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.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Great Interest in Local Historic Districts Across Georgia

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resoures Historic Preservation Division there are 116 Georgia communities with historic preservation districts and 71 have local programs. The interest and number of local programs continues to grow. What are the benefits of local historic district that encourage so many communities to seek its protection?

It is difficult to answer the question for why other communities are interested in local historic district without getting the information from them directly. But, I refer you to the article by Donovan Rykema, http://www.nationaltrust.org/advocacy/case/Rypkema_Speech_on_Sustainability_in_Portland.pdfI his argument is based on the sustainability and flexibility of local historic districts. Sustainability in terms of economics, cultural, racial diversity, environmental, and community spirit.

Another article that may offer some reasons for the popularity is www.nh.gov/oep/programs/MRPA/conferences/documents/WhatAreHDsGoodFor-logo.doc
“Daniel Webster once said that a person who doesn’t respect the past isn’t performing his [or her] duty to the future. “

“Historic districts have the paradoxical twin virtues of stability and flexibility. They encourage continuity and the care of existing properties, while respecting changes over time ‑‑ layers of life ‑‑ that add architectural richness and visual variety to townscapes. But they do not prevent new construction, nor should they prohibit contemporary design that is respectful of existing resources.”

“What about the reasons NOT to have a local historic district? Whenever the idea of historic districting comes up locally, “historic district horror stories” are sure to follow. Most of them are either misinterpretations, or misunderstandings, or just plain wrong “


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