Historic Preservation Commish gets ideas about no-cost historic liens from conference
By Stephanie Johns
Madison Historic Preservation Commission member Stratton Hicky attended a four-day training event by the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions held this past July in Norfolk, Va.
During last Tuesday night’s meeting of the commission, Leigh Burns, preservation planner and Certified Local Government coordinator for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Historic Preservation Division, praised the commission for its work and for receiving a scholarship that allowed Hicky to attend the event.
Hicky shared details of the training, explaining that it was a forum on preservation education that focused on the needs of commission members, staff and communities.
On his first day he toured Fort Monroe, a military base that had been active up until 2011. He participated in roundtable classes on preservation and codes, the evolution of in-fill, zoning, overlays and landscapes, preservation through development, and filling vistas with houses that fit, to name a few.
Hicky’s comment on how some communities impose no-cost historic liens drew several comments from those present at the meeting. He shared that owners and owners-to-be of historic homes would be notified that a lien had been taken on their homes but that no action was required of them. Also, some of the communities that had done this had gained the cooperation of local realtors who had agreed to place historic stickers on the for sale signs of historic properties.
By informing owners and owners-to-be of the historic designation of their homes, the communities had decreased the likelihood that inappropriate changes would be made to such homes.
Madison Planner Monica Callahan suggested that perhaps a similar arrangement might be reached locally: tax credit information such as the Preservation Tax Credit could be given to realtors who, in turn, agree to post such stickers.
On his last day, Hicky participated in a “get dirty project” at Fort Norfolk in which participants learned how to glaze windows, repair masonry and sift for artifacts in an archaeological dig.
Printed in the September 20, 2012 edition