kayak launch facility at the nature preserve, on the north side of town on the east side of Interstate 77.

During the meeting, the board also okayed preliminary paperwork for a $2.55 million, 20-year loan from Sterling National Bank to finance the acquisition of buildings and acreage at 251 South St. Commissioners then approved financial adjustments to earmark $17,500 in the current fiscal year budget, which ends June 30, 2019, to pay for basic maintenance and upkeep at the South Street site, which the town will purchase at a closing scheduled Dec. 13.

The board also adopted a resolution honoring the late Nannie Potts, who died in November. Potts was born on a farm in Davidson and was a resident of Cornelius. The resolution states that Pott served on the Cornelius town board, was the first female mayor of Cornelius and throughout her life, “faithfully served all of north Mecklenburg.” Davidson Mayor Rusty Knox added that Potts was the first member of Davidson Presbyterian Church.

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