Tuesday, January 24, 2017

BCA Historic Preservation Committee recommendation - summary

From NextDoor Bloomingdale:

BCA Historic Preservation Committee Recommendation - Summary
Serita Sanders from Bloomingdale · 3m ago
Greetings Neighbors:

For those that were able to make it out to the BCA monthly meeting last night, thank you for taking time out of your schedule to attend. For those of you that were there in spirit, thank you for your positive vibrations.

The meeting went very well and focus areas presented by the Committee were well researched and documented/supported by facts. No conclusions were derived from opinions, only on facts. The Committee looked at historic districts all over the city, w/in the Greater Metropolitan area (Annapolis and Alexandria), around the country (Chicago, New York, Dubuque Iowa, Ulyssess Grant Home, small main street town of Elizabeth Illinois). Tax data bases were searched to compile and compute taxes for historic districts areas to compare and identify trends of tax increases (and nexus to historic district). Gentrification was explored and the conclusion reached (does historic district contribute or cause gentrification?) was based on data.

Thus, I wanted to give you a brief summary of the Committee's recommendation to retain Bloomingdale's historical character. In short, the Committee recommended special zoning for Bloomingdale, accompanied with the updated R-4 zoning.

The community thru its feedback to the Committee overwhelmingly indicated that they wanted to preserve Bloomingdale's streetscape and continue to modernize their home inside and the back (w/roof decks). To achieve this, the Committee has met with the Office of Planning to review and discuss draft special zoning crafted [by the Committee] especially for Bloomingdale to address our needs (like what Georgetown did for its community w/their special zoning). Bloomingdale residents desperately want to "stop the pop" and believed historic districts to be the only option.

The Committee concluded thru facts that: (1) the updated R4 zoning provides regulations necessary to control pop-ups and irresponsible construction, (2) Historic Districts do contribute to property tax increase, expedites gentrification, requires more expensive materials, takes additional time thru permitting process (approximately 8 months) for additions and the like, represents unpredictability/consistency in Historic Preservation Review Board approving your design (length of time and subjectivity), and isn't always enforced for violations; and (3) Special Zoning preserves Bloomingdale's Streetscape, culture (landmarks - Heritage Trail), addresses affordable housing, retains family oriented community, controls density, prevents overdevelopment and ill-construction of large lot sizes [provides protection for residents], and gives communities a greater voice in renovations of apartment/condo and commercial buildings.

The Committee recommends: (1) Special Zoning to retain Bloomingdale's streetscape, and historical character and culture; (2) All Bloomingdale residents vote, not only Bloomingdale Civic Association members - accomplished thru a community survey/vote to all residents (ANC 5E would determine weight of homeowner and renters), and have at least 2 more community meetings to allow everyone the benefit of hearing the outcome of this study and understanding the proposed special zoning for Bloomingdale.

Proposed Next Steps:
The Committee proposed that we (1) continue our discussion with Office of Planning (OP) to finalize the draft zoning that the Committee submitted to OP; over half of the proposed special zoning was found to be acceptable by OP [this draft zoning was also handed out to participants] (2) Bloomingdale then meets to finalize the zoning, (3) send out to the entire community for comment and approval, (4) give back to OP and engage council members if necessary, (5) project that zoning could become effective by end of 2017, and (6) IMPERATIVE---MUST HAVE UNIFIED COMMUNITY SUPPORT!

The BCA President stated that our next steps will be for the Committee to bring a survey/vote schedule back to the BCA's next monthly meeting (2/27/17) and present it to full body. It is worth noting that during yesterday's meeting the Committee presented a draft survey/vote ballot and our next steps timeline. The President further stated that our BCA members [body] vote on if the vote/survey should be extended to the entire Bloomingdale homeowners. It is important that you attend this meeting whether or not you are a property owner or not, and definitely if you are a property owner. Decisions will be made that affect you and how much you pay for property taxes and materials for your home. It is worth noting that I stated to the group of meeting participants that everyone in the room pretty much, that they have already renovated (not restored, which is required under historic preservation) their homes and now they want to get a designation for the neighborhood.

The team presented a LOT of material and it will go on the bloomingdalecivicassociation.org website w/in the next 7 days for your viewing. If you would like to send a question or comment on this matter, please send to BCAHistoric@gmail.com

Best Regards,

Serita Sanders
BCA Historic Preservation Committee, Chair

3 comments:

  1. Thank you Sarita for the great job and effort for this effort. Really appreciate all the work you did and found your analysis to be extremely fair.

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  2. "It is worth noting that I stated to the group of meeting participants that everyone in the room pretty much, that they have already renovated (not restored, which is required under historic preservation) their homes and now they want to get a designation for the neighborhood. "

    This is interesting. So basically a group of people have already increased the value of their home via upgrades, extra space, etc. and now want to ban others from doing the same (or increase the time/money cost of doing so).

    The cynic in me says that's a great way to lock in an even greater return on those investments you've made - make sure you have the bigger house in the neighborhood and nobody else can get there.

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  3. Has anyone seen the information posted on the BCA site? I just checked and couldn't find anything new. Thanks.

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