Historic district’s bounds studied

Published 10:16 pm Thursday, February 10, 2011

The home at 316 Pinner St. was the main impetus for a review of the city’s historic overlay district. The Historic Landmarks Commission halted the homeowner’s installation of vinyl siding.

Members of Suffolk’s Historic Landmarks Commission discussed recommendations to delete some areas of greater downtown from the historic overlay district during their meeting Thursday.

Cindy Taylor, assistant director of planning, characterized the reaction to the recommendation as “mixed.”

“There were some portions of it they felt needed to stay in, and maybe some that could come out,” Taylor said. “We just got some general comments. We haven’t gotten a defined recommendation from them yet.”

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City Council suggested removing some areas from the historic district when a Pinner Street homeowner appealed to City Council after the landmarks commission denied his request to install vinyl siding on his home. Vinyl has been an area of contention, because the historic landmarks commission has not allowed it to be used within the historic district.

The areas of Katherine Street, Mahan Street, Hill Street, parts of Pinner Street, parts of Finney Avenue, Jackson Street, North Street, Chestnut Street, Pine Street and Gittings Street have been suggested for removal from the district.

Commissioner Stewart Tyler wants to keep Pinner Street in the district, because historically, it was the main entrance to the city. Another commissioner said both sides of South Broad Street should remain in the district.

The suggested areas are considered “transitional” in terms of their historical significance.

City Council will consider the Pinner Street homeowner’s appeal at its Feb. 16 meeting. By law, members must act on the request at that meeting. However, any decision they make would be moot if the house, located at 316 Pinner St., were deleted from the district.