Why does Acworth Need a Historic overlay/district?
When historic buildings are irreversibly altered or torn down, a part of the past disappears forever. Citizens deserve the ability to protect the buildings, neighborhoods, and landscapes that tell their story - the places that established and shaped the community they live in.
what historic protections are in place now?
Acworth's Historic Preservation Commission is appointed for three-year terms by the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen. Currently, changes to properties located in the Park Street and Collins Avenue Local Historic Districts (or individually-landmarked sites elsewhere in the city) require a Certificate of Appropriateness, issued by the Historic Preservation Commission.
Unfortunately, property owners could opt out of the Park Street and Collins Avenue Local Historic Districts, effectively stripping the Historic Preservation Commission of power. Additionally, commercial buildings and residences located in historic downtown Acworth currently have no historic protections in place. Furthermore, there are no design standards in place for new construction in historic downtown Acworth, meaning there is no way to ensure that new construction is compatible with the historic environment or neighboring structures. Acworth's Historic Preservation Commission has no power to review or provide recommendations for new construction, redevelopment, or infill projects in historic downtown Acworth. As Acworth continues to grow, it is clear that the city needs to establish a locally designated historic area.
benefits of locally designated historic overlays/diStricts
- Properties located in an Historic Overlay/District would not only be recognized for their historical importance, but would also become subject to ordinances governing demolition, renovation, and new construction. This oversight ensures changes to properties in the area fit the overall character of historic Acworth.
- Incompatible new construction can make an area less attractive to investors and homebuyers, which can undermine neighboring property values. A Historic Overlay/District would protect the investments of property owners by ensuring new construction is compatible.
- In a metro Atlanta study, properties located in local historic districts experienced a statistically significant increase of approximately 7 percent in value compared to the period before achieving designation. National findings show that historic districts are also less vulnerable to economic downturns.
- A Historic Overlay/District could help support the local economy through tourism. Acworth’s charming Main Street and historic residential neighborhoods are among the city's most important assets. According to a 2009 report, 78% of all U.S. leisure travelers are cultural and/or heritage travelers who value historic environments.
Citizens are encouraged to reach out to city leadership and let them know that it's time for Acworth to protect its historic downtown.
City of Acworth Directory
City of Acworth Directory