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Old 07-12-2015, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Asheville
343 posts, read 576,151 times
Reputation: 284

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We want to move into a historical area of a smaller town. I have walked around the area on Goggle Earth.
Whats the vibe in that area. We want to walk out of our old home and be in the middle of a small town, close to restaurants and cafe's. Is this what it's like in Historical Wilmington?

If I see another plastic housing development I think I will throw-up. We do not want anything like this around us.
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Old 07-12-2015, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,261 posts, read 19,805,802 times
Reputation: 5089
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrharris View Post
We want to move into a historical area of a smaller town.....
Whats the vibe in that area. We want to walk out of our old home and be in the middle of a small town, close to restaurants and cafe's. Is this what it's like in Historical Wilmington?
There are numerous interesting restaurants, cafes and shopping in downtown Wilmington. Nothing about it is plastic; there are numerous, wonderful historic houses and condos built in historic buildings. However, it is not a small town; it is city with over 112,000 people. Since the historic section is a small area, it might "feel" small to you. MY DH describes Wilmington as a small city that thinks it is a big city (eg, there are parking issues and crime). You should visit to see if it really appeals to you.

If you want a historic small town in a coastal area, consider Southport, New Bern, Washington, Beaufort or Edenton.

Last edited by goldenage1; 07-12-2015 at 10:14 AM..
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Old 07-12-2015, 04:58 PM
LLN
 
Location: Upstairs closet
4,981 posts, read 8,753,876 times
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After living in a hysterical district, I would recommend against it, especially in a small town.

The hysterical board attracts well meaning but not very bright individuals. After awhile they turn into power hungry Nazis, inconsistently rendering rulings based on some inane rational. Plus, in all likelihood you will need to pay for permits for ANYTHING you do.

I am rule averse, ignore 99% of their BS, and cannot imagine how one could exist by following all their rules.

You have been warned.

Having said all that, New Bern's Downtown district is exactly what you are looking for. You just don't know better, yet.
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Old 07-12-2015, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
11,419 posts, read 20,283,791 times
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Well.... you did say you lived in a hysterical district.
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Old 07-12-2015, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Southport
4,639 posts, read 4,817,402 times
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Check out Southport, about 30 minutes from Wilmington. Has a gorgeous historic area, with no local historic district designation.
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Old 07-12-2015, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Southport
4,639 posts, read 4,817,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LLN View Post
After living in a hysterical district, I would recommend against it, especially in a small town.

The hysterical board attracts well meaning but not very bright individuals. After awhile they turn into power hungry Nazis, inconsistently rendering rulings based on some inane rational. Plus, in all likelihood you will need to pay for permits for ANYTHING you do.

I am rule averse, ignore 99% of their BS, and cannot imagine how one could exist by following all their rules.

You have been warned.

Having said all that, New Bern's Downtown district is exactly what you are looking for. You just don't know better, yet.
There is a difference between a generically historic area, and a formalized local historic district. The former doesn't have a board, doesn't require certificates of appropriateness, etc. Not all cities have both.
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:10 PM
LLN
 
Location: Upstairs closet
4,981 posts, read 8,753,876 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinadawg2 View Post
There is a difference between a generically historic area, and a formalized local historic district. The former doesn't have a board, doesn't require certificates of appropriateness, etc. Not all cities have both.
You are absolutely correct. Used to live in Southport.
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Asheville
343 posts, read 576,151 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinadawg2 View Post
There is a difference between a generically historic area, and a formalized local historic district. The former doesn't have a board, doesn't require certificates of appropriateness, etc. Not all cities have both.
I think I get what you are saying?
Old historic areas, that have been historic forever, are better than towns that became historic? Can you explain?
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Asheville
343 posts, read 576,151 times
Reputation: 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by LLN View Post
After living in a hysterical district, I would recommend against it, especially in a small town.

The hysterical board attracts well meaning but not very bright individuals. After awhile they turn into power hungry Nazis, inconsistently rendering rulings based on some inane rational. Plus, in all likelihood you will need to pay for permits for ANYTHING you do.

I am rule averse, ignore 99% of their BS, and cannot imagine how one could exist by following all their rules.

You have been warned.

Having said all that, New Bern's Downtown district is exactly what you are looking for. You just don't know better, yet.
Thanks for the warning, I don't mind rules that protect areas from being "developed". If I have a leaking roof or something I want to be able to fix it right a way and not have to wait on a broad to allow me to fix it either.
New Bern is way too small. We're looking for a small city with character not desolate.
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Southport
4,639 posts, read 4,817,402 times
Reputation: 3417
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrharris View Post
I think I get what you are saying?
Old historic areas, that have been historic forever, are better than towns that became historic? Can you explain?
No, thats not what I'm saying, or at least I don't think thats what I'm saying, because i have no idea what that means. And I'm not saying anything is better than another.

Lets compare Wilmington and Southport. Both have old (historic) downtown areas. Lots of 100+ plus year old houses (in Wilmington's case even older). Both cities historic areas have been researched, cataloged and been granted entry on the National Register of Historic Places.

Lets stop there. The National Register of Historic Places is a designation that makes ones building eligible for historic tax credits when you renovate, if you follow the guidelines for the program. However, this is voluntary. You can renovate the building any way you want, but unless you follow the guidelines, you won't be eligible for the tax credits. Also, being in a National Register Historic District does nothing to prevent you from demolishing the building if you wish, or making significant structural changes to it.

Now, here is the difference between Wilmington and Southport. Wilmington, in addition to the National Register District, also has a local Historic District designation. This is where the restrictions come in. I don't know all the particulars of the local district in Wilmington, but typically, there will be restrictions on things like exterior paint colors, style of doors and windows, restrictions on demolition of buildings, etc. There is usually a board that oversees the local district rules, so if you want to paint your house for example, you have to go to the board and get approval to do so. The goal is to maintain the historic look and feel of area in a very controlled fashion. Some people appreciate this, and some chafe at the restrictions it places on them.

I'm pretty sure New Bern also has local historic districts, and many other cities do as well. Southport does not.

I'm not saying either is right or wrong, just simply pointing out the difference. One worry I have about Southport is that there is nothing to stop someone from buying an older, smaller, historic house and tearing it down in order to construct a new larger house. Repeat that a few times and your historic district is gone.
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