Keysville looks to become historic district

Published 6:00 am Friday, January 29, 2021

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The Town of Keysville is taking steps to show visitors and residents it’s committed to embracing its historic roots.

At its January meeting, the Keysville Town Council voted to proceed in making portions of the town a historic district with funding from the Emergency Supplemental Historic Preservation Fund offered through FEMA.

The Keysville Historic District would be located in several parts of the town, including the Downtown District, Hill Avenue, Wilson Street Neighborhood, Church Street, and a large portion of King Street. The town and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) sought to find houses and buildings that contributed to the historic and architectural quality of Keysville.

According to Vice Mayor George Sandridge, the town staff is working with the DHR to mail information to individuals within district boundaries to advise them of the proposed district.

Sandridge said a virtual public hearing with Town Council and DHR staff would occur in February or March to allow for public input.

“Being listed as a historic district opens a locality to more tourism opportunities at the state and regional level,” Sandridge said. “It allows interested individuals to take advantage of historic tax credits, which offer up to a 40% tax credit simply by following generally accepted historic preservation practices while rehabbing a structure.”

Sandridge said contrary to popular belief, this type of historic district is entirely honorary and carries no restrictions on property owners.

The process of becoming a historic district takes 12 to 18 months.

Town officials are estimating the process will be complete by the spring of 2022.