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invasion of the urban rancher

January 29, 2006 9:07 am by

We’ve received a letter from a reader concerned about the degradation to the urban fabric in Union Hill and other areas that are not being held to meet a historical architectural standard. What can be done?



new on cedar street

New on Cedar Street

Dear CHPN,

I’ve rented in Church Hill for years and recently purchased a house in Union Hill. My wife and I are excited about the ongoing revitalization of the neighborhood but are concerned that some of the new structures going up don’t seem to meet any sort of historic standard.

Although Union Hill has been recognized for it’s historic value on the state – and possibly national – levels, it evidently has not been designated as such by the city and is therefore not subject to the same building code regulations as its neighbor, Church Hill.

Any ideas as to who we might contact in order to petition for that designation – or at least for building code changes that would include guidelines for maintaining historical accuracy – would be greatly appreciated. The new houses undermine years of effort by so many to bring the neighborhood back to it’s antebellum splendor, and I would think that residents of nearby areas like Church Hill, Tobacco Row, Shockhoe Bottom / Slip, and even MCV / Court End /Jackson Ward, would all benefit by a properly revitalized Union Hill.

Any feedback you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to post this message in your forum area for responses from your readers as well.

Thanks,
Kai Sommer


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