Neighbors and community activists in one DeKalb County community are trying to preserve historic landmarks here on Porter Road in Decatur but they’re running into road blocks with the county.
The community is home to Mount Pleasant baptist church — the first officially recognized African American church in Dekalb County, a cemetery dating back to the 1800s and the original plantation house of Joseph Walker. Neighbors said Walker left his land to slaves for them to build homes on and many of their descentdans still live on Porter Road.
So what’s the problem?
"We’ve had too much other stuff going on such as such as crime in the neighborhood, fences at neighboring apartment complex getting knocked down," said Derik Reinhart who lives nearby.
Others added the crime is getting out of hand.
"We had 315 cars in just six hours in one day and a good majority of those were speeding," another person said," Reinhart said.
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Reinhart lives just off Porter Road.
He said he has been pushing to get historical designation for at least two years.
"That’s gonna help protect the property, it’s gonna limit what can be done around here as far as development because that’s a big issues we’ve been facing," he said.
That's not the only issue they’re dealing with.
"When it comes to needing the help of the county to get that done..necessary protection like speed humps put in the road, weight restriction, oversized trunk signs. We’re not even get so much as a return to our emails. It makes us feel like we’re the forgotten armpit of DeKalb County to tell you the truth," he said.
Reinhart said if Porter Road were to get historical designation that would change everything.
"The historical designation process does take a while but it takes even longer when somebody drops the ball and doesn’t keep it going," he said.
Channel 2 reached out to the representative who handles historical designation applications in DeKalb County. We're working to find out where the application stands for the Porter Road community and we'll update you.
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