September 15, 2014
On September 15 the Atlanta City Council will consider proposed Ordinance Amendment 14-O-1366, which will affect the future of preservation in Atlanta. The Atlanta Preservation Center has sent the following comments to the City Council for its consideration. Please contact your Council member now, as a decision will be taken in this afternoon’s session.
Atlanta City Council members’ email addresses are:
|Carla Smith District 1||Yolanda Adrean District 8|
|Kwanza Hall District 2||Felicia Moore District 9|
|Ivory Lee Young District 3||C.T. Martin District 10|
|Cleta Winslow District 4||Keisha Bottoms District 11|
|Natalyn M. Archibong District 5||Joyce Sheperd District 12|
|Alex Wan District 6||Michael Julian Bond Post 1 at large|
|Howard Shook District 7||Mary Norwood Post 2 at large|
|Andre Dickens Post 3 at email@example.com|
Dear Council Members:
The Atlanta Preservation Center (APC) strenuously opposes passage of Howard Shook’s proposed Ordinance Amendment #14-0-1366. Specifically, the APC’s opposition lies in the redefinition of historic neighborhoods as only those which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Existing ordinance sections 15-06.001(t) and 15-08-005(d)(6) of the Subdivision Ordinance of the City of Atlanta currently provide for historic assets which are eligible for the National Register.
Eligibility for the National Register is a national standard. It means that the historic resource meets a national criteria as part of the nation’s cultural heritage. Eligibility can be determined by an assessment from the State Office of Historic Preservation based on these national standards. Listing on the Register is dependent on the will and economic ability of a community to follow through with the Register process but makes no additional distinction as to the historic value of the asset. The proposed ordinance change will place an unfair disadvantage on those communities which have eligible historic resources but do not have the economic resources to execute the listing process. This will place them in a different category of consideration with the City regardless of the equal value of their historic assets. This proposed action could also have the potential of limiting the creation of new National Register listed districts within the City of Atlanta and thus limiting access to State and Federal tax incentives.
Nationally, progressive communities are focusing on the possibilities of redevelopment utilizing federal tax programs. Mid-Century Modern assets, historic resources built as recently as 1964, can now take advantage of the available incentives for revitalization through historic preservation. This was a period of expansive growth for our City. To disregard the potential of these assets rather than planning for their intelligent use and revitalization is an enormous missed opportunity. The proposed ordinance change would disregard the potential of a vast array of historic assets throughout the City, discounting their intrinsic value as reflected in the term “eligibility.”
The Atlanta Preservation Center urges Council members to reach out to the State’s Department of Natural Resources Historic Preservation Division’s Program Manager Stephanie Cherry-Farmer for the technical expertise necessary to ensure proper legislation which would encourage both redevelopment and new development. Neither the APC nor the State office has been involved in the current proposed changes.
The Atlanta Preservation Center respectfully asks that this legislation be opposed.
F.H. Boyd Coons
Atlanta Preservation Center
Stephanie Cherry-Farmer, SHPO: Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org
Leslie Cannan: email@example.com
Christian Olteanu: firstname.lastname@example.org