Minutes of the Avon Historical Society,
January 7, 2002

President Jack Smith opened the meeting of the Avon Historical Society at 7:00 p.m. at The Old Town Hall. There were 36 members and guests present.

As the first order of business he asked the secretary to read the minutes of the previous meeting of November 5, 2002. After the minutes were read there being no additions or corrections the president entertained a motion to approve the minutes made by Theresa Szipple and seconded by Lynette Bock. The motion was unanimously passed by the members present.

Jack then asked for the treasurer's report. In the absence of Barb Wolfe, Jean Fischer reported the following: as of this evening there is a balance of $1,047.47 in the checking account. Our money market account currently has a balance of $4,791.12. The president asked the members if there were any outstanding bills to present to the treasurer this evening, and there were none.

Following under old business the president inquired of Jim Szipple if there was any news to report on the repair of the steps. Jim report that he is still working on it.

Jack then stated that he would dispense with any further committee reports in view of the fact that we have just finished up the holidays and there have been no executive meetings through the holidays and things are only now getting back to normal. We will review committee reports at the next meeting.

Jean Fischer, reporting on the city building decorating project, stated that the 3 paintings donated by Rose Mitock for this project have been framed and they are just beautiful. Jean took them to city hall and Ellen Young, Clerk of City Council is supposed to be finding out how many photographs and pictures that they actually want in the album we will be preparing. Jean stated that at this time it makes no sense in doing extra work until we know what they actually want. Ellen will be working with Jean so we know what they want.

Jack then reported that the grant for the water wheel project for the upcoming Bicentennial exhibit at the French Creek Reservation Park was really not denied. The county has agreed to pay for the water wheel and we have received $1,865.00 from the monies allocated to Lorain County to assist with our DVD project.

The monies are intended to be used to help pay for the cost of converting our old slide programs of Avon that we have developed over the years onto DVD and video tape primarily for the Bicentennial celebration and exhibit next year. The DVD's and video tapes will be played continuously at the nature center at our exhibit and will be for sale to the public there.

Jack then announced that the next meeting would be Monday, February 4, 2002 at 7:00 p.m.

He then asked Jean Fischer to announce the program for the next meeting. Jean reported that at our February meeting our speaker would be Mary Jane Barrett who will present a program on Quilts of the Underground Railroad.

There being no further business to conduct, a motion was made by Ron Bock to adjourn the meeting which motion was seconded by John Eldred and unanimously passed.

Jean Fischer then presented our speaker for the evening, Kathleen C. Crowther, Executive Director of the Cleveland Restoration Society who would be speaking on Approaches to Preserving Historic Structures.

Respectfully submitted, Nancy McGhee, Secretary

[Note: Kathleen Crowther's excellent presentation described various ways the public and private sectors could contribute to the preservation of historic structures in Avon. Since the Historical Society will be dedicating to Avon the three prints mentioned above on Monday, 1-28-02, at 7:30 pm at City Hall on Chester Rd., this may be an opportunity to present to Council two of Kathleen's public sector recommendations:

First, Avon should adopt a Landmark Ordinance for the preservation of historic structures. Second, Avon should contract for a Survey to list the historic structures in Avon. These two initiatives go together because there is no point in having a Landmark Ordinance if there are no designated landmarks; and there is no point in listing landmarks if there is no ordinance to protect them.

The concensus among members of the Historical Society who have so far expressed an opinion is that the Landmark Ordinance should not interfere with property owners except to attempt to maintain the appearance of landmarks with any materials or technologies that the owners may choose to use. Minor modifications, such as enclosing a porch, should be encouraged to increase the livability or commercial attractiveness of a landmark.

The main feature of the Landmark Ordinance would be to slow down the destruction of a landmark. This would encourage a developer in a hurry to carry out his project elsewhere. The ordinance should provide for moving the landmark to another location as an alternative to destroying it.

Last summer, the Avon Planning Commission asked the Historical Society to propose a "historical overlay zoning" ordinance. The Landmark Ordinance is a better approach. We will give full cooperation to the City, and help in any way we are asked, to accomplish the Landmark Ordinance and the Survey.]

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