Historic Districts

​Oaklawn Park Proposed Local Historic District

The Oaklawn Park neighborhood is undergoing the Rezoning process to become a locally designated historic district. To qualify for this city-sponsored Rezoning, a minimum of 51% of property owners were required to sign a petition of support. In addition, the neighborhood also had to meet certain state-mandated requirements including a property-by-property neighborhood survey and a Local District Designation Report.

Proposed Oaklawn Park Historic District Map

 

Contact Info

Ms. Kristi Harpst
Program Manager - Local Historic Districts
E-Mail


Ms. Cindy Kochanek

Planner - Local Historic Districts
E-Mail


Ms. Candice Leite

Associate Planner - Local Historic Districts
E-Mail


Mr. David Pettine

Program Manager - Entitlement Services - Rezoning
E-Mail


Ms. Renee Pride-Dunlap

President - Oaklawn Park Neighborhood Improvement Association
E-Mail

​Oaklawn Park is one of Charlotte's best-preserved post-World War II suburbs. The neighborhood was created by Charles Ervin, Charlotte's biggest developer, and used FHNVA lending to provide homeownership opportunities specifically for African Americans in the latter days of racial segregation. Today, Oaklawn Park is a time-capsule of late 1950s suburban architecture and planning. Built during the years 1955 - 1961, no two Oaklawn Park houses look exactly alike, but all are quite similar in the ranch and split-level style with red brick exteriors accented with yellow brick or stonework.

What Local Historic District Designation means:
Protects all buildings/sites through a local design review process - including demolition/new construction, additions, and painting brick.

Requires property owners to contact the Historic District Commission (HDC) office before starting any work to the exteriors of homes or yards, including:

  • Additions
  • Fences /Walls
  • Windows/Doors
  • Tree Removal
  • Painting Brick
  • Decks/Patios
  • Front Porches
  • Sheds/Carports/Garages
  • Walkways/Driveways

Local Historic District Designation does not:

  • Restrict use
  • Review interior changes (ex. kitchens/baths)
  • Require specific paint colors
  • Require improvements or changes
  • Qualify owners for grants or tax incentives
  • Prevent demolition for more than 365-days  

DRAFT HDC Design Guidelines Supplement for Oaklawn Park:

​How We Got Here

 

The Oaklawn Park Neighborhood Improvement Association approached City of Charlotte staff about establishing protections in order to maintain the character and architecture of the neighborhood due to development pressure in an around the area.

In 2019 community members and city staff documented the neighborhood and by the end of 2019 a comprehensive survey of the properties in Oaklawn Park was completed. On November 20, 2019 a town hall meeting was held for all interested parties to discuss Oaklawn Park history and what a historic district would mean for the community. Dr. Tom Hanchett, a local Charlotte Historian, was in attendance and to discuss his research into the neighborhood. Dr. Hanchett drafted a historic essay regarding Oaklawn Park for the Local District Designation Report as well as for a potential National Register nomination.
 
For more information, including notices for the town hall meeting, please click here.

​HDC FAQ

Citizens appointed by the Mayor and City Council to administer the Local Historic District Program. The majority of HDC members have proven expertise in architecture, preservation, history, etc.

Property owners in local historic districts are required to contact the HDC office before undertaking any exterior changes to existing structures, or before beginning any project involving new construction or demolition.
If the project meets the HDC design guidelines a Certificate of Appropriateness will be issued. A building permit for exterior work cannot be issued in an historic district without a Certificate of Appropriateness.

Typically includes fencing, signage, windows and doors, rear yard improvements, retaining walls, driveways, walkways, some tree removal.

Typically includes new construction, large additions, demolition, front/side porch enclosures, substitute siding, large accessory buildings, major tree removal, significant landscape features, front yard parking, the painting of unpainted masonry and others.

Routine maintenance is encouraged. We typically do not review repair and maintenance projects, as long as no significant material or design changes are made.
Application requirements and fees vary, depending on the nature and complexity of the proposed project. Photos, architectural plans, product samples, etc. are often required.
Administrative approvals usually take only a few days. Projects that require full HDC approval will take up to thirty days or more. The Commission meets monthly.
No. The Historic District Commission only gets involved when you decide to do something to your property.
Not always. The majority of our customers make minor improvements which would usually cost the same anywhere. Major projects usually require industry professionals who understand historic structures (new construction, major additions). We also encourage repair versus replacement of older building features to reduce costs.
No. The purpose of Charlotte’s historic district program is to ensure that changes that are made are compatible with the neighborhood.
Projects holding a valid building permit at the time a local historic district is established are grandfathered.
Properties within local Districts do not receive tax credits or reduced property taxes. However, if the property is a designated individual landmark (through the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission, Preservation North Carolina, etc.) tax incentives are available.
Yes. Grants for projects such as architectural and archaeological surveys, National Register nominations, publications, preservation planning, and archaeological excavations are available through the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Façade Improvement Grants are available through the City of Charlotte for commercial properties.
The Housing Services department within the City of Charlotte provides funding for rehabilitation of residential structures.
No. Those are private property matters governed by others.
When Commission staff learns of a project that is underway without HDC approval every attempt is made to contact the property owner and resolve the situation as quickly as possible. Financial penalties may be imposed.