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In the editorial of Sept. 21 (“Museum can thrive without strict zoning rules in its shadow,”) several misconceptions were stated and I am writing to clarify the inaccuracies. The editorial commented on the town of Bailey’s historic overlay district for the neighborhood surrounding the Country Doctor Museum and the author assumed the museum had some part in requesting or developing the ordinance.
I just recently learned of the overlay district, as did other residents in our neighborhood. No one from the museum requested the ordinance, nor was the museum involved in its creation. According to the current language in the ordinance, the museum’s own buildings are out of compliance. We strive to be a good neighbor. When asked to participate, the museum’s site manager agreed to be a part of the committee to review and make suggestions for improvement of the ordinance, as did several of our neighbors.
As the director of the museum, I appreciate the support of the town of Bailey and the creation of this historic district to protect the overall environment where the museum is located. This step is good practice for communities with historic sites and is recommended by several organizations such as the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency.
We look forward to working with the town of Bailey and our neighbors to revise the historic overlay ordinance so that our neighbors, the museum and the town of Bailey are comfortable and pleased with the protections it will afford all the residents in our corner of the world.
The writer is director of the Country Doctor Museum.
Editor’s Note: The editorial did not claim the museum played a role in requesting or developing the ordinance. A comment from Bailey Planning Board Chairman Walter Wells included in the piece referencing “the atmosphere the Country Doctor Museum is looking for” could reasonably be read to suggest prior involvement. We regret any resulting confusion.