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, August 31, 2007

Quote from National Trust for Historic Preservation President

“The pace of teardowns has amounted to an orgy of irrational destruction. Teardowns spread through a community like a cancer. I believe they represent the biggest threat to America's older neighborhoods since the heyday of urban renewal and interstate highway construction. Communities must realize that they aren't helpless in the face of teardowns. They must develop a vision for the future of their community...and put in place mechanisms to ensure that their vision is not compromised.” Richard Moe, President, National Trust for Historic Preservation June 28, 2006


Historic District is the Answer! said...

I just wanted to say kudos for Deborah Mook for her fantastic article in this month’s leaflet. I just read it online and thought it was fantastic. I wonder how many of the people in the neighborhood with the anti Local Historic District signs, will stop and take a second to think about what is their motive is for their sign - who/what it is they are really looking after, themselves, their neighbors, or their wallets.

I also wanted to say that I think it is great that the next page down is a constant reminder of the great bungalow on 3rd that had no business being torn down.

Though unfortunately these days it would be more realistic to say as the caption: “Find out how much your Oakhurst lot is worth to a builder”.

Anonymous said...

What is status of designating Great Lakes as a local historic district? Did not a majority of the residents stop the process because they determined lhd NOT the answer for their neighborhood?

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to engage One Oakhurst because I do not think they are worth my time but I thought this was interesting. One Oakhurst has been riding on this thought that the nominators did not talk to the residents before they applied for the LHD. This is interesting because talking to the residents before nominating is not apart of the process. The communication with the residents is the sole responsibility of the city after the nomination has taken place. Although this is the sole responsibility of the city the nominators actually made an effort to communicate with the residents of the LHD by going door to door and other efforts.

One Oakhurst continues to make statements like this one:

“...that led them to push for an LHD without even consulting the vast amount of residents who actually live and own property in the proposed district. Now, when faced with the evidence that most residents in the proposed district do not want an LHD (and in a very public way), the answer, again, is "we know what is best" despite your opinion...."

My question is this how does One Oakhurst know how many people are against it? They didn’t get my opinion and I live in the proposed district. Are they doing what they are accusing the LHD nominators of doing? What kind of miss information are they giving people verbally when they do go door to door? I have heard of many accounts of miss information in their door to door campaign and I have seen the miss information and deceit in their flier campaign. Are they basing this statement on the number of people that have signs? The number of people that don’t have signs far out numbers those that do, so that can’t be it. Also, I have personally talked to one neighbor that has a sign and he stated that he was pretty much neutral on the issue but didn’t want to be told what he could or couldn’t do with his property. He also stated that he didn’t know enough about it to really have an opinion and that he wanted more information. I don’t think a sign count would work either. A petition doesn’t mean much as well because people can be coerced into signing it. There are laws in regards to voting that regulate this type of activity for this same reason.

How much support does One Oakhurst get from developers and the Greater Atlanta Home Builder’s Association? The people that really care about the good of this neighborhood and the demolition of it have been undermined time and time again by developers and their puppets at the ONA.

ONA, how does siding with the developers serve this community and the people of Oakhurst? Don’t be One Oakhurst’s, the ONA and ultimately the developer’s puppet.

sd said...

"They must develop a vision for the future of their community...and put in place mechanisms to ensure that their vision is not compromised.”

I think this snip from the blog quote identifies exactly why there's a lack of consensus on this issue throughout the neighborhood. Mr. Moe would seem to be suggesting that the first step is a visioning process where the community comes together to arrive at a shared ideal, followed by the development of any particular tool(s) to pursue it.

At least perception-wise, many in Oakhurst are under the impression that a neighborhood visioning process never took place, making the criteria being developed for the LHD subjective in certain regards. It has not helped that the informational and/or participatory meetings held by the city thus far have not been clear as to whether or not *visioning* is even one of the goals.

This is a perception that ONE has been able to exploit.

Anonymous (second posting here) seems to be indicating that the burden falls on the city, rather than supporters/petitioners, to drive the process. Given the political importance and value of an inclusive visioning exercise, I'd say all indicators here point to the city dropping the ball. If not in a procedural way, then certainly as a matter of clarity in communications.

My completely unsolicited advice would be that LHD supporters do a more proactive job of connecting the dots... allowing people to see how the Design Guidelines in development incorporate our widely diverse opinions (on all sides), not just those of some sub-group.

Until that cause/effect relationship is made more clear to folks on the fence, they'll be much easier targets for ONE's "control is being taken from you" arguments.

Personally, I think we're all better served by maintaining focus on whether or not our collective objectives can be addressed within proposed Design Guidelines, rather than all this petty grenade hurling.