What Local Historic District DOES NOT do: · Does not regulate paint colors · Does not require repairs or renovations to be made · Does not increase taxes beyond normal increases for the City or County · Does not prevent additions · Does not prevent non-contributing homes from being demolished · Does not require use of historic materials or historic building methods · Does not require that you open you home to the public · Does not restrict routine maintenance of properties
What Local Historic District DOES do: · Recognizes that Oakhurst has a distinctive historic character important to the overall character of the City of Decatur · Encourages creative and compatible development with historic areas · Requires that a Certificate of Appropriateness be obtained for exterior changes to contributing properties, demolition of buildings, and new construction. · Applies only to major renovations to the exterior of your home. Interior renovations are not restricted.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

I do not want local historic district because of additional restrictions.

There have been a few comments regarding the additional restrictions imposed on personal property under the local historic district.

First, there are those opposed to any restrictions on personal property. This includes the current zoning restrictions and the new proposed zoning submitted by the infill task force. The proposed local historic district will not change the existing zoning laws - you will still need to comply. The local historic district is an additional overlay to the zoning laws and do represent some additional restrictions. You will need to read the proposed guidelines to determine whether or not you are comfortable with the information.

The second most common negative comment has been "My live in a historic district and it is just awful to work around the restrictions". It is difficult to respond to this comment because the specific district is usually not named. Each state, county, or city can have different ordinances or methods of developing a historic district. There are also different levels of historic district throughout the country. If provided with the name of the historic district I will be happy to compare their design guidelines with those of the proposed district. The local historic district is considered one of the least restrictive of the historic districts (there are less restrictive designations). Again, you will need to read the guidelines and determine your opinion on this matter. If you live within the district you can provide input on the guidelines.

There are comments similar to the one above but with a more positive spin "My live in a historic district and it is wonderful". We have several local historic districts in Decatur and I will be happy to provide you with references from the district if so desired. The Historic Preservation Commission meets twice a month and you can get a real sense of how the guidelines work by attending the meetings. See the City of Decatur website for a schedule.