Monday, June 25, 2007

Raleigh Historic Districts Commission chairman says ...

Point of View / June 25, 2007 / News & Observer
Teardown trend not a healthy one:
Home diversity essential to city

Curtis Kasefang

RALEIGH - Around the country, teardowns have started in the spotty fashion we are experiencing in Raleigh and accelerated to the point where entire neighborhoods can change in just a year's time.

Under current policies and regulations, the tear-down rate in Raleigh is likely to accelerate, creating a less diverse housing stock and driving lower income residents to suburban areas where public transportation is less available. A diversity of housing stock, particularly smaller homes where the initial investments for land and construction have been amortized over a longer period of time, tends to be more affordable and accessible to first-time homebuyers, providing work force housing that is essential to a healthy city.

Interesting points Kasefang makes:

• Even a building that is not officially designated historic is an excellent investment because of its quality materials.

• The old-growth wood in older structures is superior to wood currently available. The wood has strength and decay-resistance, and plaster walls do not support the growth of mold like drywall.

• The fastest growing household size is one and two people. The current stock of smaller houses being destroyed, ranch homes and bungalows without stairs, meet the needs of the aging population well, allowing residents to stay longer in their homes and neighborhoods.

• "Teardowns that replace an existing structure with a radically larger, multistory structure are bucking these demographic trends and creating buildings that may prove less desirable in the long run."

Read the entire column here.

No comments: