New homes coming to Water Street area

Published 2:24 pm Thursday, August 4, 2016

Washington’s Water Street — a linear collection of restored historic homes and some neglected, empty residences — could see new residential structures in its future.

In recent months, the commission has dealt with new construction projects and repair/renovation projects in the Market Street-South Academy Street area. City planning officials take that as an encouraging sign for future activity in that area, possibly elsewhere in the historic district.

“I hope so. I hope to see all growth happening in the historic district. We have empty lots. If we can build homes that will at least in 50 years become contributing structures to the historic district, why not?” said Emily Rebert, the city’s community development planner, after the meeting when asked if the recent activity in the Water Street-South Academy Street area could become an increasing trend.

John Rodman, the city’s community and cultural resources director, said he believes the increase in construction of single-family homes at Moss Landing is a catalyst for new home construction and renovations to existing homes in the Water Street-South Academy Street area, which abuts the western end of Moss Landing. Rodman said he knows of at least one person who bought a lot in that area because of the single-family homes being built at Moss Landing.

During its meeting Tuesday, the city’s Historic Preservation Commission approved two requests — one by A.L. “Al” Crisp and the other by Franklin D. Johnson Jr. — to build new residences on the street. Crisp plans to build a new two-story family dwelling at 416 Water St. Johnson plans to build a new one-and-a-half story residential structure at 406 Water St.

Commission members Ed Hodges, Mary Pat Musselman, Geraldine B. McKinley, Mark Everett and Cheri Vaughan voted to issue the certificates of appropriateness for the two projects, with members Judi Hickson and William Keener voting in the negative.

Last month, John Rodman, the city’s director of community and cultural resources, told the commission that Crisp, who owns a house and nearby lots on Water Street, plans take five lots and reconfigure them into three lots and build a new house on one of the three new lots and sell the other lots. Crisp plans to demolish the house at 412 Water St. as part of his overall plan.

Crisp modified the design of the house he plans to build at 416 Water St. so it won’t look the same as nearby houses in the Moss Landing Harbor Homes. “I want to do something different to make my house look a little bit different,” Crisp told the commission.

In another matter, the commission approved a request by Bill Litchfield to replace rotting wood siding on the house at 404 Water St. with HardiePlank siding, the beaded cedar mill style.


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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