Design Standards for Bouldin LHDs

One of Bouldin Creek's most charming attributes is the ecclectic mixture of its commercial, residential, religeous and public structures. Here you'll find representative homes from the 1890s, through the 1930s and '40s, to contemporary homes with classic lines and features, to sleek,ultra modern single- and multi-family and commercial buildings--with a funky mix of just about everything in between.

But the overarching look and feel of Bouldin lies in its original homes. Because of their relatively modest size --around 1,000 s.f. on average, these original dwellings are increasingly being displaced or the expansions and renovations are rendering them unrecognizable from their origins. The question then becomes: do we want to completely erase the original look and feel of the Bouldin Creek we know, and replace it with something else? Or are some of the original structures, and the look and feel of their historic period worth preserving as the neighborhood moves forward?

The Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Plan, approved by an unprecedented 80% of resident survey respondents and adopted by the City Council in 2002, calls for preservation of the neighborhood's traditional neighborhood characacter. The plan is accompanied by a practical set of recommended Design Standards. Unfortunately, these standards are strictly voluntary and are unenforceable without an overlay of local historic districts.

It is only through Local Historic Districts' design standards that the look and feel of Bouldin Creek's original structural character can be preserved.

At left is a series of recently built homes or additions. At right is another series of new residential additions to the neighborhood. Are there qualities in one series of buildings that make them more "people-friendly" and give them more of the appeal we cherish here in the neighborhood?



If so, what are those qualities?



These are the questions that Bouldinites will be asked to answer when compiling the design standards to accompany any Local Historic Districts that we might want to apply to select parts of the neighborhood.




When reviewing sample structures for arriving at design standards, no Bouldinite should conclude that their home is being singled out as somehow undesirable because its design character does not fit the design standards selected for a Local Historic District.


The standards are not based on any qualitative judgment of aesthetic value of one design genre over another; rather they derive from an academic assessment of what design qualities collectively among all homes of all ages in the

neighborhood are the ones that are essential to reflect the chacteristics of the neighborhood's contributing historic structures and which therefore should be preserved in future home construction, renovations and additions.

So non-contributing structures are not ostracized or excluded from a local historic district. They are just not surveyed among the contributing structures. Nor do they disqualify themselves or their neighboring contributing homes from comprising a Local Historic District

Once a consensus is reached in making the voluntary design standards or some other set of standards enforcable under any nominated LHD, parameters may also be set for what types of materials and construction methods may be used. These standards may affect the cost of new construction and additions. But the overall effect on the district and the surounding neighborhood historically is an overall increase in value, because future design and construction parameters will be a long-term known quanitity that cannot be circumvented by a neighbor's cost-cutting construction by an amateur brother-in-law, or by some speculative builder's focus on profit margin.