The City Plan Commission in July approved a proposal that preservationists say would make creating conservation districts nearly impossible.
The plan would require neighbors to lay out a list of detailed preservation requirements and acquire signatures from 51 percent of
their neighbors property owners just to initiate the process of becoming a conservation district.
If neighbors could accomplish that, then the clock starts ticking.
A neighborhood of 200 or fewer homes would have one year to agree to the terms and submit a final application for a conservation district. A neighborhood of 500 or fewer homes would have 15 months, and larger neighborhoods would have 18 months.
Opponents of the plan say drawing up preservation requirements at the very beginning would make the process less democratic and that it would be improbable that more than half of neighbors would agree to a plan into which they had no input. Therefore the process would be almost impossible even to start.
Others say laying out details from the beginning makes the process more transparent.
The proposal to change the conservation district process goes to the City Council’s Quality of Life Committee in December.