Updated 6:56 a.m., Oct. 12, 2012
An Old Town Suwanee property owner who also serves on the Suwanee City Council is offering to meet with some Main Street property owners about their desire to be excluded from a proposed national Historic District.
Beth Hilscher, who is vice chairman of the city agency that is pushing for Historic District status, has begun contacting the property owners who signed a petition requesting exclusion. Hilscher's letter is dated Oct. 5 and uses her business stationery.
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The petition was presented to City Council at the September meeting. It was signed by seven property owners on Main Street and presented by Linda Fleming, a Main Street property owner who called the meeting at her home that led to the petition. The petition also was forwarded to state officials who would make a determination on Historic District status.
In her letter, Hilscher says she is writing not as a council member, "but rather as a Main Street neighbor. ... (I) have had my office on Main Street since 2006."
Hilscher's letter said, "I wanted to offer to meet with you personally and discuss ... any concerns you might have."
Also, the letter says, "I have inquired with Ms. Fleming as to the basis of her opposition, but to date, she has not been willing to share her concerns with me."
A key factor in establishing a national Historic District in Old Town Suwanee is the lease-purchase deal for Pierce's Corner, which is located on Main Street near the red caboose. Norcross attorney Michael Deming Sr. has said the tax credits from a Historic District are essential to completing the deal.
Along with the petition, Fleming and the group presented a mission statement saying it is "not the intent ... at this juncture in the process to preclude a National Register District within other areas of the city."
Fleming and the peitioners all live north of Stonecypher Road on Main Street. Pierce's Corner is south of Stonecypher.
Also, Fleming said her meeting was just for property owners who live north of Stonecypher. Hilscher's office is located south of Stonecypher.
Asked Thursday (Oct. 11) if she felt like the petitioners were getting accurate information from Fleming, Hilscher said, "I don't know.
"I want to find out what their concerns are. I might have the same concerns too," Hilscher added.
Suwanee offiiclals still have not formally applied for Historic District status, but plan to do so soon.
- Pierce's Corner Deal Tied to Historic Register Status
- Suwanee Gets 'Thumbs Up' To Pursue Historic District