Some residents of the Murray Hill historic district say they moved in without knowing about the Dalton Historic Preservation Commission’s guidelines governing the repair and renovation of their homes.

Others say they were aware of the rules but find them too strict.

On Thursday, members of the commission said they will hold a meeting in October to make sure residents of the area, which has been a local historic district since 1996, are aware of the guidelines. They also agreed to send each resident a booklet that includes the guidelines and to publish the guidelines on the city’s Web site at www.cityofdalton-ga.gov/. No date for the meeting has been set.

The guidelines are available at City Hall and have been in place since 1984, when the commission was formed.

Lance Lewis, who lives in the district that is between Valley Drive and Ridge Street, said those are steps in the right direction.

“We want to make sure everything is communicated and done in the best interest of both parties,” Lewis said. “At the end of the day our goals are the same.”

Those goals, Lewis said, are for residents to be able to repair and renovate their homes while keeping them as historically authentic as possible.

The guidelines are based on and include a list of the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s standards for historic properties. They also include a checklist of the types of work that can be done without approval and the types that require approval from the commission.

Commission chairwoman Carolyn Roan said she believes once the Murray Hill residents sit in on the informational session and read the booklet there will be no need to change any guidelines.

“The main thing we’ve been working on is the communication factor,” Lewis said after Thursday’s meeting of the commission. “We’re a lot more comfortable now with the efforts that have been made (to get us information).”

Some residents in the district became concerned in June when members of the commission told City Council members several residents weren’t following the guidelines when renovating the exterior of their homes and the city attorney was instructed by council members to create a system for fines. Murray Hill resident Jimmy Rogers told council members that request “created an adversarial” relationship between the commission members and homeowners. He said such a system could possibly diminish property values. No system of fines has been adopted.

Council members appointed a committee to talk with the homeowners and the commission members to decide what should be done to satisfy both parties, and the informational session, the booklets and publishing the guidelines on the city’s Web site are the results.

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