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, September 21, 2007

What are historic district good for anyway?

Interesting article on historic districts:

“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 “


EAR said...

This flexibility sounds new. Every LHD or neighborhood requiring a COA requires that the existing character be maintained. The Area of Influence is a group of structures adjacent to the property in question. Any new or renovated construction must comply with the structures in the "Area". This is a fundamental approach used by all LHDs, NHDs, and the US Secretary of Interior for determining what is "appropriate". Have you seen any new "contemporary" designs in any of our LHDs? The whole point is to regulate appropriateness as determined by the subjective scrutiny of the HPC.

We must keep the successes of the past and discard it's mistakes to transcend design styles. Ever since Architects have been largely excluded from residential work, the residential design styles have remained stagnant. Is the hated in-fill housing not traditional in style anyway? What are we really trying to regulate? THE SIZE!!! This has absolutely nothing to do with history!

Anonymous said...

There is one other thing you are not thinking about. In our neighborhood and our city there are very few empty lots. Often historic houses are torn down to build in-fill. This is what this LHD targets the demolition. If you want to preserve, the most important thing to stop is demolition. The renovation and material changes people make are nothing compared to the distruction that demolition has on a house or street's history, character and architecture. If you stop the demolition you have less of these in-fill houses. There will continue to be new construction because not all houses are contributing but these new in-fill houses will be reviewed to ensure that they don't detract from the houses around them and the street. It all depends on the guidelines as to how new construction is handled but in general they state that they don't want new construction to attemp to resemble the contributing houses because it detracts from them. I think this is a huge part of what is wrong with in-fill we have now they try to look craftsmen and 9 times out of 10 they fail so badly that it detracts more than if they didn't try at all. Why do you think that this will stop contemperary design? The guidelines the original nominators put together attempted to allow this.

Samuel said...

You people stay so active in your historic distict. www.historicnearwestside.com

Anonymous said...

Do the nominators understand that both contributing AND non-contributing homes MUST seek COA and COE to make changes to exterior of homes? Quote in AJC article misleads the public. Was Ms. Provost misquoted or was statement made?

The majority of our community want to do something about infill, but not manner in which proposed by nominators. Why not form a task force to come to a middle ground? It is clear that the majority are opposed to lhd in Oakhurst.

Anonymous said...

Is it clear that a majority is against the LHD?

Anonymous said...

It is absolutely clear and proven in the original district nominated. The rest of Oakhurst hasn't had time to get over the shock yet. But from the noise so far, it may be even more clear from them and soon I suspect. We'll see.