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.

Monday, May 7, 2007

What other ways are you announcing this meeting? How can people know about it if they don't visit this website or don't use the Internet?

What other ways are you announcing this meeting? How can people know about it if they don't visit this website or don't use the Internet?

We put flyers on mailboxes, posted flyers at local businesses, notified churches so they could share with their members, and made some phone calls. We did not have space reserved for the meeting until very last minute so we were unable to put it in the Oakhurst Leaflet. Future meeting notices will be in the Leaflet. Thanks for your question.


Kevin and Robin Delaney said...

To be honest and frank the more we learn about the historic district designation and speak to Oakhurst residents on either side of the proposal, it has become clear that this proposal that intends to preserve “the unique historic character of the surrounding” neighborhood has not and will only do so at a heavy price. The “surrounding neighborhood” contains a variety of unique and craftsman style homes, however, what makes the “character” of the neighborhood is the people that live and have established businesses in our neighborhood.

Quoting the Oakhurst Neighbored website, (http://www.oakhurstga.org/index.html)

“Some of us have lived in Oakhurst for a generation or longer, while others have just arrived. We are many ages, races, religions, and creeds. Together, we are a community.

People in the market for a home in Oakhurst "are attracted to the neighborhood's diversity of residents and housing, its excellent schools and Oakhurst's sense of community,"

"I lived in Dunwoody 12 years and hardly knew my neighbors. This is a very close-knit neighborhood with sidewalks and the little village of shops and restaurants where people sit out and talk to their neighbors."

The main topic being discussed among the neighbors (among those that are aware – and not all the residents are aware of the proposal) is the historic preservation. Neighbors want to know why they were not informed about the proposal earlier. Residents want to know: who initiated the proposal; who comprises the committee forwarding this proposal; what is the definition of a contributing and non contributing house; how will the restrictions be defined; why were the selected streets included and others not; what are the likely costs associated with these design requirements; what are the costs associated with having to get approval of the preservation commission to modify my home; and many more questions and valid concerns that have not yet been addressed.

Hopefully you received a notice on your mailbox about a meeting tomorrow night, Wednesday May 9th, 2007 from 7-8:30 at the Boys and Girls club. This scope of this meeting is to discuss the intent document which defines the reasons for seeking historic district designation and to “Work on the specific language of the design guidelines.” The draft guidelines have been posted on: http://rbgraphix.com/Oakhurst/index.html

The organizers of the meeting have stated that “We will assume that everyone at the meeting will have read the design guidelines and thought about questions, concerns and suggestions for changes. All other questions will be parked for a later meeting and possibly answered via the oakhursthistoricdistrict blog.” Presumably this includes the question of why we would want a historic designation at all, and how can this move forward in a democratic and community oriented way that improves the community rather than dividing it. However, if you don’t attend the meeting your voice can not be heard, even if it does get “parked.”

The neighbors who have forwarded the application for the historic district appear to be plowing ahead stating, “It is very important that we give HPC {historic preservation committee} strong community recommendations on the guidelines” however how can the community provide input on the specific guidelines if the community is not sure they want the historic district designation at all…

The modest discussion that has taken place to date has not been fruitful nor has it enhanced the feeling of community in our neighborhood. Rather the idea of the historic preservation, the proposal process, and the proposal’s vague implications has caused a rift among the community, alienating and separating those of us on either side of the proposal. This does not preserve but rather it denigrates the characteristics of Oakhurst that drew most of us to the community in the first place. Hopefully a better attended meeting tomorrow night, at which both the intent and specific design guidelines can be presented to a wider segment of the community, can begin the process to close this divide; if nothing else maybe we can start by acknowledging that such a divide exists. For or against, if you live in the proposed district, or if you don't but still harbor concern, please try to attend this meeting so all our neighbors can really tell where we as a community stand on this proposal.