25 YEARS AGO
The scheduled destruction of the 102-year-old electric generator building [in Centreville] was protested last Tuesday in front of the town Board of Zoning Appeals by citizens who fear the loss of the town’s historic character.
Although many thought the building should be saved, others, including members of the town council, urged that the building be destroyed.
Vacant for over 30 years, the building became the subject of much debate when a businessman offered to buy it in 1988. The man withdrew his offer in March 1990 after complications with deed restrictions and citizen complaints.
• • • A Wednesday night meeting between the Centreville Planning and Zoning Commission and about 30 citizens brought the town one step closer to fulfilling recommendations made in its Comprehensive Plan almost three years ago that it draft and adopt a historic district preser vation ordinance.
That step, however, was only the beginning of what could be a long, difficult journey, warned Elizabeth Brice, planning commission chairwoman. In order to adopt and enforce such an ordinance, Brice told the group, a great deal of commitment would be needed from the citizens.
Before an ordinance could be drawn, the idea would have to be studied by a citizens’ committee.
• • • Everything from the slow economy to the governor is being blamed for the increasing number of vacant stores along Route 50 on Kent Island.
In a rough survey of eight retail shopping centers and outlet malls between the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Kent Narrows Bridge, 23 percent of the 139 stores are empty. Business offices located in the shopping centers were also included in the survey.
Commercial real estate agents blame the economy, but retail store owners and managers say other factors such as expensive rent, overbuilding and road construction also play a role.