View single post by PvtClewell
 Posted: Tue Sep 11th, 2007 09:40 pm
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Joined: Wed Jun 13th, 2007
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 420

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Our humble town of 20,000 recently had a residential district of about 800 houses put on the National Historic Register. We live in that district and it's composed of homes mostly (but not all) built prior to 1950. (Our house was built in 1920, so it is closing in on its 100th birthday. Party time. Y'all come).

The benefit of living in a historic district is that you qualify for tax credits if your house is contributing (older than 1950) and you make $25,000 or more in renovations/repairs. All well and good. I like it.

Our town is on the way to making ours and another district (a wonderful old textile mill village of 300 homes also soon to be on the Historic Register and is one of the largest existing mill villages in the state) part of the city's historic preservation district, which is different from the national register. While it won't force anybody to make repairs or renovations (which I think is important), it will direct homeowners to follow certain city guidelines when renovations or repairs are made (like what colors you can choose to paint your house, what kind of siding you can use, what kind of windows, etc. The idea is to maintain the historic architectural integrity of the house, and thus the integrity of the district). Here is where there has been some resistence from some homeowners, whose battle cry is "You can't tell me what I can do to my house." They may have a point. We've been told taxes or assessments won't increase because a house is in a historic district, so that shouldn't be an issue.

From the meetings I've attended, most of the residents impacted by this are in favor of the historic designations. The classification also will prevent commercialism from encroaching (some residential homes have become lawyers' and realtors' offices) while possibly even saving others from demolition. A large number of old homes have already been razed, which led some residents to start a grassroots preservation movement to begin with. But there are a vocal few opposed to it.

I guess my question is, do any of you live in historic districts and how is that going? Seems to me, a homeowner would want to be a good steward of his old house, maintaining the value of his property as well as his neighbor's property values.

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