Tuesday, January 22, 2008

BUILDING STANDARDS PROPOSED FOR NEW RESIDENTIAL

The Newnan Planning Commission, along with the City Planning Department, is currently developing proposed building standards for new residential construction in Newnan’s national register historic districts. Under these standards, residential new construction will be required to be compatible with the historic character of the neighborhood within which they are being built.

The Planning Commission is currently seeking public input on the proposed standards. They will hold a public hearing at their next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, February 12th at 7:00 p.m. in the Newnan City Hall.

“Although the City has existing national register districts, we do not have standards in place to ensure that new construction compliments the existing historic homes,” said Tracy Dunnavant, Planning and Zoning Director for the City of Newnan. “As of right now, types of building materials, scale, and other pertinent decisions are left solely to the discretion of the builder, and the city is considering adopting language to ensure some type of quality control,” continued Dunnavant.

In defining “new construction”, the Commission was quick to limit the standards to structures being built on undeveloped lots or lots where complete demolition has occurred. The regulations would not apply to the expansion of existing structures, improvements to exterior walls, additions to existing structures, accessory structures for existing residences, and general maintenance and repair of existing homes.

With the proposed additions to the zoning ordinance, standards for new residential construction in the area include such requirements as enhancing the overall character of the district, being compatible with the dominant design characteristics of the historic homes, being consistent with adjacent structures, and using building materials such as wood, brick, masonry, and other complimentary materials. The use of vinyl siding in the district will be strongly discouraged.

Dunnavant said the standards are designed to achieve the quality development that the City is seeking, while providing a certain amount of flexibility for the property owner. She added that maintaining that careful balance is crucial when creating a successful design.

Dunnavant said that her department is available to answer questions and has copies of the proposed standards for review. She can be reached at 770-254-2354.

The Mayor and City Council will have to approve the Planning Commission’s recommendations before the ordinance is officially adopted.

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