Only Dorrier fully supports preservation law

According to a questionnaire that Preservation Piedmont sent out to the seven candidates vying for three County Board of Supervisor seats, only one fully supports a proposed Historic Preservation Ordinance, which was requested almost seven years ago by the Supervisors as part of the County's Historic Preservation Plan, but has yet to be implemented.

Incumbent Lindsay Dorrier (D) was the only candidate to answer "yes" to all four questions regarding the Ordinance, which calls for stronger preservation codes, including fines for demolishing historic buildings without a permit, and would offer property owners incentives to preserve and record historic structures. Other candidates stressed the need for education, not enforcement. Two candidates did not respond.

To read the answers, click here.

The BOS adopted Albemarle's Historic Preservation Plan in 2000, after five years of planning, and even appointed a historic preservation committee and hired a planner to implement it.

"It seems like people don't want the historic preservation code," preservationist Jennifer Hallock, who also sits on the county preservation committee, told the Hook last year. "And members of the Board of Supervisors don't seem particularly pro-preservation."

Indeed, last summer the Supervisors approved the demolition of the Mount Calvary Church on Morgantown Road in Ivy, a revered structure built in 1890, because the congregation wanted more space and portrayed the structure as unsafe for elderly churchgoers. Preservation Piedmont made an effort to persuade the congregation to save the old church, to no avail.

Hallock said she believed the Preservation Plan had stalled in part because the county is so sharply divided between pro-preservationists and property rights advocates. Still, she didn't understand the resistance to documentation. "Make it an honorary thing," she suggested, "so we can at least document these places."

Preservation Piedmont's Brian Broadus says his group has always advocated the creation of a preservation ordinance, which he says has languished for too long.

"We've never done a survey like this one before," he says. "To my knowledge, no organization has."

Broadus said the group wanted to get the candidates on record regarding four important questions about how a historic preservation ordinance should be written.

Again, to see the questions and read the answers, click here.

2 comments

how ironic....he may be one of the most pro-development, least conservation and preservation minded candidates running...

Your headline is disingenuous and the first two questions do not really support a reasonable guideline for judging historical significance. I think those who did respond indicated they do support historical preservation and, having observed Mr. Dorrier make poor decisions on the BOS for years, the fact that he rendered an opinion without completely understanding the question doesn't surprise me.