Historic Districts

McCrorey Heights Local Historic District

Photo of 1708 Van Buren Av
The McCrorey Heights neighborhood has undergone a rezoning process to become a locally designated historic district. To qualify for this city-sponsored rezoning, a minimum of 51% of property owners were required to sign a petition of support. In addition, the neighborhood also had to meet certain state-mandated requirements including a property-by-property neighborhood survey and a Local District Designation Report (Draft).

The McCrorey Heights Rezoning petition number was 2022-098The public meeting dates were as follows:  

  • June 30, 2022: Community Meeting held via Zoom
  • July 18, 2022:  Public Hearing with City Council held as a virtual/in-person meeting  
  • August 2, 2022:  Zoning Committee meeting & recommendation held as a virtual meeting  
  • August 15, 2022: City Council Decision 
McCrorey Heights became a historic district in August 2022.

McCrorey Heights Historic District Map

Map of McCrorey Heights Proposed Local Historic District

C
ontact Info

Ms. Kristi Harpst
Program Manager - Local Historic Districts
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Ms. Cindy Kochanek

Planning Project Coordinator - Local Historic Districts
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Ms. Candice Leite

Planner - Local Historic Districts
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Mr. David Pettine

Program Manager - Entitlement Services - Rezoning
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Ms. Nichelle Bonaparte 

Neighborhood Exploratory Committee
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Ms. Marilyn T. Brown 
Neighborhood Exploratory Committee
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Mr. Doug Jones
Neighborhood Exploratory Committee
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Mr. Sean Langley
Neighborhood Exploratory Committee
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McCrorey Heights, located just north of Johnson C. Smith University off Beatties Ford Rd and Oaklawn Ave, is one of Charlotte’s most historically important neighborhoods. Founded by JCSU president H.L. McCrorey in 1912, it really took off after World War II as a development of ranch-style suburban homes for Charlotte’s African American educated elite.  Many of the men and women who built and led key Black institutions in the era of
segregation made their homes here. As the Civil Rights movement heated up during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, McCrorey Heights residents often took the lead locally and even nationally.  Today, McCrorey Heights looks much as it did in its heyday in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The rectangular grid of straight streets includes five major avenues running up from Irwin Creek linked with a few shorter cross-streets. (excerpt from McCrorey Heights Draft Local District Designation Report)


What Local Historic District Designation means:

Protects all buildings/sites through a local design review process - including demolition/new construction, additions, and painting brick.

Requires property owners to contact the Historic District Commission (HDC) office before starting any work to the exteriors of homes or yards, including:


Local Historic District Designation does not:

  • Restrict use
  • Review interior changes (ex. kitchens/baths)
  • Require specific paint colors
  • Require improvements or changes
  • Qualify owners for grants or tax incentives
  • Prevent demolition for more than 365-days 

·        Additions

·        Fences/Walls

·        Windows/Doors

·        Tree Removal

·        Painting Brick

·        Decks/Patios

·        Front Porches

·        Sheds/Carports/Garages

·        Walkways/Driveways



The HDC Design Standards provide guidance on the types of projects and materials that are permitted in a local historic district.
How We Got Here

 




In 2020, McCrorey Heights residents concerned about increasing development pressure formed a neighborhood exploratory committee to evaluate the possibility of local historic district designation.  With the goal of establishing protections to preserve the character and architecture of the neighborhood, the committee sought guidance and assistance from the Charlotte Historic District Commission staff about the designation process. 

The effort to create a McCrorey Heights local historic district officially launched in early 2021 with neighborhood residents leading the entire project by:
  • Presenting information at regularly scheduled neighborhood meetings.
  • Hosting special information session meetings via zoom for neighborhood residents. 
  • Conducting one-on-one outreach conversations with residents about local district designation.
  • Hosting HDC staff for a walk-and-talk tour in April 2021. 
  • Coordinating with Dr. Tom Hanchett who researched the history of each building in the neighborhood and wrote the historical development essay.
  • Compiling the house-by-house survey spreadsheet using Dr. Hanchett's research.
  • Photographing every building in the neighborhood. 
  • Facilitating the petition of support, required for the rezoning process. 
​HDC FAQ
Citizens appointed by the Mayor and City Council to administer the Local Historic District Program. The majority of HDC members have proven expertise in architecture, preservation, history, etc.

Property owners in local historic districts are required to contact the HDC office before undertaking any exterior changes to a property or existing structures, or before beginning any project involving new construction or demolition.
If the project meets the HDC design guidelines a Certificate of Appropriateness will be issued. A building permit for exterior work cannot be issued in an historic district without a Certificate of Appropriateness.

Typically includes fencing, signage, windows and doors, rear yard improvements, retaining walls, driveways, walkways, some tree removal.

Typically includes new construction, large additions, demolition, front/side porch enclosures, substitute siding, large accessory buildings, major tree removal, significant landscape features, front yard parking, the painting of unpainted masonry and others.

Routine maintenance is encouraged. We typically do not review repair and maintenance projects, as long as no significant material or design changes are made.
Application requirements and fees vary, depending on the nature and complexity of the proposed project. Photos, architectural plans, product samples, etc. are often required.
Administrative approvals usually take only a few days. Projects that require full HDC approval will take up to thirty days or more. The Commission meets monthly.
No. The Historic District Commission only gets involved when you decide to do something to your property.
Not always. The majority of our customers make minor improvements which would usually cost the same anywhere. Major projects usually require industry professionals who understand historic structures (new construction, major additions). We also encourage repair versus replacement of older building features to reduce costs.
No. The purpose of Charlotte’s historic district program is to ensure that changes that are made are compatible with the neighborhood.
Projects holding a valid building permit at the time a local historic district is established are not affected.
Properties within local Districts do not receive tax credits or reduced property taxes. However, if the property is a designated individual landmark (through the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission, Preservation North Carolina, etc.) tax incentives are available.
Yes. Grants for projects such as architectural and archaeological surveys, National Register nominations, publications, preservation planning, and archaeological excavations are available through the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Façade Improvement Grants are available through the City of Charlotte for commercial properties.
The Housing Services department within the City of Charlotte provides funding for rehabilitation of residential structures.
No. Those are private property matters governed by others.
When Commission staff learns of a project that is underway without HDC approval every attempt is made to contact the property owner and resolve the situation as quickly as possible. Financial penalties may be imposed.