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Raleigh’s New Houses, Historic Districts; What Should The Rules Be?

A picture of City Market in the Moore Square Historic District.

Raleigh's Historic Development Commission is hosting a public meeting tonight about the city's historic preservation rules. Experts and the public will weigh in on the city's design guidelines for appropriate building projects in historic districts.

Martha Lauer is a city planner and also directs the Raleigh Historic Development Commission.

“The city would like to see changes in its local historic districts managed so that the character in each district is protected,” she said.

Lauer said the public meeting is meant to allow discussion on what's appropriate for adding to or building near historic homes in these certain areas.

“Should new construction be more traditional and sort of harken back to replicative design? Or should it be a little more contemporary in terms of representing today's architecture?”

Lauer offered Williamsburg, Virginia and Savannah, Georgia as examples of each school of thought.

But she would not talk about the controversy surrounding the halt of construction on a modern-style house in the Oakwood Historic District. Building was stopped after a neighbor complained its design did not comply with the zoning guidelines.

The commission will meet at the Raleigh Convention Center at 6 p.m.

Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
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