Mandatory Historic District Not Approved in Princess Anne - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Mandatory Historic District Not Approved in Princess Anne

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PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- The Princess Anne Town Commissioners have decided not to vote on a measure that would establish a small, mandatory historic district that would be recognized by the state.

Many of the historic homes off Somerset Avenue are easy on the eye. Some have been kept up well over the years with very little change. It is the same case downtown, where buildings are dressed in archaic features.

Raymond Stokes of Princess Anne appreciates the historic look.

"I think it's nice, I like the way it looks around here," Stokes said.

The town was incorporated in the 1700s. In the 1980s, the Department of Interior conducted a survey, listing 300 properties within town limits on the National Historic Register

Town officials decided to forego a mandatory historic district because most of the town would be in it. That means home and business owners would have to be really careful about altering the way their house or building looks. Exterior improvements would have to look like the original. 

While town commissioners proposed a smaller, historic district in hopes of creating a mandatory one that would be recognized by the state, a motion to vote on the measure had no support.

Town officials said some people were not happy about some of the guidelines and felt upkeep would be expensive.

According to the ordinance, exterior changes would not be allowed until the person who wants to make them files an application with the town's Historic District Commission.  The code enforcement officer is then required to approve or reject the request. Failure to comply with the process before changes are made could result in a fine of up to $500, according to the ordinance.

Town commissioner will continue to discuss plans for a mandatory historic district. 

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