‘Great Places’ designation sought for Courthouse
The historic Hanover Courthouse could become one of the “Great Places in America” as designated by the American Planning Association (APA).
Hanover’s Acting Planning Director, David Maloney, explained the program to the Board of Supervisors at its Oct. 10 meeting.
The APA designates these “Great Places” in three categories: Great Streets, Great Neighborhoods, and Great Public Spaces.
The historic Courthouse would fall into the Great Public Spaces category.
The APA defines a Great Public Space as “a gathering spot or part of a neighborhood, downtown, special district, waterfront or other area within the public realm that helps social interaction and a sense of community.”
Maloney said that the Courthouse “has been a center of activity since its establishment, and the structures here have been continually used and cared for by the community, the courts, and the county government.”
He reviewed the many improvements made to the property since the establishment of the Historic Courthouse Area Advisory Committee in 2002.
Most recently, new sidewalks, lighting and fencing have been installed.
“With the improvements completed in the last decade to the historic district, to the Hanover Tavern and the Hanover Café, the Courthouse and neighboring properties will together remain a national jewel for many generations,” Maloney said.
Maloney sought authorization from the Board for the Planning Department to proceed with the nomination process, and the Board granted it.
A preliminary application is due to the APA in December. If the Courthouse passes that first round, then Planning staff would submit a more thorough application in February.
Results would be announced sometime in the spring of 2013.
That evening, the Board approved a lease agreement with Blue Star Youth Football and Cheerleading to allow them to operate the new announcer stand at Courthouse Park for the cost of $1.
Blue Star recently constructed and donated the stand to Hanover Parks & Recreation.
“Without Blue Star’s assistance, Courthouse Park would not be built and in the condition it is now. This has continued a long series of donations from Blue Star,” Parks & Rec Director Greg Sager said.
“We’re very happy that these people have stepped up and helped us with the park,” Beaverdam Supervisor Bucky Stanley commented, right before making a motion for approval.
The agreement was approved with a 7-0 vote.
Next, the Board approved a Special Exception request for the Black Creek Fire Department to hold an annual event at Wade’s Produce and Seafood, at the intersection of Cold Harbor, Beulah Church, Crown Hill and Rockhill roads.
This year’s fundraising event is scheduled for Nov. 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wade Hughes, owner of Wade’s Produce and Seafood, said during the public hearing, “We’re hoping that the fundraising will offer Black Creek Volunteer Fire Department and EMT services some additional monies for equipment they desperately need all the time.”
“I would like to thank Mr. Hughes for his being willing to do this and also to help Black Creek Fire Department,” Cold Harbor Supervisor Elton Wade commented. “I thought it was wonderful of Mr. Hughes to take it on himself to have this fundraiser.”
Wade made a motion to approve the Special Exception permit, which passed 7-0.
The Citizens’ Time segment of the agenda drew one speaker that evening.
Sheree Hedrick, executive director of Hanover Safe Place, thanked the Board for declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Hanover Safe Place is a non-profit organization that provides services to individuals who experience domestic or sexual violence in Hanover County and the Town of Ashland.
Hedrick said that last year alone her organization served 1,500 individuals.
“As much as I think we don’t want to think about it, domestic violence is pervasive in our community as it is in all communities in the United States,” Hedrick said.
By DAN SHERRIER