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.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Isn't it true that you could be fined up to $1000 per day or even go to jail for violating Section 58-157?

Isn't it true that you could be fined up to $1000 per day or even go to jail for violating Section 58-157?

I follow with the code you reference in your question. Yes, there is a fine and possible jail time for violating the code. With the protection of historic resources there must be some penalty for those who choose to neglect the home with the intent to "demolish by neglect". There is a similar ordinance for homes left vacant or in disrepair throughout the City the process is longer and the penalty is less rigorous. You can not build back your historic resources new, so there must be a provision for deterring the destruction.

Our personal concern on this blog is the inability of some of our neighbors to maintain their homes. There are provisions within the ordinance and proposed guidelines for those who are not financially capable of maintenance and repair or to adhere to the guidelines in a strict sense. But the cost of maintenance of a home can be expensive and we must continue to depend on our community to address those social issues and take care of our poor. Oakhurst and the City of Decatur has demonstrated the ability and willingness to do such and I am confident that will continue.

Sec. 58-157. Same--Failure to provide; response by preservation commission.
Property owners of historic properties or properties within historic districts shall not allow their buildings to deteriorate by failing to provide ordinary maintenance or repair. The preservation commission shall be charged with the following responsibilities regarding deterioration by neglect:
(1) Monitoring. The preservation commission shall monitor the condition of historic properties and existing buildings in historic districts to determine if they are being allowed to deteriorate by neglect. Such conditions as broken windows, doors and openings which allow the elements and vermin to enter, the deterioration of exterior architectural features, or the deterioration of a building's structural system shall constitute failure to provide ordinary maintenance or repair.
(2) Notice to owner to remedy; time limit. If the preservation commission determines a failure to provide ordinary maintenance or repair, the preservation commission will notify the owner of the property and set forth the steps which need to be taken to remedy the situation. The owner of such property will have 30 days in which to do this.
(3) Failure by owner to remedy; penalty; abatement by commission; owner liability for costs. If the condition is not remedied in 30 days, the owner shall be punished as provided in section 58-4 and, at the direction of the city commission, the preservation commission may perform such maintenance or repair as is necessary to prevent deterioration by neglect. The owner of the property shall be liable for the cost of such maintenance and repair performed by the preservation commission.
(Ord. No. O-90-07, § 11 1/2-7(b), 6-4-90)


Anonymous said...

In order to educate myself about the LHD nomination in Oakhurst, I have been reading the HPC minutes. Therein, I discovered that Mr. Levine and Ms. Provost stated during a March 13, 2007, HPC meeting that they "had contacted every property owner of a contributing property in the dristrict to inform them of the nomination." Additionally, I discovered that Mr. Levine stated during the April 10, 2007, HPC meeting that he had "personally talked to 75% of the neighborhood about putting in a nomination for a district." I live in a house that the HPC has designated as contributing in Exhibit A to its Resolution to implement a 90 day COA for demolitions within the proposed LHD and I was NEVER consulted or informed of the nomination prior to the time periods stated above and have discovered from conversations with numerous neighbors that they were also in the dark. Were the HPC minutes reported incorrectly or were incorrect statements made at the HPC meetings?