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Posted at 4:15 PM ET, 07/ 7/2010

Is a Barney Circle historic district a good idea?

By David Alpert

The proposed Barney Circle historic district has stirred up a number of negative responses. Is it really a bad idea?

Earlier, Lynda [a contributor to Greater Greater Washington] wrote about how many residents of Barney Circle feel they haven't been adequately part of the discussion around the historic district, and that many leading the push actually live in the adjacent Capitol Hill area.

DCmud scoffed at the requirements to get permits for alterations. And Matt Yglesias pointed out that we ought to be maximizing housing opportunities around Metro stations instead of creating rules to limit homeowner's ability to expand their houses.

All are common objections to historic designation. Still, historic districts have enriched designated neighborhoods, including Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle, Anacostia, and more. DC would benefit from more historic protection for its many undesignated row house neighborhoods.

However, historic preservation should also be more disciplined about which elements it protects and which it does not. There are elements of the staff report on the Barney Circle district that are troubling in how they bleed over the fuzzy line between preservation and zoning.

Continue reading this post by David Alpert at Greater Greater Washington here.

David Alpert is founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington . The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By David Alpert  | July 7, 2010; 4:15 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Local blog network, housing  
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