After more than a year and a half of meetings, revisions, and public hearings, the Cooper-Young Historic Overlay application had a short day before the Memphis City Council on March 6. Council members approved a motion to delay a vote on the application for one month.

Councilman Frank Colvett Jr. (District 2) introduced the delay, saying he wanted to look into why a landmarks district is necessary and if “giving teeth” to the Midtown Overlay would accomplish the same end. The public hearing/vote on the Landmarks application is now set for the Tuesday, April 10 city council meeting at 3:30 p.m. in council chambers, 125 N. Main St.

To view the proposed Cooper-Young Historic Overlay District guidelines and the proposed district boundaries, visit cooperyoung.org/proposed-landmarks. Because Cooper-Young is an eclectic, diverse community, we proposed the least restrictive of the guidelines for the 13 existing Historic Districts in Memphis. Referred to as “skinny” guidelines by one OPD employee, the only alterations that are covered in the proposed CY guidelines are:

  • New construction
  • Habitable additions to existing structures
  • Non-habitable additions to existing structures
  • Outbuildings and new fencing (this does not include standard backyard privacy fencing)
  • Demolition
  • Relocation

If you are not doing any of those alterations to your house, the guidelines do not apply, and no fees or applications for a certificate of appropriateness (permit) are required. The guidelines do not apply to routine maintenance, change of paint color, installation of solar panels, or roof, window and door replacements, among other things.

Those who wish to speak for or against the proposal are encouraged to attend the meeting and voice your opinions. If you can’t attend, reach out to City Council members with your reasons for supporting or opposing the application. — Stephanie Gonzalez