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, June 8, 2007

How many property owners did the nominators actually talk to prior to nominating Oakhurst as LHD?

How many property owners did the nominators actually talk to prior to nominating Oakhurst as LHD?
How many of those individuals signed a petition in support?
Will you please post all your records pertaining who you spoke to prior to nomination and whether those individuals were in support, opposition or undecided?

Thank you for your inquiry. First, we will not be posting our records. We have received many requests to keep the personal information collected, during both the every early conversations with residents and more recent conversations with residents, confidential. We made this promise to our neighbors. The input we collected prior to making the application will not be used in the decision making process of the HPC or City Commission. To be fair, there is too much that happens during the process to hold any initial input as support or lack of support for the final application.

We were not working in an official capacity for the City of Decatur and did not collect a petition. Our conversations with residents were about more than support or lack of support of a local historic district. Although, had we received strong opposition from residents regarding the start of the process of consideration for local historic district we would not have approached the HPC.

As for the number of residents, that is difficult to answer. There were 2 meetings with the community that included a large number of residents. We had 5-6 residents that went door-to-door within the proposed district on several occasions. There were several "dinner parties" hosted by residents (with several invited neighbors) to discuss the local historic district. When we sat down with our notes we estimated that we spoke to about 70-75% of the residents within the proposed district. The percentage of the community as a whole was smaller. This is our best estimate.

Since, the process has begun we feel pretty confident that the vast majority of the community is aware of the application. Many have provided input.


Anonymous said...

Have you shared your records with staff of HPC, its members, City Commissioners or any other City employee or agent? If so, was the information shared verbally or in writing?

If 51% or more of the property owners in the proposed Oakhurst LHD are opposed to it & sign a petition indicating such, will you withdraw your nomination? If not, why?

Are you aware of the passage of Proposition 207 in Arizona? Arizona Revised Statutes Section 12-1134 permits an owner of property to file a claim with a municipality if the owner's existing rights to use, sell, divide, or possess the property are diminished in value by a municipality's enactment or applicability of a land use action that reduces the fair market value of the property. Under this statute, the owner is entitled to just compensation for the reduction in fair market value of the property.

In light of the passage of Proposition 207, wherein citizens of the State of Arizona were permitted to VOTE and a majority wanted the law enacted, the League of Arizona Cities and Towns has provided on its website guidelines to assist cities in implementing the new law. Since designation of an area as a LHD may and has been empirically found to REDUCE property values (for example, see "The Impact of Historic District Designation on Property Values: An Empirical Study" by Peter v. Schaeffer and Cecily Ahern Millerick examining Chicago neighborhoods - finding that LHD ordinances can be too restrictive and "yield a negative net benefit not only for property owners, but also for the community." ), the League of Arizona Cities and Towns drafted a waiver to obtain from property owner's prior to a city implementing ordinances which may reduce property values of its citizens - including implementation of LHDs [See: http://www.azleague.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=resources.main].

Prior to passage of Proposition 207, Phoenix's HPC required a PETITION SIGNED by 2/3 of property owners before implementation of LHD. Now Phoenix is working on a policy that will require 80% of the residents to approve implementation of a LHD [See: http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/89395].

All individuals in Oakhurst who want to see your constitutional rights protected, please contact the Mayor and City Commissioners and request that Decatur require a petition signed by a majority of property owners in a proposed LHD PRIOR to the nomination of it or at least prior to implementation of LHD by HPC.