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Steps Made Toward Historical Preservation

Daily Globe News Editor

SHELBY - The city is one step closer to creating a historic preservation ordinance as members of Shelby City Council approved the first reading of the legislation when they met Monday night.

"For the past number of years we've been trying to find ways to make our city better," started Council member Garland Gates. "One thing we've looked at is this issue of historic preservation.

"We've looked at and discussed what's necessary to become a Certified Local Government (CLG)," Gates continued. "By becoming a Certified Local Government we add tools to our tool box in order to encourage the further renaissance of our central business district.

"Although if we became a Certified Local Government, that impact wouldn't be restricted only to the central business district, but people throughout the community could benefit as well.

"The legislation we have before us this evening is one that is modeled after the city of Oberlin," Gates said, noting several ordinances from different communities were looked at.

"I like the one from Oberlin for a number of reasons," Gates said. "What I really liked about their ordinance is it became a collaborative process. It involved property owners, the city through a historic preservation commission, and it also involves the city council.

"The historic preservation commission is in this ordinance," Gates said. "It is a body that makes recommendations. It can recommend a specific structure be dedicated as a landmark. It can also recommend that a certain area of the community can be a historic district, as well. But the actual designation of whether something is a landmark or district rests not with the commission, but rests with the city council - the elected legislative body with the community.

"And all throughout the process, the property owner or property owners are involved in this process as well," Gates said. "It's inclusive, it's collaborative, it's one I think will meet the needs of to anyone who wants to become a Certified Local Government.

"My thoughts at this point, assuming this passes it's first reading, we need to send our ordinance to the Historical Preservation Office for them to review to make sure it has all the essential elements," Gates said. "To give them the opportunity to review it, make any comments before we continue, if council decides for second and third (readings) and then passage of the ordinance."

"So if I understand the process correctly, we would give it its first reading and the next meeting we would postpone the second reading indefinitely, waiting on the review of the ordinance?" asked Council member Nathan Martin.

"That would be exactly it," Gates said.

"Upon reading the ordinance in detail there are some places where I had some questions or suggestions," added Council member Pat Carlisle, as she handed out copies of items she noticed in the ordinance. "I thought maybe we should take a look (at these) since it has to go to the state next. Some of it is basically just clean up, I think, some of them are things I'm just not clear on.

"I am very supportive of ordinance of this nature," she said. "There are just some little things I noticed needed some clarification," Carlisle said. "I can leave it up to the author (of the ordinance) or up to committee to take a look at those items and see if there was something there that would need some clarification before it would go to the state."

"Would it be possible to have the first reading and then be able to get feedback on this, get questions answered and then the second reading make adjustments that need to be made according to our questions and then at that time submit it for approval prior to our third reading?" asked Martin. "I would hate for us to send it off for approval and then have to go back for reapproval because we changed 'and' to 'the.'"

"That's an excellent suggestion," Gates said.

Council then went on to approve the first reading of the ordinance.

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