Historic district efforts move forward

Published 11:01 am Thursday, June 24, 2021

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The Town of Keysville has moved forward with the next steps in making portions of the town a historic district. 

Starting this month, photographing, and documenting buildings in the town will be underway.

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 Policy Consultant George Sandridge, with the Town of Keysville, the historic resources survey aims to locate and identify historic properties within Keysville.

“This is for historic documentation and does not relate to any real property assessment,” Sandridge said.  The information collected will be used to nominate the Keysville Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register.”

Sandridge said the survey effort would take place from the Public Right of Way, and residents are under no obligation to allow access to their property.

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.

“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.

“Listing in these registers does not in any way change what owners can do with their property. It does not impose restrictions from federal, state or local levels of government,” Sandridge said. “Rather, it brings recognition to an area and makes federal and state tax benefits for building rehabilitation available to property owners who choose to use them.”

Keysville town officials will host a virtual public information session for citizens to learn more about the project Thursday, July 1, at 6 p.m.

The Keysville Town Office will also be open and broadcasting the session for attendees who wish to participate in person at that location.

Visit https://www.dhr.virginia.gov/boards/forthcoming-public-meetings/ to view the meeting.