The Advantages of Establishing a Historic District
One of the strongest qualities of local historic district designation is that it can be tailored to the specific needs and distinct identity of the community, and helps to protect and preserve local resources, even while the community is changing. Development that enhances a historic district is important to the city's evolution since it ties past, present and future together. Change further indicates a healthy and lively community, and reflects the united pride and investment the residents have in their neighborhood. There are numerous other advantages to establishing a local historic district:
Local districts protect the investments of owners and residents. Buyers know that the aspects that make a particular area attractive will be protected over a period of time. Real estate agents in many cities use historic district status as a marketing tool to sell properties.
Local districts encourage better design. It has been shown through comparative studies that there is a greater sense of relatedness, more innovative use of materials, and greater public appeal within historic districts than in areas without historic designations.
Local districts help the environment. Historic district revitalization can, and should, be part of a comprehensive environmental policy.
The educational benefits of creating local districts are the same as those derived from any historic preservation effort. Districts can help explain the development of a place, the source of inspiration, and technological advances. They are a record of ourselves and our communities.
A local district can result in a positive economic impact from tourism. A historic district that is aesthetically cohesive and well promoted can be a community's most important attraction. The retention of historic areas as a way to attract tourist dollars makes good economic sense.
The protection of local historic districts can enhance business recruitment potential. Companies continually re-locate to communities that offer their workers a higher quality of life, which is greatly enhanced by successful local preservation programs and stable historic districts.
Local districts provide social and psychological benefits. A sense of empowerment and confidence develops when community decisions are made through a structured participatory process rather than behind closed doors or without public comment.

Historic Designation

The process for becoming part of an existing historic district is listed below. Do not let the length of the process deter you from making application... the benefits are numerous and help protect the architectural features of your property. The employees in the Planning Department and Main Street Jefferson are available for guidance in this process.

Section 19.4.6. Application for Designation of Historic District or Landmark.

An historical society, neighborhood association, or group of property owners may apply for designation of historic districts. An historical society or property owner may apply for designation of landmark structures.

Section 19.4.7. Required Public Hearings and Notice.

The Historic Preservation Commission and the Jefferson City Council shall hold a public hearing on the proposed ordinance for designation. Notice of the hearing shall be published in at least three (3) consecutive issues in the legal organ of the City of Jefferson, and written notice of the hearing shall be mailed by the Commission to all owners and occupants of such properties. All such notices shall be published or mailed not less than ten (10) nor more than twenty (20) days prior to date set for the public hearing. A letter sent via the United States Mail to the last-known owner of the property shall constitute legal notification under this Chapter.

Section 19.4.8. Ordinance Requirements.

Any ordinance designating any property or district as Historic shall describe each property to be designated, set forth the name(s) of the owner(s) of the designated property or properties, and require that a Certificate of Appropriateness be obtained from the Historic Preservation Commission prior to any material change in appearance of the designated property.

Any ordinance designating any property or district as Historic shall require that the designated property or district be shown on the Official Zoning Map or as provided in Chapter 3.3 of this Land Use Management Code and kept as a public record to provide notice of such designation.

Prior to designating any property or district as Historic, the Commission must submit a report on the historic, cultural, architectural, or aesthetic significance of each place, district, site, building/structure, or work of art, to the Historic Preservation Section of the Department of Natural Resources and it will be allowed thirty (30) days to prepare written comments. A decision by the Jefferson City Council to accept or deny the ordinance for designation shall be made within fifteen (15) days following the public hearing, and shall be in the form of an ordinance of the City of Jefferson.

Section 19.4.9. Notification of Adoption of Ordinance for Designation.

Within thirty (30) days following the adoption of the ordinance for designation, the owners and occupants of each designated historic property, and the owners and occupants of each structure, site, or work of art located within a designated historic district shall be given written notification of such designation by the City Council which notice shall apprise said owners and occupants of the necessity of obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness prior to undertaking any material change in appearance of the historic property designated or within the historic district designated. All necessary agencies within the City of Jefferson shall also be notified of the ordinance for designation, including the local historical organization.

Section 19.4.10. Moratorium While Ordinance for Designation is Pending.

Once an ordinance for designation has been publicly advertised, the Zoning Administrator shall not approve development and the Building Official shall not issue a building permit within the boundaries of property proposed to be designated historic that would, upon adoption of the ordinance for designation so advertised, require a certificate of appropriateness as required in Chapter 21.5 of this Land Use Management Code, until the Jefferson City Council has acted upon the ordinance for designation.

If the ordinance for designation is denied, the Zoning Administrator shall issue the development permit and the Building Inspector shall issue the building permit, subject to compliance with all applicable regulations of this Land Use Management Code and applicable building codes.

If the ordinance for designation is approved, no development permit or building permit shall be issued and it shall be unlawful to commence any activity or make any improvement that requires a certificate of appropriateness until or unless an application for certification of appropriateness is filed with and approved by the Historic Preservation Commission in accordance with Chapter 21.5 of this Land Use Management Code.

Jefferson Historic Preservation Commission
28 College StreetJefferson, GA 30549
Phone: 706.367.5714