City DopeNews

Large Five Points House Once Again on Historic Preservation Commission’s Agenda

A rendering of a proposed 4,000 square-foot house on Milledge Circle.

The Athens-Clarke County Historic Preservation Commission will consider five proposed projects at its Mar. 15 meeting, including tearing down a duplex to build a large house in Five Points.

The duplex property under consideration at 285 Milledge Circle has a long history regarding preservation. Commercial real estate agent Jamie Boswell, who bought the one-story duplex in 1998 for $100,000, petitioned to have it listed as “not contributing” when the historic district was designated in 2018. In 2019, son Jay Boswell told the HPC his father wanted to construct a 4,000-square-foot home on the site to retire in.

In November 2020, tax records show, Boswell sold the property for $467,500 to Jill Wright and Eric Gordon, an orthopedist. Officials approved a request in June 2021 to demolish the duplex and build a new house, but that approval expired. Current plans show a 3,917 square-foot, five-bedroom house, with one and a half stories and a roof 29 feet high. Seven-foot-high fences will screen both the north and south neighbors. A 793 square-foot garage will face the alley that runs behind houses on Milledge Circle and Westview. Plans are to access the garage via the alley instead of the existing driveway from Milledge Circle. County planners recommended the HPC approve the plan.

Two other projects in the Milledge Circle Historic District are also on the HPC’s agenda. At 210 Milledge Circle, owner Erik NeSmith has petitioned to build in the back yard a 476 square-foot, two-story garage with a guest room on the second floor. The highest point of the roof is 21 and a half feet. NeSmith’s request was approved in 2021, but that approval has also expired, and the membership of the Historic Preservation Commission has changed. The property has 87 feet of frontage on Milledge Circle and 200 feet along Castalia Avenue, which is also a historic district. The planning staff has recommended approving the garage, as long as it is shifted west at least 7 feet, to align it with the house next door fronting on Castalia Avenue.

In other agenda items, the owner of 340 Milledge Circle wants to expand the rear porch and add dormers to the side of the house. Planning staff have recommended approving changes to the house with some conditions.

In the Boulevard Historic District, homeowners have asked to modify the openings onto the rear screened porch of a house at 169 Virginia Ave., and construct an 8-foot-tall privacy fence at the rear of 153 New Ave.