Historic preservation ordinance in Bainbridge will be revised - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Historic preservation ordinance in Bainbridge will be revised

By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) – A historic preservation ordinance in Bainbridge is under attack by some of the people who put it in place.

Some city council members say the broad and strict wording of the ordinance doesn't allow for improvements to building facades and could scare away business owners.

The Post Searchlight building in downtown Bainbridge is getting a facelift.

"There are four different materials on the front facade alone," explains City Council member Roslyn Palmer. "And the new owners wanted to paint the building a khaki color, take down some corrugated materials that are at the top and make the facade look better."

But it took a bit of pleading from the owners before city council to get the go ahead.

"In the historic preservation ordinance, you can't paint brick. I think the ordinance itself is a good idea, but not at the expense of perhaps losing some businesses who find that it's too difficult to do business down here."

City Council member Roslyn Palmer supported a special appeal to allow the renovations during Tuesday's council meeting.

"It was 3-3. We have a new mayor and it was the first time he broke a tie."

Palmer says the current ordinance would allow the owners of this building to paint tomorrow if they chose to because it's already painted.

"If it doesn't already have paint, then your problems arise. That's what we're trying to work out. Their building was considered an intrusion whereas the courthouse, fire station, city hall, they are historic buildings. Each of the three designations really need to be considered separately and our ordinance doesn't call for that."

She believes the council members who voted against the appeal had good intentions.

"The others on the council, I don't think really had opposition to letting them do it because it's going to look better when it's done. But they were strictly following the guidelines as was the historic preservation committee."

Guidelines that will now be changed so the historic district can progress into the future.

Palmer says it will take several months of meetings for the council to revise the historic preservation ordinance which is why a special appeal was granted to the building owner now.


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