On the November ballot will an initiative to abolish the Historic District Commission. It is true if it passes we will still have a historic district. What we won’t have is a governing body. You ask, what’s wrong with that?
One only needs to drive to Bentonville for sad lessons of what happened to their historic properties. Without a commission, in the last few years the developers bought and demolished most of the historic downtown area. What popped up were fancy condos and MacMansions. Again you might say what is wrong with that?
Well, you think it has gotten expensive to live here, triple that! Those who are lucky to own or own long-term rentals now, will watch their property taxes become unaffordable. Because these new development properties are going to demand better services, hence higher taxes on everything.
Granted, we will become the dry Key West or Martha’s Vineyard or Aspen without a ski slope. And certainly very attractive to some!
Tourism is our main industry, so without a historic district what will we have to offer? Chain eateries and stores? I doubt we will get a Crystal Bridges Museum to bring tourists in.
Losing our HDC is the beginning I believe of losing our local economy, our historic properties and then out identity. Please vote to keep our HDC!