Basis For HAF Positions

Activities and positions of the Historic Aiken Foundation (HAF) and Board members are being discussed in public forums, sometimes out of context.  HAF will post its Board-approved official positions on this section of our website to inform the public and to avoid confusion or misinformation.  Official HAF positions are only expressed by posting on this section of the HAF website or in written correspondence from the HAF President.  Any other statements by any party related to HAF should be considered the personal opinion of that party.

  • HAF’s mission is historic preservation. Please see our bylaws on our website.
  • The City of Aiken has excellent historic preservation ordinances and guidelines, developed over 40 years, with significant input from citizens and HAF.
  • HAF evaluates a proposed project on simple criteria – does it follow those ordinances and guidelines? If it does or intends to, HAF will not oppose the project.  If it does not, HAF will use its resources to show owners, and the City, how the project can be modified so it does.  If owners or the City continue to pursue a project that does not follow those ordinances and guidelines, HAF will oppose the project, including with litigation.
  • HAF welcomes infill (new construction) in historic districts as long as it follows the City’s historic preservation ordinances and guidelines, which require respecting the integrity of the historic district. HAF recognizes that the vitality of a historic area depends on appropriate development.
  • The HAF Board proactively discusses its mission and criteria. The Board encourages diverse opinions but asks Board members to make their public statements with respect to historic preservation consistent with HAF’s mission and criteria. HAF Board members have also been advised that it is not appropriate for HAF to support or oppose a project based on personal preferences or issues that are not embodied in its mission and criteria.
  • Many projects raise issues that are important to the community but that are not connected to HAF’s mission and criteria. While HAF will not take a position based on such issues, we encourage citizens to be informed and make their views known regardless. 
  • On Project Pascalis, HAF repeatedly told the City, the AMDC, the Design Review Board, and the developer that they were not following the City’s preservation ordinances and guidelines. When the project continued unchanged, HAF joined the Blake et al lawsuit to stop it. That lawsuit also deals with issues that fall outside HAF’s mission and are driven by other plaintiffs.
  • On the proposed SRNL downtown project, public information indicates that the project intends to meet the City’s preservation ordinances and guidelines, so HAF will not oppose it. HAF will continue to evaluate this project as additional details are made available.
  • HAF believes that supporting projects with constructive input leads to more and better historic preservation and is far preferable to opposing projects, or litigation.

HAF will post additional information on its official positions on this section of our website from time to time.