Commission has second historic district in crosshairs
by Nikki Wiley
January 28, 2014 12:07 AM | 2169 views | 1 1 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Marietta Historic Preservation Commission Chairman David Freedman and his board are looking to create a second historical district in the city to protect the old homes in the city like the Corley House on Kennesaw Avenue, which is in the first historical district.
Marietta Historic Preservation Commission Chairman David Freedman and his board are looking to create a second historical district in the city to protect the old homes in the city like the Corley House on Kennesaw Avenue, which is in the first historical district.
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MARIETTA — After spending years to get the city’s first historic district off the ground, the Marietta Historic Preservation Commission is seeking the go-ahead to pursue two more districts in the city.

Marietta’s first historic district was created along Kennesaw Avenue in August.

The 14-home district was approved after years of debate and a 2010 veto by Mayor Steve Tumlin, who said he didn’t believe the required number of hearings took place.

Now, Maple Avenue and Polk Street are in the Historic Preservation Commission’s crosshairs.

The commission will ask City Council on Wednesday at a non-voting meeting for permission to pursue the creation of the districts.

That pursuit would include drawing potential district boundaries and holding multiple public hearings.

If council is on board, it would still take approval of 60 percent of property owners in the proposed district to make it a reality.

David Freedman, chairman of the commission, isn’t sure if Maple Avenue and Polk Street would be considered one or two districts, but he said the area is the next logical step after the creation of the Kennesaw Avenue Historic District.

“A lot of those homes are at least 100 years old. The whole idea with the district is to help the homeowners preserve the historic character of their community,” Freedman said. “There’s a lot of interest in the houses there. They sell very well.”

Homeowners in historic districts are subject to the oversight of the historic commission. Though some house features, such as roofs and windows, are exempted, homeowners are required to apply for a “certificate of appropriateness” before making any change to their home’s exterior if it would be visible from public streets or sidewalks.

Freedman said that makes some homeowners in historic neighborhoods nervous and fearful they may be giving up their property rights.

“That’s why most people are opposed. They don’t want people to tell them what to do with their house,” Freedman said.

Though no Kennesaw Avenue residents have had to request a certificate of appropriateness from the commission yet, not everyone was supportive of creating the district.

Two homeowners asked not to be included.

Some Maple Avenue and Polk Street residents are also apprehensive, Freedman said.

Still, he said, for what individuals give up in property rights, they gain in protection of their historic neighborhood.

“It preserves the historic fabric of the community,” Freedman said. “I don’t think you’ll see an advertisement about Marietta that doesn’t mention the historic fabric or the historic homes. That’s kind of what makes Marietta.”

Marking Kennesaw Avenue Historic District

Council will also consider on Wednesday approving a monument sign to be erected at the entrance to Kennesaw Avenue near Monarch Park at Church Street.

The city set aside $5,000 for the sign when it approved the district, but the Historic Preservation Commission has proposed a two-phase monument sign that would total a little more than $10,000.

Some members of the council expressed a desire to see that price lowered at a December meeting.

“They had an expectation of what they put aside in the budget, which was around $5,000,” said Brian Binzer, director of development services, who oversees the Kennesaw Avenue Historic District.

Council would have the option to complete the entire sign, just phase one, or not pursue the sign at all.

Phase one would include a brick monument sign designating the district with a decorative granite cap coming in at about $4,350.

Another $6,400 could be spent extending the sign with an ornamental steel fence.

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Tammy Osborne
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January 30, 2014
What happened with the FAIR OAKS COMMUNITY being part of Historic Preservation. After akk our trees are over 100 yes old and Fair Oaks was the third trolley stop leaving Marietta to Atlanta.

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