By Dave Fidlin
After hearing from several concerned property owners, Village of Waterford officials have placed a proposed amendment on the boundaries of its historic commercial district on the backburner.
The Village Board was slated to adopt new boundaries for its Heritage District at a meeting Dec. 12, but when questions on the methodology in redrawing the lines arose, local decision-makers kicked the issue back to an appointed committee for further review.
While the nucleus of the Heritage District would essentially remain the same, plans were floated to remove a few properties and add others into the mix.
Darla Yanny’s year-old business, the Waterford Unique Antique Market at 209 N. Milwaukee St., is among the properties being incorporated into the proposed district boundaries.
“I want to opt out. I don’t see a benefit,” Yanny said, pointing out her building, previously a Reineman’s True Value store, only has roots going back to the 1970s. Most of the buildings in the district were constructed in a far earlier era.
Trustee Don Houston, who chairs the committee overseeing Heritage District guidelines, attempted unsuccessfully to adopt the boundaries as proposed.
“Most of the people on the committee are business-oriented,” Houston said, asserting a belief a high degree of care and thought went into amending the boundaries.
Unlike other areas of the village, commercial properties within the Heritage District need to adhere to stricter guidelines in an effort to promote and maintain the historic nature of many of the buildings dotting the downtown landscape.
During the discussion, concerns of putting an undue burden on current or prospective business owners were raised, but Village President Tom Roanhouse attempted to squelch such thinking.
“The overall intent of the guidelines is to make the community more attractive,” Roanhouse said. “The intent is to make businesses prosper.”