News12 First at Five, Nov. 21, 2013
Augusta,Ga (WRDW)----Historic Augusta wants to have a say before the city starts demolishing and renovating buildings in the city's historic districts.
Soon a group will decide on plans to renovate a building that's around 200 years old. If leaders don't get approval they could be forced back to the drawing board.
"Yes they are. They should've known better, because it's their own ordinance," said Historic Augusta Member Robyn Anderson.
Anderson with Historic Augusta is upset that leaders didn't remember Augusta's Historic Preservation Ordinance. Basically it says city leaders must get approval before demolishing, renovating or changing buildings that are in the historic district.
"Big construction projects like this really need more public in put. They need to be reviewed a longer time before they're ready to build the building," said
Construction has already started on the municipal building. The total project will cost $40 million. Employees in the IT department are glad about the move. Some sit two or three to a room.
Historic Augusta says they're main problems with the plans are tearing down this building that dates back to the 1800's.
"There's a Civil War Era building, they're going to tear down for parking space and green space. They really don't need to do it," said Anderson.
The initial plans called for changes at the Planning and Zoning department, which is inside a Historic Synagogue. The initial request was turned down, but Architects made changes that will be reviewed, like keeping a garage but masking it with windows, soften colors and added bricks.
Those against it warn once history is gone, it can't be brought back. The preservation commission is set to vote on this issue in December.