The owners of the Rosemont Café have kindly offered the use of the Café for a public meeting on Monday, July 21, 2008 at 7:30 PM, to discuss work done in the past year by the Township Historic Designation Committee. The public is invited; the meeting will be of particular interest to residents in and around Rosemont. A letter that was sent to area residents recently is reprinted below.
“July 15, 2008
Historic Designation for the Rosemont Rural Agricultural District
Meeting Monday, July 21, 2008, 7:30pm at The Café in Rosemont
Dear Friends and Neighbors in Rosemont,
Recent events have reminded the residents of Delaware Township that the unique historic, scenic, and cultural features of our municipality continues to face challenges presented by well meaning, but ill-considered government “improvements” that seek to bring change, but fail to afford a full consideration of our historical heritage. The Delaware Township Committee has been proactive in meeting these challenges by the creation of a Historic Designation Committee. The Township Committee has also secured the services of Dennis Bertland Associates, a historical consulting group, to assist with the process of including several historic areas within the Township on both the National and the New Jersey Registers of Historic Places. The Township Historic Designation Committee has been working for the last year and a half on the plan to have Sergeantsville listed on the National and State Registers. The Sergeantsville application was submitted to the State just a few weeks ago for the final approval process that will take place this autumn. Now, the Township Historic Designation Committee has started to work on Rosemont and wished to bring the property owners of what has been identified as the Rosemont Rural Agricultural District up to date on what historic designation for Rosemont will mean for their community.
It is important to identify what the inclusion of the Rosemont Rural Agricultural District on the National and New Jersey Registers of Historic Places will do:
· Listing on the National and New Jersey Registers of Historic Places provides recognition that an area is of historic and cultural significance to the nation, state, and community.
· Inclusion provides protection for all listed properties against projects of the federal, state, county and municipal governments that may affect the designated areas. All government projects would be subject to an extra layer of scrutiny to consider their impact on the historic, cultural, and scenic features of the properties included on the Registers of Historic Places.
· Designation may confer tax advantages and funding benefits to groups seeking federal assistance for historic preservation.
Designation on the National and New Jersey Registers will not:
- Place any restraint on the individual property owner’s use of his property that is not already established by current municipal ordinances. Individual property owners will still retain all of their traditional freedoms of choice concerning their property’s decorative and architectural features (house color, additions, porch addition or removal, barns, etc.)
- Interfere with a private property owner’s right to alter, manage, or dispose of their property.
In short, historic designation will provide the Rosemont Rural Agricultural District a layer of protection from government actions but will nave no affect on the individual property owner. Property owners will continue to be able to make those improvements on their property that they wish and paint their houses any color that they so desire. Historic designation only affects government projects.
Delaware Township residents have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to acting as good stewards of the cultural, scenic, and historic heritage that we have inherited from our predecessors through the pursuit of farmland preservation and cooperating with the establishment of the Wickecheoke Creek Preserve. It is no accident that our township symbol is the Green Sergeant’s Covered Bridge, the Township’s first designated historic site. Township residents have undertaken private cooperative efforts such as the Locktown Stone Church preservation, the Sand Brook Church Restoration Project. The Township, along with the cooperation of property owners in the designated district are currently acting to have Sergeantsville listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Now, it is time to recognize Rosemont. One of the participants at a recent meeting at Sand Brook perhaps put the intentions of our Township best when they said, “We have no wish to stop progress, but we do want to pause, to consider our past.
The management of the Café at Rosemont has been kind enough to provide a forum for the first public meeting where the property owners of the Rosemont Rural Agricultural District can get answers to their questions. The members of the Township Historic Designation Committee and I will be there to provide information and review the process of historic designation at the Café at Rosemont on Monday, July 21, 2008 at 7:30pm. I hope to see all of you there. “