Strength in Numbers

Montgomery currently boasts six residential neighborhoods that have achieved either partial or total local historic designation: Capitol Heights, Cloverdale-Idlewild, Cottage Hill, Garden District, Highland Park and Old Cloverdale. At least two others are working diligently to gain the 60 percent of property owners’ support needed to achieve that designation: Centennial Hill and South Hull District.

Historic districts in Montgomery share some unique mutual challenges. Among them, according to residents, are (1) the perceived unwillingness and/or inability of the City’s Architectural Review Board to enforce the existing preservation ordinance and (2) the inherent weakness of that statute. Some of the districts are also governed by Smart Code zoning requirements, which has proven a challenge to at least two of the affected neighborhoods in recent years.

To that end, the Landmarks Foundation has invited residents of those districts to meet at Landmarks’ offices to discuss the potential formation of an Historic Neighborhoods Coalition. The group would advocate for common neighborhood concerns and provide a forum for discussion, idea-sharing and preservation-based educational sessions.

Some of those residents met last night and decided to ask their individual neighborhood associations to appoint 2 to 3 representatives to the proposed Coalition, which will then meet again next month to determine next steps. If you would like to be kept informed about Coalition meetings and activities, email Carole King at Landmarks and ask to be added to the email list. And if you have ideas you’d like to discuss but cannot make meetings, call me, Sandra Nickel at 334-834-1500.

After all, there’s strength in numbers!

Sandra Nickel has been listing and selling residential real estate for over 30 years, most with an intense focus on Montgomery’s Midtown neighborhoods. Sandra serves on the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless, the Cloverdale Business Coalition, Historic Southview, the Volunteer and Information Center, Landmarks Foundation and her own neighborhood Garden District Preservation Association.

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