Historic Preservation Commission seeking signage grant

By Peter Kuebeck, [email protected]

The Historic Preservation Commission on Tuesday tackled a number of topics, including an upcoming grant application.

The HPC is working towards submitting a Certified Local Government grant application to the state of Ohio for a series of interpretive historical signs that would go in the downtown. Similar signs are present in downtown Perrysburg as well as City Park, discussing history and displaying images of historic buildings. The application is due at the end of March.

“I think we have a good chance, and we’re getting there,” said Planning Director Heather Sayler at the meeting. “Just have to put some work into it.”

HPC Chair Chris Mowen said she’s excited by the project.

“I think this will be a really great addition to our community, this information,” she said.

The HPC also held further discussion about their efforts at creating a Boomtown Historic District, which is a strategic goal of the commission. The HPC has decided to focus their initial efforts on North Maple Street.

Later in Tuesday’s meeting, prompted by a question from an attendee, HPC member John Sampen noted that “We were hoping to just get something started with North Maple, where I think we have a lot of support for putting it,” and proceed with further areas from there.

Under the city’s Historic Preservation Ordinance, the HPC is required to conduct a written survey by certified mail of all property owners within a proposed historic district, and to include the results of the survey in its written recommendation to council.

Discussion on Tuesday centered on the idea of including an informational packet along with the survey to inform property owners about the Historic Preservation Ordinance itself. It was noted that the city attorney would need to review the materials before they would be sent out, with the packet potentially being ready to distribute in two months.

Also at the meeting, the commission:

• Heard that HPC members Sampen and Geoff Howes met with Bowling Green State University’s head of donor relations, Laura Moore, in January about a plaque to be hung in University Hall recognizing the building’s placement on the local historic register. Sampen said that BGSU is working on the design of the plaque.

“It will happen. It’s in the works,” Sampen said.

• Heard from resident Rose Drain, who spoke about the Central Residential District, a proposed alternative created by residents to the controversial Pedestrian Residential District in the city’s draft zoning code update. She said that the proposed PR area is “nearly 104 blocks of the city surrounding the downtown, stretching from Poe to Napoleon, it’s a large area and it is mostly historic homes… If as a commission you cannot weigh in, I hope that you as individuals will consider our proposal and express your thoughts about keeping these historical residential neighborhoods as neighborhoods.”

• Set the next meeting for March 28 at 4 p.m.