Tuesday, August 28, 2018

I Support Expansion of Plainfield's Historic Districts

The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) has been working on a plan to expand two of our historic districts:  Netherwood Heights and Van Wyck Brooks.   I commend their work and urge Plainfielders to get behind this initiative.

Historic homes and neighborhoods have been advantageous to those living and near them.  Preservation preserves the integrity of architectural assets, stabilizes neighborhoods, improves quality of life and increases property values (which is a benefit to the whole city). 

Some residents are concerned about government telling them how to renovate their homes and the increased financial burden they think comes with it.  I can speak from experience.  I was told by my insurance company to install a railing on my front steps.  The  HPC requested I use the simplest (and least expensive) design available so as to not have the railing detract from the other features of my homes front side. 

I have heard many examples of HPC rulings that balanced the financial concerns of the applicants with historic preservation.  Of course there are some property owners who were told that they improperly replaced original windows with plastic frames which were out of compliance with the preservation standard or used aluminum siding.  Property owners should be aware of the historic district regulations so they do not labor under common misconceptions such as:
  • HPC approves the colors of your house paint.  HPC does not.
  • HPC regulates building interiors.  They do not.
  • HPC regulates exterior work regardless of whether it can be seen from the street.  HPC regulates only that which can be seen from the street. 

There is an HPC meeting tonight.  Unfortunately I have an unavoidable work schedule conflict and will be late.  But I encourage you to come out and learn about Plainfield's latest historic preservation imitative.  This is one of the positive aspects of the overall Plainfield improvement process.

No comments: