Old Towne limits expand to include more
Twelve properties on the west side of Batavia Street are now included within the boundaries of the Old Towne Historic District.
Photos by Tony Richards
A zone change expanding the boundaries of Orange’s Old Towne Historic District to include 12 additional homes on South Batavia Street was approved by the city council, Oct. 9.
The properties, located in the 100 and 200 blocks on the west side of South Batavia, were just outside the historic district boundary, which runs down the centerline of that street. Those boundaries were established in 1988. In 1991, several of those over-the-line properties, dating from 1903 to 1940, were recognized as historic resources, but remained just shy of the boundary.
The status of those properties was revisited in March of this year by the city’s historic preservation staff. It was determined that the two blocks have a high degree of historic integrity, representing the same period of construction and architectural styles as properties within the historic district.
With their inclusion into historic district boundaries, property owners must retain specific design standards; they are not allowed to make changes incompatible with the character of the neighborhood. Contributing properties are also eligible to apply for Mills Act contracts, which give property owners tax breaks in exchange for preservation expenses.
There is one non-conforming residence in the mix. It was included because it sits mid-block, between two historical properties that would be adversely affected by any major changes made to it.