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Hampton delays decision on historic designation

By Valerie Baldowski

vbaldowski@henryherald.com

A decision on whether to include Oak Street in Hampton's historic district has been postponed until May.

The second reading of a resolution drafted by the Hampton Historic Preservation Commission, to place the street in the city's historic district, was scheduled for Tuesday's Hampton City Council meeting, but the item was tabled until the council's regular meeting on May 18, according to City Council Member Arley Lowe.

Lowe said property owners still have questions about how the proposal will affect them. The City Council will soon hold a called meeting with the Hampton Historic Preservation Commission and a representative of The Georgia Trust, a statewide organization charged with protecting and preserving historic communities.

The called meeting is scheduled for May 3 at 7 p.m., according to city officials.

The historic-designation proposal has its proponents and critics.

Greg Nobles, who owns property on Oak Street, said he supports holding the joint meeting for informational purposes. "If they [the Hampton Historic Preservation Commission] are going to set up a historic district, set it up according to the guidelines of the Georgia historic trust," said Nobles. "This is not a new concept. This is done in all towns in Georgia that have historic properties."

Nobles, an associate broker with Metro Brokers GMAC, said he favors placing Oak Street in the city's historic district, but he acknowledged that others oppose the idea.

"Some of these people don't think their home is significant, because it's not as big as the one down the street," Nobles said.

The Hampton Historic Preservation Commission met with property owners in March to discuss the plan for Oak Street.

George Mallett, another Oak Street property owner, attended last month's meeting and spoke against including the street in the city's historic district.

Mallett said Wednesday that his views have not changed since the meeting.

"My main concern is how much they [the Hampton Historic Preservation Commission] are going to impact what you can and can't do to your house," Mallett said.

Mallett said he also has questions about how the historic designation would affect his property taxes.

Hampton Historic Preservation Commission Member Betty English declined to comment.

Commission Member Linda Dodgen, Vice-Chairman Dell Landis and Commission Chairman Cindy Hearn could not be reached Wednesday.