Adverse effects of Historic Landmark Designation:
Loss of property rights: Any exterior work needing a city permit will need to go to a mayor appointed Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) for design review before it can go through the regular permitting process. All decisions are binding and cannot be arbitrated. Homeowners’ only recourse is suing in court. This additional regulation removes design choices from the homeowner and puts them into the hands of others who will be the arbiters of taste.
Taxes – As properties realize this claimed increase in values, property taxes will subsequently also increase. Effectively, historic designation is an increase in property taxes at a faster pace well above normal market behavior.
Gentrification – A centerpiece of the vibrancy of Park Hill is the young families who have traditionally bought smaller homes and expanded as their children are born and grow. These added restrictions will make it more expensive, more difficult, and in some cases impossible to expand their houses. Under these regulations many more young families will be financially excluded forcing them to look to other neighborhoods and Park Hill will suffer this loss. As younger families disappear, the schools will subsequently suffer.
Complicated permitting process – All new construction that requires a building permit (fences, porch changes, window replacements, retaining walls, doors, garage doors, dormers, stairs. Second story additions), for ANY property within the districit, must be reviewed by the LPC. This pertains to ALL PROPERTIES: contributing homes, non-contributing homes, homes within period of significance, homes outside of the period of significance, and empty lots.
More expensive construction – Owners will realize, and pay for, an increase in architect fees to account for additional drawings required, redesigns, additional submittals to design review board, and increases in average cost of construction for acceptable building materials that fit the stringent historic district design requirements.
Less architectural diversity – The neighborhood currently reflects all the additions, new builds and pop tops from various times in Park Hill, as well as tastes during the various time periods during which they happened. A considerable number of the pop tops built in the last fifteen years in Park Hill are very attractive improvements over what preceded them. Most, if not all, of these would not be permitted under the Landmark guidelines.Newer designs such as the post moderns proudly displayed during the Park Hill Home Tour will be at best limited in their options or, at worst, not permitted at all. Entire future generations of architecture and design will be excluded from the diverse fabric of the neighborhood. Park Hill will become an outdoor museum. The vibrancy and tolerance towards various life styles that were a hallmark of Park Hill will disappear with the implementation of the LPC and design review process.
New construction: Interestingly and paradoxically, pop tops, new builds, and additions which are approved are not allowed to look like an original structure. Landmark does not want the casual observer to accidentally interpret a newer structure as being original so it must look distinctly different. You MAY NOT maintain the feel of the original architecture. The new house at 23rd and Cherry which the Historic Park Hill people love to denigrate would be permitted. In kind construction is not.