Monday night’s public meeting to introduce the proposed Historic Preservation Ordinance lasted two hours as the attending crowd had split opinions on the issue.
Monday night’s public meeting to introduce the proposed Historic Preservation Ordinance lasted two hours as the attending crowd had split opinions on the issue. According to Tammi Venneman, assistant code enforcement officer, half of the audience was against the issue, because they did not want and ordinance to dictate what they could and could not do with their property; while the other half was for the ordinance, in support of historic preservation and the maintained appearance of the downtown area. In an interview prior to the meeting, Main Street Executive Director Ben White explained that the ordinance would not restrict property owners from making changes to their property, it would only add a step to consider the historic preservation of their property, if it did, in fact, hold historic value. He also explained that the ordinance would also qualify Chillicothe to get access to federal funding not currently available to property owners, for rehabilitating properties of historic significance. With the represented community having a split opinion, a committee was formed to work on the ordinance, to look into further details of the issue in hopes of answering some lingering issues about the ordinance as it stands. The committee consists of three members of the community, a City Council member, a Planning and Zoning Board member, Venneman and White. Venneman said that there is no timeline on when they might come to a decision. “When we get the information that we requested from Main Street,” said Venneman, “we will see where we should go from there. We want at least a majority on board, before we can move forward.”