Council to review Historic Preservation Board
Group’s makeup, regulations and demolition application will be discussed at work session
By Darcie Loreno
T-G Staff Writer
The workings of the city’s Historic Preservation Board and a demolition application in reviewed about a month ago are up for discussion tonight at a City Council special meeting.
During a work session following the meeting, council will discuss issues such as the make-up of the preservation board and wording in its regulations along with a possible extension of time regarding the demolition application for the A.N. Myers home, 408 Center Street, which the Ashland County Historical Society originally submitted in July.
I don’t know what will materialize from that,” council President Glen Stewart said Wednesday of the items. “I was told there will be a relatively large audience tomorrow night.”
The Historic Preservation Board was formed last year after a push from Center Street residents to preserve homes in the Center Street Historic District. The Historical Society submitted to the board in July an application for demolition of the A.N. Myers home with plans to build new for more space. The Historical Society said renovating the home was cost prohibitive.
The preservation board at an August 2 meeting denied the request, which, according to the ordinance, left 60 days for the study of alternative uses of the home. After 60 days, a lease or purchase offer can be made on the house or an extension approved. If not, the demolition application will be approved.
Last month, Center Street Historic District Association members began looking at alternatives to demolition. Phil Leibolt, historical society board president, along with another society board member, met with an association member and street resident last week. While options have not been shared with the society board yet, he said, this afternoon it is set to vote for or against the extension for more time to consider options.
The situation brought to light some issues Mayor Bill Strine had with the ordinance. He previously said one issue he’d discussed with council at the meeting is the make-up of the preservation board. According to the current ordinance, the board is to include one architect, one preservation related professional member, two Center Street property owners and one city resident.
Strine would like to change that to say it will consist of only five members, with a maximum of two Center Street property owners. The board currently does not have a quorum. With only three members after resignation s and term expirations. The board originally was made up mostly of Center Street residents.
Other changes Strine would like to discuss deal with rewording parts of the ordinance to make the application process clearer. Currently, several areas in the ordinance refer to the planning commission, when it should refer to the preservation board for example.
Preservation board and Center Street residents are expected to attend the meeting.
Also during the work session, council will discuss sign regulations.