The Glenwood-Brooklyn neighborhood is one step closer to getting protection from teardowns and new development.
This week, Raleigh planning staff submitted an updated report about the historic neighborhood located north of downtown to the North Carolina Office of Archives and History. Within a month, the state may issue a recommendation for granting a local historic designation.
Then the city could begin a rezoning process to apply a historic overlay district to the neighborhood, said Tania Tully, a city planner who focuses on historic areas. In neighborhoods designated as historic, plans for demolishing a house or building something new could be reviewed and delayed up to a year.
City staff will host a meeting with neighbors at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14, at Jenkins Memorial United Methodist Church on North Boylan Street to gather input as part of the rezoning process.
The City Council initiated the process to designate Glenwood-Brooklyn as a historic district last year, in part to curb new development that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the neighborhood.
City leaders suggested a streetside district, which puts in place rules about how houses look from the street. It’s meant to retain historic character without completely stopping development.
The neighborhood has always been ripe for change, said resident Philip Poe.
Glenwood-Brooklyn spans about 80 acres and is bounded by Peace Street and Wade Avenue. It was a street-car suburb in the early 1900s, a place where only white residents could live. Most homes were small, but wealthier residents built a few bigger homes.
In the 1980s, some of those larger homes were converted into apartment buildings, and the changes weren’t always visually appealing, Poe said.
Recent changes in the neighborhood have been more drastic, with homes being torn down to make way for larger houses, particularly on Glenwood Avenue.
“We’re beginning to be targeted for teardowns,” Poe said.
Despite the changes, the neighborhood still retains much of its historic character and structures, according to a report by the Raleigh Historic Development Commission.
Chris Clemmons, who has lived in Glenwood-Brooklyn since 2011, said not all the changes in the neighborhood have bothered him. He renovated his home there.
Sometimes, Clemmons said, it seems like there’s no review process for new development.
“It’s not that I have a problem with new houses,” Clemmons said. “It’s the loss of something you can’t get back.”
But not every Glenwood-Brooklyn resident is enthusiastic about a historic designation. Tim Martin said he thinks the designation will divide the neighborhood, making some people feel targeted if their home looks different than the typical historic models.
“People shouldn’t have to feel attacked over aesthetics,” he said.