Proposed Historic District in Visalia

FRESNO, Calif. Visalia's historic preservation committee is considering naming a 20-block area between Conyer and Watson and Noble and Myrtle, an historic district.

This is one street that's part of the proposed historic district and this house behind me may be the most historic of all.

It's more than 100 years old. Eventually the farm land surrounding the home was divided up and turned into Visalia's first subdivision.

City officials are hoping to preserve some of that history.

People who live here on Kaweah Ave. say these homes are part of Visalia's first subdivision.

"We think that that's something that should be preserved and we hope that we can embrace that a a homeowner," said Michael O'Connell, Homeowner.

The city of Visalia says the homes-- built between 1923 and 1941 are a key part of Visalia's history.

"Visalia has a very rich heritage and a lot of that is illustrated thru the homes that we have," said Nancy Loliva, City of Visalia.

Visalia's historic preservation committee recently mailed letters out to each of the more than 100 homeowners in this designated neighborhood, inviting them to be part of the Visalia historical registry or a new historical district.

Loliva says the homeowners have options on whether or not to participate.

"Homes can either make up a district if there's enough homeownership support or they can be individually placed on the historic registry," said Loliva.

People who live on Kaweah Ave. are supportive of preserving the neighborhood's integrity.

"In the long run we are for it because we've seen; we've seen the evidence in other communities that we've lived in but some are worried about the restrictions and upkeep that would come with the designation. For example, homeowners would need the committee approval before changing their windows, siding and other parts of the façade," said Christine O'Connell, Homeowner.

"I think it's good to keep it historic but I don't agree with certain restrictions that might be put on it," said Fred Bardone, Homeowner.

This street just north of the neighborhood is an historic district and includes the "Ben Maddox House"...built in 1876. Residents here say they've had to forgo some changes like adding a driveway, but they're happy the historic designation has preserved and beautified the neighborhood.

The city of Visalia is encouraging residents here who have questions to come to the next historical preservation committee meeting -- on the 24th at 5:30pm at city hall east.

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