Keep the trend going

Published 4:09 pm Thursday, July 7, 2016

Judging by the number of projects going before the Historic Preservation Commission in recent months for approval, there seems to be plenty of repairs, renovations and planning for new construction of homes going on in Washington’s historic district.

This month’s agenda for the commission included 20 project proposals, seven major works and 13 minor works. A “major work” requires the approval of the commission. A “minor work” receives approval from the city’s planning staff. Not all projects are approved as presented. Some receive conditional approval. Some are not approved.

Some projects are simple: replacing rotting siding on a building. Others are more expansive: building a new house or major renovations to an existing house. Once approved projects get under way, that’s good news for contractors, roofers, plumbers, masons and other people who work in the building trades. The projects provide work for them. These folks then buy supplies for the projects. That means area building-supply businesses and others who supply materials needed for the projects see their sales increase.

New houses go on the city’s tax rolls, generating new revenue for the city and county. With improved houses, their property values likely go up, also generating more tax revenue for the city and county.

The historic district benefits from new houses and renovated houses, increasing the attractiveness and value of the historic district.

It is heartening to see the increased renovation and repair activity in the historic district. It’s heartening to see people literally buy into the concept of preserving historic homes and buildings instead of neglecting them.

Let’s hope more new construction, repairs and renovations occur in the historic district and elsewhere in the city. Such projects are investments in the city’s future.