Historic Districts- When Citizens Bite Back

Bloomingdale Scott beat me to it, but there is an article in the InTowner about the citizen opposition to the imposition of an historic district on to their neighborhood. I think that it’s great that citizens are challenging and questioning the process of historic districting.
DC has a lot of old houses and buildings, which are labeled historic by virtue of their age, which makes a lot of NW DC and Old City DC targets for districting. What neighborhood doesn’t have a number of houses and building 50 years old and older?
Regardless of if an HD assignation is actually appropriate or not for a neighborhood, it is good for the residents and property owners to address their concerns at a point where there is some turning back. For those aiming for HD status, it is good to present their arguments and explanations to their neighbors. And for the Historic Preservation Office and the Historic Preservation Review Board, it can’t be easy having to deal with a zillion little HDs all over the place with, so this citizen slow down may be for the best.

4 thoughts on “Historic Districts- When Citizens Bite Back”

  1. i disagree on a lot of fronts here, and i feel like a comment might not be the best place to articulate that, but let me just say one thing. most of the people who have been fighting HDs in other neighborhoods are not appealing to fact, they appeal to raw emotion. that’s not to say that the pro-HD people don’t appeal to emotional centers of the brain, but i feel like they do it a lot less, and are less….i don’t know….malicious about it.

  2. It’s okay to disagree.
    I haven’t been involved directly with any HD fights, mainly due to wanting to avoid them in the first place. Yes, I do realize the fights do get nasty, possibly because historic districting is a lightening rod topic, like guns.

    I purposefully chose to live in a neighborhood that wasn’t a historic district. When I purposefully avoid something emotions rise when I sense that someone wants to impose on me the very thing I don’t want.

  3. Just say no to historic districts! The historic preservation regime is just too arbitrary and inflexible. I’m no libertarian advocate for the primacy of property rights, but property owners should be given wide latitude in how they choose to use and alter their properties. And historic preservation demands often seem to be in conflict with environmental considerations which ultimately will have a greater impact on all of us.

  4. HIstoric designation is truly, truly awful. one day someone is going to sue that it is an unconstitutional Taking, and they will win. I also personally dont understand why people think that something older is automatically better. If something is worth saving, it will likely be saved. Row upon row of unremarkable houses don’t need protection from dumb DC bureuacrats and whiny meddlers.

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