Decatur Commission considers adopting historic district guidelines for Parkwood neighborhood

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt April 6, 2015
A map showing the boundary lines of the Parkwood Neighborhood. Source:

A map showing the boundary lines of the Parkwood Neighborhood. Source:

The Decatur City Commission will consider revising the historic district guidelines for the Parkwood neighborhood, which was annexed into the city last year.

Some of the neighborhood is part of Historic Druid Hills, but the historic designation did not carry over when the city annexed the property. The Commission established a Parkwood Historic District in July of 2014.

The guidelines being presented at Monday’s meeting, April 6, were developed based on input from the neighborhood, according to documents attached to the meeting agenda.

According to Planning Director Amanda Thompson:

The changes include:

– Reducing design review jurisdiction from all 4 sides to 3 sides or visible from the public
right of way

– Increasing the types of projects that are eligible for Certificates of Exemption.

The design guidelines also have an extensive section on infill construction, the process of building new homes in the existing neighborhood.

“New houses in the Parkwood Historic District will be an infrequent occurrence, nonetheless it is important that infill construction maintain continuity with Parkwood’s historic houses,” the guidelines say.

According to the guidelines, infill construction should …

1. Match historic patterns of orientation and setback of adjacent historic houses.

2. Minimize grading changes to maintain original streetscape terrain and incorporate
significant site features, including mature trees.

3. Overall height, foundation height, and floor-to-ceiling heights should be compatible with adjacent structures; slab on grade construction is appropriate for the District.

4. Match the scale, massing, footprint, and proportion of historic houses within the District.

5. Follow historic architectural styles traditionally found within the District.

6. Match the roof form and pitch of historic houses within the District and be appropriate to the chosen architectural style.

7. Window and door openings for new primary structures should be compatible in
placement, spacing, proportion, size, scale, profile and lite pattern with historic windows within the District.

8. Introduce features such as an entry portico or recessed entry, chimney, breezeway, side porch, carport, and other architectural details as appropriate to the style.

9. Select materials and finishes that are typically found in the neighborhood or that are
compatible in composition, texture, pattern, detail and color to historic materials found in the District.

The City Commission meets April 6 starting with a work session at 6:30 pm, followed by the regular meeting at 7:30 pm. The meeting will be held at City Hall, located at 509 North McDonough Street. All meetings are open to the public.

Here is the complete list of guidelines being considered by the city commission:

Parkwood LHD Design Guidelines.compressed


About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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  • Robert Butera

    Glossary to Ranch Subtypes, page 8. I had no idea anyone considered ranch homes with such taxonomical seriousness!

    I never understood what made Parkwood historical, and that presentation helped me sort of make sense of it. And unlike other ranch subdivisions in Atlanta (I used to live in one in Brookhaven) the homes in Parkwood appear to have, more often than not, kept their original character.

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