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, May 9, 2008

Benefits of Local Historic Districts

The major benefit to local historic district designation is that property owners are
assured that their investment in their property will be not be harmed by
inappropriate alterations or construction on adjacent properties. Once a property
has received local historic district designation, elements of the property that are subject to
public view become protected from inappropriate changes by a design review process.
Property owners are required to apply for, and obtain, a Certificate of Appropriateness
(COA) before a building permit can be issued, or exterior work begun, on any exterior
changes. This review process adds protection and stability to both individual
properties and historic districts. The process and its benefits are similar to deed
restrictions that are placed on lots in modern housing developments. In both cases, the
goal is to guide development in order to protect individual investment and the common
Two common misperceptions of those who are unfamiliar with local historic district
designation are that it will restrict their right to alter properties they own and that it will
decrease the value of their property.
•  Fort Wayne’s historic preservation guidelines allow a great amount of
flexibility in planning common building improvement projects. Over 90 percent
of the applications for COAs are approved by the Fort Wayne Historic
Preservation Review Board (HPRB), the majority of which obtain quick approval
by HPRB staff. While a property owner may be required to get approval of
proposed changes by reviewing plans with the HPRB and its staff, many owners
find the process helpful because free advice is available from objective
•  Property values are not adversely affected by local historic district
designation. Property values tend to rise with local historic district designation,
equaling if not outpacing similar, undesignated areas. Values in local historic
districts often exceed the rate of value increase for the city as a whole, thereby
offering a secure location for investment.