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Auburn board explores historic district expansion

Auburn’s Historic Resources Review Board explored a proposal on Tuesday that calls on expanding the city’s South Street Historic District. The original proposal would almost double the size of the current district, putting over 300 more properties up for consideration.

The city is applying for two separate grants to fund the district expansion. A new region has not been finalized, and a good portion of the original proposal could be cut.

Due in late March, grant application summaries will be presented March 7 to city council before they’re official submitted.

The district currently encompasses areas of South Street and the side streets of Elizabeth Street, Fitch Avenue, Grover Street, Hamilton Avenue, MacDougall Street, Swift Street and William Street. Any projects that fall within district boundaries that could change the appearance of any building require HHRB’s approval so that historical significance is preserved.

As an incentive for restoration and rehabilitation, historic properties can enroll to become exempt from any tax assessment increases. These properties can apply to be 100-percent exempt from assessment increases for five years. Each following year, the percentage will be reduced by 20 percent, until it reaches zero after a total of 10 years.

The grants, said Auburn Planning Assistant Holly Glor, are fairly competitive.

The Auburn Citizen:
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