Committee recommends altering historic district


The above map shows the new proposed boundary of the historical preservation district, outlined in yellow, as well as the new Uptown-specific zones the city proposed at Monday’s planning commission meeting. The red denotes Uptown commercial, the blue Uptown transitional, the striped areas are Uptown single family and the orange is Uptown multi-family.
(Image submitted)
The city is taking more steps to preserve its old buildings, this time by redefining historic boundaries.
At its Monday night meeting, Marysville Planning Commission voted to recommend altering the boundaries of the city’s historical preservation district. Those recommendations will go before city council at one of its future meetings.
The planning commission has held short discussions regarding the historical district a few times this year. The end product is a new map that shaves off some parts of the existing preservation district while bringing other areas into the fold.
“This is something that has been worked through many times with staff,” said commission chair Tim Schacht.
East Fifth Street from the Five Points intersection to Vine Street has been taken out of the preservation district, as has the west side of North Maple Street from Fourth Street to Sixth Street. Fourth Street, from North Oak Street down until around Olive Street, is being added to the district. Areas around North Main Street on the North side of Mill Creek are being added, too.
Bob Parrott was the first citizen to speak, expressing disappointment that some of the city’s more historical homes weren’t included in the new preservation boundaries. Specifically, he said he doesn’t understand why the district doesn’t go farther down West Fifth Street.
He said he’d like the district to go down West Fifth to Grove Street.
“We really need to cover these houses,” he said.
Schacht said the point of the proposed map is to get a new baseline started. He said nothing rules out adding more properties in the future.
“We want to get something established now,” Schacht said.
Homes within the historic district boundaries are held to an additional set of guidelines when appearing before the design review committee for renovations or demolition.
Council member and West Fifth Street resident Nevin Taylor told the committee that people have contacted him with concerns over their addition to the district. He said the city never asked residents in that area whether they wanted to be in the district. Taylor said in some ways, it seems like light imminent domain.
Taylor said he’s listened to residents who want to be in the district, and those who want nothing to do with it. He said property owners should decide for themselves whether they’re brought into a historic or preservation district.
“I am not opposed to seeing increased boundaries,” he said. “But I think we have to listen to some of these property owners.”
The committee also recommended the addition of four new types of zones, with which to paint areas of the Uptown. Those are Uptown commercial, Uptown transitional, Uptown single-family residential and Uptown multi-family residential.
City planner Chad Flowers said the necessity for these new zones comes from many properties in the area not conforming to the zoning Marysville has in place right now. Because many of these buildings were built decades ago, they don’t conform to more modern codes put upon them long after they were built.
For example, much of East Fifth Street is zoned as business residential.
That type of zoning requires a setback much farther back than what most homes that are there now have. Since those houses were built long before those codes existed, they’re legally allowed to veer from those requirements.
These new codes will eliminate that problem by bringing the codes in line with what’s already there. The new codes will also ensure any new building that goes into the Uptown district looks similar to current structures.
Sixth Street resident Jim Ambos asked if a commercial property that doesn’t conform with the new zoning, but is grandfathered in, can continue that use if sold to a new party.
Flowers said it could, though if it sits vacant for more than two years, it would need to revert to its intended use.
Union County Commissioner Steve Stolte said he didn’t believe there was enough multi-family zoning. He also said the county-owned ground should be in the Uptown commercial district, rather than its placement in Uptown transitional.
He said the size and mass of the county buildings is more akin to what would be found in a commercial district.
“Clearly the county buildings are not in transition, they’re here to stay,” he said.
The recommendations made by the committee will go to city council at a future meeting, where they will be subject to three readings before passage.

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