FAQs on Historic Districts
Historic Districts were created in order to help residents preserve the historic character of their houses and ultimately their neighborhoods. In the long run, the positivesof historic districts outweigh the negatives. Here are just a few FAQs related to owning a home in a local historic district:
How do I know I am in a historic district? When someone buys property in a local historic district, the seller or their real estate agent is required by law to disclose the historic district status of the building or lot before sale is closed. Anyone wondering if a property is in a local historic district area can contact the Historic District Commission Office at 336-2302.
What exactly does this mean to me as a home owner? Before any exterior changes or new construction or demolition is conductedwithin the district, you must first contact the Charlotte Historic DistrictCommission Office at 336-2302 to determine if the proposed work requires approval. HDC staff is available to assist you, and can, in fact, grantapproval for a wide range of routine projects.Although this might sound like a pain, in the long run it ensures protection for the historic character of your neighborhood.
What if I rent my home? The HDC Design Guidelines apply to all property in a district, whether owner occupied or rented, business or residential, developed or vacant.
How long does it take to deal with the Commission? Most items that require the approval of the full Historic District Commission can be resolved within thirty days. Some projects may take longer.
Does everything have to go through this process? Under the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance, all exterior changes, newconstruction and demolition are covered by the Historic District Commission design guidelines. You should always contact the HDC office prior todoing any such work, just to ensure that no approvals are necessary.
What if I chose not to bother with the Historic District Commission? The HDC has adopted a new enforcement policy that is designed to give anyonea chance to comply with the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance. It is a violation of the Charlotte Zoning Ordinance to make any exteriorchanges to a building or site in a local historic district without first gaining the HDC’s approval. Mecklenburg County Building Standards Departmentcannot issue a building or a demolition permit in an historic district without a Certificate of Appropriateness from the HDC. Failing that,the HDC staff and the appropriate County Zoning Inspector can seek theissuance of a summons to bring the violation before the Mecklenburg County Environmental Court.
How can I find out more? You can call the HDC office any time. John Rogers can be reached at 336-5994, and Wanda Birmingham is at 336-2302. The Historic District Commissionoffices are part of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission. Theyare on the eighth floor of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center at 600 East Fourth Street.
To read more about Midwood’s Historic District, visit: http://plazamidwood.org/district