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.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Outside of Local Historic District designation, what can be done to make sure that we do not lose over 100years of history?

The complete destruction of the Beacon Hill neighborhood has taught us that by destroying the housing of a community you eventually destroy the history because there is no longer any representation of said community. Outside of Local Historic District designation, what can be done to make sure that the nearly 100 years of historic character of this area is not lost?

Under the current zoning for the City of Decatur the only method of preseving the historic character is Local Historic District. Under any currently proposed zoning for the City of Decatur the only method of preserving the historic character is Local Historic District.

Other cities, including the City of Atlanta, are attempting to preserve the character of a neighborhood through stricter zoning and other new overlays. However, we have not found any that have been in place sufficient time to present any results of their efforts.

Oakhurst has lost approximately or estimated at 1 home per month to demolition over the past five years. We are seeing the impact of that level of development on the character of our neighborhood. To consider methods outside of Local Historic District at this time would mean more delays and more loss. Just consider that changes to infill zoning has taken nearly 2 years and is yet to be implemented. What would your street look like if you lost 20 houses to demolition?


Anonymous said...

Could you provide details of the 100 years of history??

Anonymous said...

How many homes have been torn down in the proposed district in the last five years and where are those homes located?

vp said...

I just wanted you to know that I have been asked to write my commissioners and request that this process be stopped. I was told this needed to be done because the actions of the nominating committee were improper. I must say that after reading information from various sources I find this not to be the case. I do not know that other residents understand what is being asked or that they may not be given the whole truth. I thought you may need to know this is happening. What can I do to help?

kindred said...

Anonymous #2,
Refer to the post of 8/13/2007 with the infill dwelling map for 2001 - 2005. The orange ticks are new construction. The orange ticks that have a lot # are demolitions. The area shown is the area considered Oakhurst. This does not include the data for 2006 or 2007 which is available, but being compiled.

Anonymous said...

Anyone with a solution for stopping the misuse of information or spreading of half truths would be a very rich person indeed both financially and in spirit. The only thing you can do is educate yourself and others to the best of your ability. You can help by talking to your neighbors.

Pam said...

Anonymous said...
"Could you provide details of the 100 years of history??"

From what I can find thru the taxes records - which I know aren't completely accurate:
25 homes on Mead that were built 1920 or before and 2 of those were built in the year 1900.

On Feld 5 were built 1920 or before.

3 on Cambridge were built 1920 or before.

22 on Third were built 1920 or before.

22 on East Lake were built 1920 or before and 1 built in the year 1900.

And almost every house on Winter on the Decatur side, with the exception of 3, were built 1915 or before.

2 out of the 3 on Johnston Pl built 1920 and 1910.

2 out of the 5 on Park Pl were built in 1910 - I'm guessing that the 3 newer homes on Park replaced homes that were originally the same age as the two 1910 homes still standing.

Most of the other homes with the exception of Leyden and Hood were built before 1930.

I personally feel this nearly 100 years of history that I don't want to lose.

Anonymous said...

This is not a scientific study but I have lived in the neighborhood for over 20 years so I think I can verify that most of the following homes have been demolished.
304 Madison
254 Madison
234 Madison
231 Madison
205 Madison
124 Madison
270 Winter
207 Second
211 Second
219 Second
418 Second
425 Second
214 Third
250 Third
254 Third
512 Third
707 Third
820 Third
832 Third
835 Third
152 Feld
160 Feld
189 Feld
118 Leyden
235 Cambridge
156 Mead
162 Mead
150 Mead
132 Olympic
159 Olympic
220 Underwood
113 Fourth
131 Fourth
212 Fourth
127 Jefferson
131 Jefferson
232 Jefferson
605 Ansley
319 W. Benson
12 Spring
319 Spring
722 McCoy
729 McCoy
117 Fayetteville
139 Fayetteville
212 Fayetteville
221 Fayetteville
415 W. Pharr
503 W. Pharr
501 W. Pharr
931 East Lake
932 East Lake
216 Maxwell
1032 East Lake
515 East Lake
Just today a home is being demolished at Bryant and Madison.
I did not walk down all streets so I know I left some out. I also think I may have included one house that was a vacant lot. But I count 56 homes. That is not quite 60, but it is pretty darn close.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for providing addresses. Of the addresses you list, I count only 11 in the proposed district. Many of the 11 were not inhabitable for reasons such as extensive fire damage and/or mold and were in need of demolition.

Some homes in the proposed district were not made to withstand 100 years and were made of lower quality materials for working class families.

When will a property be permitted to be torn down if it is considered to be a contributing structure?

Further, why are modern designs frowned upon by the nominators? What is wrong with diversity in homes?

Pam said...

We lost another beauty at the corner of Madison and Bryan - what a shame.

Mark said...

Another cute one on Ansley is ready for demolition. A sad day for Oakhurst :(

listed said...

Dear anonymous,
I was asked to provide addresses of homes in OAKHURST that had been demolished. Oakhurst has more demolitions than any other part of the City of Decatur. You are correct that the area of the proposed district has the least amount of demolitions. That is what makes it more intact and more critical to be preserve.

You are entitled to your opinion about the condition of the homes prior to being demolished. I could not disagree with you more about the condition of the homes. Unfortunately, it is not something we can prove one way or the other now that they are gone.

I regret that you do not value the homes that represent the working class of residents that first settled Decatur. We were once a working class community and are quickly losing that idenity.

As for the quality, I recently had my home inspected and was told what fine specimens of quality construction we have in this community and with a little care they will last at least another 100 years. That can not be said of some of the new construction. Would engineers approve additions to these homes if they were truly unsafe, poor construction?

Preservation of historic resources is very important for a community, especially one of our size and in our location. No one is asking to stop demolition. No one is saying the new construction should be banned. No one wants to displace our elderly or otherwise underserved. The local historic district allows for new construction and renovation that preserves the historic character and our sense of place. The local historic district allows for a variety of homes sizes and prices to help preserve our diversity.