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, June 25, 2007

Economic Power of Restoration

Here is a link to a very interesting article entitled “The Economic Power of Restoration” http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/hp/smartgrowth/economic_power_of_restoration.pdf. A good bit of the article does not apply to the subject of local historic district. Pages 5,6 & 7 are the most useful. I follow with a few quotes from the article.

“The overwhelming majority of what we call “historic properties” have no international, in most cases not even national importance. But they have a local importance to the people who live there. Both economic development and historic preservation are essentially local in the United States…”

“Related to the issue of neighborhood stability is neighborhood diversity. America is a diverse country, ethnically, racially, economically. From a political perspective there’s not much unanimity in the U.S. regarding overall urban policy. But I think there is rather widespread agreement on one issue – our cities would be healthier if we had diverse urban districts – that no one particularly benefits from neighborhoods that are all rich or all poor; all white or all black. And while for over thirty years we have had laws prohibiting discrimination based on race or religion, while anyone with the money to buy can live wherever they choose, our neighborhoods as a whole are not diverse.”

“Let me give you an example. Philadelphia, one of America’s oldest cities, has a population of one and a half million people. It’s about 53% white, 40% black and the balance Asian and Other. But when the census is taken Block Groups are identified. A block group is small – in Philadelphia only eight or nine hundred people in each one. There are about 1,750 Block Groups in Philadelphia. While the city as a whole is certainly diverse, the Block Groups are not. In a recent analysis we said that to meet the test of a diverse neighborhood, the Block Group had to be less than 80% white and less than 80% black, that is no extreme concentration of any race.

Barely one Block Group in five met that test. 79% Philadelphia small neighborhood clusters were effectively all white or all black. Not so in the National Register Historic Districts, however. In the 106 Block Groups within historic districts nearly half met the diversity test – people of all races living together because of the appeal of the historic neighborhood. These were not all high-income areas, by the way. The income distribution in Philadelphia’s historic districts mirrors the income of the city as a whole. There is housing available in historic neighborhoods to accommodate a wide range of income levels.”