Beaumont Mill Village is a major step closer to becoming a Local Historic District! On March 28, 2011, Spartanburg City Council met and held a public hearing. Making Beaumont Mill Village a Local Historic District was on the agenda. Martin Meeks, a respected architect who specializes in preservation of communities such as Beaumont spoke as to the study that was conducted, the architectural styles of housing in Beaumont, and an overview of the guidelines. He and the City Planning Department went to great lengths to come up with guidelines that are realistic and would not be a major burden on property owners. No one would be expected to rehab their properties to meet these guidelines at this time. Only when the property owner is ready to make repairs or improvements would the guidelines affect what they do. There are 2 categories of types of improvements, major and minor works. The guidelines will not come into play with any interior improvements.
Stephanie Monroe with the City Planning Department also spoke about possible grant money they working on trying to make available to owner occupants to help with improvements.
Several individuals spoke in favor of making this happen. Only 2 residents of Beaumont spoke out against the issue. One of those who spoke out felt that Beaumont had been fine all these years and that the neighborhood did not need any restrictions to dictate what people can and can't do to their property. Lewis Settle, President of the Neighborhood Association was one of the ones who spoke in favor citing concerns over preserving the vital history of the neighborhood, keeping the neighborhood safe, and not allowing the neighborhood to decline as some other neighborhoods in the city have over the years. Other life long residents of Beaumont spoke out in favor relating positive memories of growing up in the community and of how their parents worked in the mill when it was in operation.
I spoke out as a member of the real estate community in Spartanburg sharing how important it is to preserve our rich history that is tied to the textile industry and how strongly I feel that by preserving Beaumont Mill Village we will be preserving history but also will be preserving property values. In time I can envision this becoming a popular neighborhood for hospital employees and college employees due to the convenient location of Beaumont.
Spartanburg City Council Members in attendance unanimously passed the first reading! This is an exciting time for Spartanburg and for Beaumont Mill Village! This designation will definitely have a positive impact on real estate values in Beaumont. I look forward to working with buyers who have a desire to live in this community that is such an important part of our city's rich history!