If you were unable to attend the Mayor and Commission special meeting May 16, 2017 it’s not too late to get involved. Within the next 24 hrs we encourage local residents to send an email to the Mayor & Commission to speak up in support of a demolition moratorium on residential properties in the West Hancock National Register Historic District. Click or copy and paste this link to fill out the form. https://www.athensclarkecounty.com/FormCenter/Clerk-of-Commission-9-9/Agenda-Comment-Form-55-55
Commissioner Melissa Link states:
This demolition moratorium will prohibit demolitions of homes within the neighborhood and stave off the demolition of the three historic homes on Reese St. near the Varsity for at least one year. Know that just yesterday, yet another demolition permit was requested within the neighborhood. This one is for the grand home at 957 Reese St that Ebenezer Baptist Church uses as an office annex (see attached). The demolition moratorium will also apply to this house.
If/when this moratorium is enacted, it will be up to the neighborhood to initiate a planning process to determine the initiatives that they would like to see implemented to possibly save those homes permanently, preserve other historic structures, and address an array of zoning, infrastructure, socioeconomic & housing affordability issues facing the neighborhood. $25,000 of funds have been allocated in the ACC FY18 budget to secure the appropriate professionals to assist with this planning process.
Know that this demolition moratorium only prohibits demolition of front facades & front rooflines of homes. It does not apply to sheds, garages, etc. and allows significant renovations & additions with footprints of up to 800 sq ft to the rear & sides of homes (this allows up to 1600 total sq footage if such an addition were two stories). It also allows window dormers to be added to side & rear roof slopes enabling attics to be converted to living space. There are no prohibitions on new construction on empty lots and none on new construction of accessory structures. And structures that are deemed dilapidated & dangerous by the ACC Building Inspector are also not subject to the moratorium.
I am hoping for a show of widespread support from the neighborhood on this issue and I look forward to an exciting & unprecedented planning process in the months to come as this community takes charge of its future & sets an example for all of Athens.
If there are any further questions/concerns, please email me at melissalinkathens
@gmail.com. Thanks to you all for your active participation in your community.