The Ghent Neighborhood League recently learned of plans to amend the Norfolk ordinance for Ghent’s historic areas as a way to facilitate the replacement of certain structures within the area of the Hague, Princess Anne Road and Hampton Boulevard with infill development.
The amendment plans were presented by architect Barry Moss at the league’s July meeting. Moss’s client owns a property at the corner of Redgate and Hampton Boulevard and wants to convert it from a medical office to a condominium building.
League president BarBara Murphy, who meanwhile obtained a copy of the proposed amendment to Section 9.-14 of the Ghent historic district ordinance (see below) from a concerned Ghent resident, is in the process of scheduling a public meeting during which the proposed amendment is to be discussed with residents and city planners.
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At the July meeting, o ne resident questioned the need for the proposed amendment since “grandfathered” commercial structures in Ghent’s historic districts automatically revert back to residential zoning if they have not been used for commercial purposes for two years.
n addition, Murphy asked city planner Anne Guthrie that the league be informed of and included in all Ghent-related planning issues from their inception.
Amendment-Ghent Historic and Cultural Conservation Districts-HC-G1 & HC-G2
It is proposed to amend Sections 9.14 Special Exception Uses permitted in the HC-G1, HC-G2 and HC-G3 district to require a special exception to permit the replacement of existing structures that are not historically or culturally significant to the character of the Ghent neighborhood and to develop standards therefor. There are several properties located throughout the neighborhood that were constructed before the neighborhood acquired status as a historic district but certainly in recent times. While most of the neighborhood dates back to the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, these few structures were generally constructed from the 1950s to the 1970s and in most cases, they are currently used as nonconforming commercial businesses.
The intent of these regulations is to provide an orderly method for those structures to be replaced with new buildings that are more compatible with the existing architecture of the other residences in Ghent.
Motion: The motion is to hold a public hearing to consider amendments to the Ghent Historic districts to facilitate infill development replacing noncontributing structures.