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.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

REPLAY: Regarding LHD and Diversity

Studies show that Local Historic Districts sustain diversity and racial mix of a community compared to more traditional suburban communities that are mostly segregated. With the rapid level of infill construction of home priced $600,000 - $1,000,000, will we be able to retain that diversity? Retaining diversity, avoiding the displacement of our elderly, poor and even middle class residents, and providing affordable housing within a community are concerns for any community that finds themselves with great demand for available land and therefore rapidly increases in land values.

It is true that there is a published paper "The Economic Power of Restoration" found at www.wisconsinhistory.org/hp/smartgrowth/economic_power_of_restoration.pdf. It states that historic districts reflect the diversity of a community unlike the majority of urban and suburban subdivisions that tend to be racially segregated. Why? Because a local historic district encourages a variety of housing sizes and therefore a variety of housing prices. Given the current land value in Decatur it is unrealistic to think we will easily provide affordable housing, but lhd can help us to maintain our diversity for what we hope is many more years.Many of our neighbors can not afford homes being priced from $600,000 - $1,000,000 in our neighborhood even if they sell their own homes for $300,000-$400,000 with 100% equity. Will that mean that continued infill development will mean a loss of diversity for Oakhurst? Only time will tell for certain.