January 18, 2013

Commission Postpones Buena Vista Historic District Vote (Again)

Athens-Clarke commissioners decided last night to put off a vote on the Buena Vista Heights historic district for another month.

Commissioner Kelly Girtz proposed reducing the size of the district from 76 to about 50 homes, removing some property owners who oppose the designation as well as some mid-century houses that aren't part of the original neighborhood, built as a streetcar suburb in the 1890s. He said he plans to continue tweaking the borders in the coming weeks.

With a Feb. 5 vote looming, several commissioners said they're not comfortable adjusting the lines on the fly. They also raised concerns about whether the Planning Department could run legal ads and notify property owners in time for that vote.

Mayor Nancy Denson said she will postpone the vote until March 5, but not any longer. The commission already voted once, in November, to wait to act while they embarked on what proved to be a fruitless search for an alternative to the controversial historic district.

A moratorium on demolitions in Buena Vista, also approved in November, expires at the end of the month, but individual commissioners can put holds on demolition permits for 90 days.