Oakhurst Design Guidelines 5.21.07

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Proposed Local Historic District in Oakhurst Proposed Design Guidelines – Community Input presented to Historic Preservation Commission May 2007 Update 5/21/2007 Introduction Oakhurst has a unique history as its own town incorporated in 1910. The development of the City of Oakhurst paralleled the early development of the City of Decatur and therefore shares much of the same character as some of the oldest neighborhoods in the City. As modern development began to encroach on the historic charac
  Proposed Local HistoricDistrict in Oakhurst Proposed Design Guidelines – Community Input presented to Historic PreservationCommission May 2007Update 5/21/2007  Introduction Oakhurst has a unique history as its own town incorporated in 1910. Thedevelopment of the City of Oakhurst paralleled the early development of the City of Decatur and therefore shares much of the same character as some of the oldestneighborhoods in the City. As modern development began to encroach on the historiccharacter of the neighborhood citizens began to look for opportunities and guidelines for sensitive redevelopment and new residential development within the OakhurstCommunity. The streets included in the proposed local historic district represent amostly intact area with homes built during a similar time period by a few developers.The history of the development began with the addition of the Proposed local rail lineand opening of the South Decatur Trolley Line and represents development prior to themass introduction of the automobile. The proposed district is a small part of what is nowcalled Oakhurst, but is representative of the history of the area. The Historic Preservation Commission and residents of the proposed historicdistrict developed these design guidelines to assist the city of Decatur in the continued preservation of the historic district. The following proposed design guidelines will serveas a uniform set of criteria to evaluate any proposed changes within the district.Ultimately, these guidelines serve to protect the visual qualities of the district's historicand cultural resources.The guidelines are available to aid neighborhood property owners who may beconsidering alterations, additions or new construction projects within the district.Additionally, they should be used by the Decatur Historic Preservation Commission inevaluating proposed alterations, additions, or demolitions to historic properties and newconstruction within the Proposed local district. These guidelines will also assist propertyowners in understanding the unique historic character of the buildings and environmentof the district. The guidelines should act as a guide to owners who are faced withdecisions about repair, maintenance, rehabilitation and new construction.The following design guidelines are not to be viewed as rigid restrictions createdto halt all change or to return the district to a prior historical period or style. Rather theseguidelines are meant to serve as standards that can guide neighborhood residents in sounddesign, repair, rehabilitation and preservation practices to reinforce, enhance and protectthe existing historic character of the district.  Proposed District’s Historic Overview The development of the proposed historic district was tied to the expansion of the railroad. One of the early stations built was Meade Station, which is thought to have been located at what is nowMead Road. John F. Ridley sold off portions of his property near the station for the developmentof the town of Oakhurst. Oakhurst was incorporated in 1910. The 1910 residential directory gaveaddresses in Oakhurst along Park Place, Viola (Madison), College Avenue, Meades Road (MeadRoad) and Winter Avenue. Oakhurst was annexed into the City of Decatur in 1915.Continued development was linked to the addition of trolley lines. The North Decatur line wasbuilt in 1892 running north of Candler Park, down to DeKalb Avenue and then following East LakeDrive South. It then crossed the South Decatur line at the intersection of Oakview Road, EastLake Drive and Mead Road in what is now Oakhurst Commercial District.The development of Oakhurst was tied or closely related to the expansion of Decatur and enjoyssome of the same character as the oldest developments in the City. The proposed local historicdistrict’s housing is predominately in the bungalow style with Craftsman details. The majority of the homes are of wood construction, but there are many brick or stone homes. They are further distinguished by the simplicity of detailing and large front porches.Oakhurst Baptist Church was the first church of any denomination in the City of Oakhurst.Nestled within the historic district is Oakhurst Elementary School, which recently underwent anicely crafted and historically sensitive renovation, adding charm to the neighborhood. Having aschool within the neighborhood creates a sense of community and enhances the small town feelof the district.There are few buildings within the proposed district with a connection to high profile historicfigures or events and many would say that the building themselves are not historically significant.While the housing is of modest architectural design it does represent a history and aneighborhood worthy of conservation. The residents of the district and the Historic PreservationCommission are champions of neighborhood with less grand architecture, but that represent theevolution of history. These historic neighborhoods provide housing for residents from a broadrange of economic strata.  Intent of Design GuidelinesShould the proposed local historic district be approved by the Historic PreservationCommission and City Commission the residents would like a public hearing 12 monthsfrom the date of approval to have the opportunity to opt out of the local historic districtdesignation.The intent of the design guidelines for the proposed local historic district is to preservethe historic block face of the street and preserve homes built prior to 1939. The emphasisis on the rhythm and massing of the homes and the connection of the homes to the street.The majority of the homes are bungalow or craftsman homes with a variety of ornamentation.Homes built 1939 and prior will be considered contributing. Homes built after 1939 will be considered non-contributing.It is the intention of the proposed district to be an integral part of the neighborhood and towork on other complimentary programs that will encourage preservation of the uniquehistoric character of the surrounding area.The guidelines are intended to encourage appropriate and complimentary additionsand/or renovations without requiring repair to existing conditions. The guidelinesrepresent methods to preserve the unique historic character and are not intended to be anundue financial burden on the citizensThe guidelines cover parts of the home that can be viewed for the right of way. Theapplication of the guidelines will apply more rigorously to the front block face, or address street of the home and less rigorously to the sides of the home. It is not intendedto be applied to the rear of the home even when the home is on a corner lot. There was adiscussion to define less rigorous.Homes renovated beyond a recognizable style would not be contributing.The guidelines encourage appropriate and complimentary new construction. Newconstruction can be more contemporary in nature, but should compliment surroundingstructures in terms of mass and scale so as not to distract from the unique character of thestreet. New designs may incorporate some architectural elements that emulate adjacentstructures but should not attempt to imitate or copy old architecture. These are generalrecommendations for design, and are not intended to dictate specific design solutions.Variances from the design guidelines for non-contributing structures will be stronglyconsidered especially when there is a massing of non-contributing structures not directlyconnected or adjacent to contributing structures.
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