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

Is not denial of painting a surface on your home or being permitted to repaint a surface (any color) a violation of GA law? Is not that restriction a

Is not denial of painting a surface on your home or being permitted to repaint a surface (any color) a violation of GA law? Is not that restriction a selection of a color (whatever color of the brick or foundation may be)?How will all the lawsuits be funded by the City that will occur if Oakhurst becomes LHD based on the vagueness of the guidelines leading to arbitrary decision making and taking of property rights? Do you want your tax dollars spent fighting numerous lawsuits related to LHD designation or instead to support education and help the elderly and lower income residents of the community?

This question has been posed to the City of Decatur. The following answer is not their response. As soon as their response is received it will be posted.

It is true that it is illegal in the State of Georgia to regulate the color of a painted surface on residential buildings. However, it is my understanding that the preservation of a historic surface - such as original brick or stone - has legal precedent throughout the State of Georgia. Madison, Tifton, and Athens all have a much more restrictive historic preservation ordinance regarding such. The discussion of lawsuits regarding historic districts of all types is difficult because commissioners, citizen boards, and city managers will not provide such detail. In my discussions with members of various members of various preservation commissions, all I can get is that there have been "few" lawsuits. It is my understanding that there have only been two lawsuits regarding the local historic districts in the City of Decatur. I do not know the nature of the suits or the cost to the tax payers. I am not aware of any program for education, elderly or lower income residents within the community that has not been funded by the City of Decatur because of the high cost of defending lawsuits or managing local historic districts. There is a cost to managing and defending any zoning law and there will be a cost to the proposed local historic district. Whether that cost justifies the preservation of the historic character of the community is a decision the residents of the community and the community leaders will address.