Village trustees unanimously approved an ordinance that aims to preserve unique characteristics of some areas in the village and to provide village administrators with more control over buildings that may be demolished.
Trustee Donna Johnson told the board that a resident had concerns about how the ordinance would prevent property owners from developing properties.
The resident “who owns the theatre, expressed concern even when the ordinance was first proposed,” Mayor Terry Weppler said during the meeting. “I advised him that the ordinance was not to prevent landowners from developing property, but just to make sure that we are cognizant of how it’s done and that it doesn’t adversely affect our properties.”
The village now will work on appointing a Historic Preservation Commission, which then would work to establish rules of procedure and to seek funding sources for preparation of historic surveys.
The surveys would be conducted by an impartial party to identify buildings eligible for landmark designation or historic districts.
Mike Kollman, chairman of the Historic Preservation Committee, has recommended before that historic landmark or district designations should start “with buildings already on the National Register of Historic Places, that’s the obvious place to start. The National Register status does nothing locally to protect against a teardown.”
Historic Landmark, District Designation
Any person could request a historic landmark designation only if the building is within a historical district, or is part of the village’s historic places survey, according to the Historic Preservation Ordinance.
If the building falls outside of the historical district or survey, then only the homeowner or the Historic Preservation Commission would be allowed to request a designation.
A property would have to follow a set of 10 criteria — such as architectural style, historical value, representation of a well-known architect — before the commission would designate it as a historic landmark.
An area could receive historic district designation through a recommendation by the Historic Preservation Commission or if 51 percent of property owners in the area agree to the designation.
Approval of designation goes through a public meeting with the commission, and the decision could be appealed to the Village Board.
Once an area or property receives the designation, the property owner would need a “certificate of appropriateness” before permits would be issued for exterior alterations or zoning changes to name a few.