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.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Question regarding economic value of local historic district

We received the following question from Colleen regarding the economic impact of the local historic district on property values. Colleen also sent an e-mail referring to a published study by Peter V. Schaeffer and Cecily Ahern Meillerick. This study is protected by copyright and can not be printed on this blog. While this study is referenced in articles refuting the positive economic impact of local historic district on property values it actually concludes that historic district has a positive impact on property values overall. It states that some specific streets or homes may actually be negatively impacted. This study was later refuted by another well know public policy expert in a February 2007 report (16 years later) and the finding are actually refuted in the many studies quoted on this blog.

Here is Colleen's question:
You have a lot of information on this site regarding the improved property values within a local historic district. One-Oakhurst Community has delivered a flyer to my home that states "studies show that small and/or unremodeled LHD property values stagnate or decline because buyers fear difficulty and additional expense of remodeling". Have you come across such studies in your research?

Given the many studies listed on this blog and the first paragraph of this post you may be surprised that we think that the impact of local historic district on property values in Oakhurst is unknown. There are too many economic factors to consider when determining such an impact. However, we will note that the local historic districts in Decatur, Georgia have exceeded the national average for property value increases. Similarly, they have matched or exceeded the increases for the City of Decatur's best performing increases. You question is difficult to directly answer and is why we advocate a 24 month "reconsideration period". We recommend that the ordinance allow reconsideration of the historic designation after 24 months.