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Libertyville Approves Historic Preservation Ordinance

The ordinance aims to preserve historic characteristics within the village, give local officials more control over demolition.

Village trustees unanimously approved an ordinance that aims to .

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.”

Next Steps

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.”

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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.

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Margaret McCarthy February 16, 2012 at 04:27 PM
The Brainerd Building is an ugly old dump; that it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places is a bad joke on the residents of Libertyville. It was a ruse to get us on the hook eventually for it's restoration because it can't be torn down. The property could be sold by the high school and used for something new and tax-generating. Instead it continues as an eyesore.
Brian L. February 17, 2012 at 02:59 AM
I'm glad something like this is coming to Libertyville. Having worked in and around Deerfield for the last 15 years, I have watched it try and emulate what towns like us already have; a beautiful and historic downtown. All Deerfield did was create high lease prices and has watched many of the new businesses fail and buildings stay vacant. Since nothing about maintaining the historic nature of our town can be brought up without a Brainerd complaint, I'll be the obligatory pro voice. You can't argue that it isn't historic since it is the first four-year high school building in Central Lake County (1917) and until tax dollars fund it, you aren't paying for it. No one is forcing the residents to volunteer and you won't have to use it when it is hopefully completed. Which we all know could be many years from now.
Chi-an Chang February 17, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Thank you Brian and Margaret for sharing your thoughts. Whether to keep Brainerd or not is a controversy in Libertyville and Patch welcomes all insights. For example, a group called Save the Brainerd Foundation have been sharing their thoughts on Patch: http://libertyville.patch.com/blog_posts/baby-look-at-us-now-ef71d8b9 There's some interesting discussions there, too.
Ana Draa February 21, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Very well said Brian, I completely agree wth you!
Joe Bill Kuester March 19, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Thanks Brian ...........Well said for sure.

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