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.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Will these proposed guidelines make it more challenging to attract businesses to our commercial district?

This is difficult to answer. Old Decatur is the first local historic district to include a large amount of commercial property in the local historic district. They have only been approved for a short time, so there is little evidence either way. I can point you to an article written by Athens-Clarke County "Economic Benefits of Historic Preservation in Georgia, A Study of Three Communities: Athens, Rome and Tifton" it can be found at www.athensclarkecounty.com/~planningdept/hpecon1.html. It is my opinion that this article is evidence that historic districts do not slow down commercial development, but you need to decisde for yourself.

Most commercial property owners expect to go through a longer approval process than residential developers. The easiest way to speed up the design process is to have clear, well defined design guidelines. Local districts ensure that the owner will actually use the materials he/she promises to use during the planning review process. This type of conditional approval provides the neighborhood with high quality development.