City board passes historic preservation ordinance

Property owners in the Hazlehurst historic district will have to get approval in the future before doing any extensive exterior renovations to their properties.
The city aldermen on a 3 to 1 vote last Tuesday evening passed an historic preservation ordinance, with Alderman Richard Akin voting nay and Alderman Ron Sims absent.
The action will set up a commission which will review proposed changes to structures within the historic district.
This action will help the city become a Certified Local Government, a status being sought by the Chamber of Commerce so the city can become eligible for funds it couldn’t compete for in the past.
A major renovation would require a special permit within the historic district. Routine maintenance would not require a permit, explained Daphine Foster, who represented the Chamber as they approached the city for help in achieving the CLG designation. If a property owner disagrees with the historic preservation commission’s decision, they can appeal to the board of aldermen.
The Chamber sent letters to all property owners in the historic district. The response to the proposed ordinance was overwhelmingly positive, Chamber volunteers reported.
The Hazlehurst Historic District was created in 1998. Tax incentives are available to owners of historic structures for renovations done under the guidelines of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

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