In March, the CPNO membership voted to continue with the historic designation conversation by moving forward with what the Historic Committee is calling “Phase 2,” a 10–14 month inclusive process to engage Candler Park residents and work with a consultant to define and draft proposed regulations for a potential Candler Park Historic District.
I (John Fleming, JF) recently caught up with Committee Chair Emily Taff (ET) to ask a few questions and to get an update on the committee’s work so far. (Responses were edited for brevity.)
A historic district is a proactive way for us, as residents of Candler Park, to design our own future by writing regulations that will enable Candler Park to grow with the City while protecting what makes the neighborhood Candler Park and what we love about it.[JF] – Have there been efforts in the past to create a historic district? [ET] – Yes, so I wasn’t here at the time, but there was an effort in the 1990s that almost passed. Around 2008, another conversation was brought up, but it appears to have been so hampered by misinformation that the discussion was soon tabled. [JF] – What are some other historic districts in Atlanta and how has it benefited those neighborhoods? [ET] – Cabbagetown and Inman Park would not be what they are today if they were not historic districts especially now with the Beltline. In contrast to Cabbagetown, Reynoldstown, which is not a historic district, has lost so many of historic homes and lower income residents in just the last 10 years. [JF] – And what problems have come up in Cabbagetown and Inman Park and others ? [ET] – In older and often stricter historic districts replacement of siding with a new material (like concrete composite for wood) and window replacement have been severely restricted. Some districts, like Inman Park or Poncey Highland, have revised or written their regulations to be more flexible about material and window replacement. [JF] – What has been happening since the Vote in March? [ET] – For this phase, what we call Phase 2, we have established a rough schedule for community meetings, which will start in August (look for the official HDC info in this Messenger). We are posting all updates on our website: HistoricCandlerPark.org. We’ve organized the committee with tasks, have new members and are dedicated to making sure we are facilitating this conversation as thoughtfully and thoroughly as possible. The Committee really wants to make sure everyone has a chance to join in this discussion. We want everyone to understand what a historic district could mean, to share their thoughts and input, so that we can write regulations that define the best possible personalized historic district. Once we know what a potential Candler Park-specific historic district would actually look like THEN we can vote on whether we want that historic district or not. [JF] – Could you give us an idea of what the Committee will be doing over the next year? [ET] – See the Committee update in this issue of the Messenger and our website: HistoricCandlerPark.org. [JF] – Who else is on the committee? [ET] – Check HistoricCandlerPark.org for the most up-to-date list! [JF] – When and where do you meet and are the meetings open to the public? [ET] – Regular Committee meetings are on the 4th Wednesday of the month, via Zoom. Anyone can come—email me for info—however these are working meetings for project management/planning and are not opportunities for public input. There will be plenty of other meetings and ways for public engagement and input. I think those dates are elsewhere in this issue of the Messenger. [JF] – There will be expenses associated with this effort, including hiring a consultant. Any idea what the cost of this work will be and where will that money come from? [ET] – Yes, of course! The committee could not do this without the expertise and leadership of planning consultant Aaron Fortner, an experienced urban planner who did CP’s master plan in 2013. He will be drafting the regulations while the committee manages the project, public engagement, and helps him make sure Candler Park’s desires are met. He is not free! and we are reaching out to individuals and organizations with an interest in Candler Park for donations to cover the costs. That means you! Make a specificed tax-deductible donation to this project at candlerpark.org/hdwg
John Fleming is the CPNO communications officer. Emily Taff is Chair of the Historic Committee and CPNO’s past president.