Local Laws as Neighborhood Guardians
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This is a 1936 image of 8010-8046 Main Street (Stone House Facades), Ellicott City, MD. Photo: HABS Collection, NPS.
Working on the Past in Local Historic Districts
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A Preservation Ordinance DOES

Provide a municipal policy for the protection of historic properties

Establish an objective and democratic process for designating historic properties

Protect the integrity of designated historic properties within a design review requirement

Authorize design guidelines for new development within historic districts to ensure that it is not destructive to the area's historic character

Stabilize declining neighborhoods and protect and enhance property values.


A Preservation Ordinance DOES NOT

Require that historic properties be open for tours

Restrict the sale of the property

Require improvements, changes, or restoration of the property

Require approval of interior changes or alterations

Prevent new construction within historic areas

Require approval for ordinary repair or maintenance

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Georgia Alliance of Preservation Commissions, University of Georgia School of Environmental Design, Athens, Georgia, 1999.

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