Letters to the Editor

Limited housing plan offers great potential

Your Dec. 28 editorial, "Curing neighborhood blight won't be simple or easy," is clearly a worthy subject. However, you started off with an erroneous premise -- that it is the intent of the Redevelopment Commission in Beaufort to use public money to help homeowners in the Northwest Quadrant repair dilapidated houses.

The focus is on the 15 vacant and abandoned (and crumbling) houses in the Historic Landmark District. Some are hopeless. Some have owners who have unrealistic dreams about property value. Others are saddled with complicated title issues.

The Redevelopment Commission researched each building -- with assistance from the city Planning Department and the Historic Beaufort Foundation -- and identified an owner willing to sell the property at a reasonable price (to seller and to buyer), so long as the dwelling would be respectfully refurbished and eventually sold, with a historic easement.

This is a pilot effort. Hopefully, it will encourage those around it to spruce up their homes. Hopefully, it will get others thinking about possibilities.

This is not a let's go fix up the dilapidated homes in the area project. As you suggest, that would be very complex and an inappropriate use of public money.

I have had the privilege of watching and providing modest support as Mike McNally, the lead Redevelopment Commission member on this project, designed the plays and carried the ball. Our community is fortunate to have this kind of informed leadership.

Pete Palmer, chairman

Historic Beaufort Foundation