SUPPORT FOR HISTORIC AND NEIGHBORHOOD PRESERVATION
OCTOBER 1979; REVISED APRIL 1988; REVISED MAY 2014
The League of Women Voters of Janesville feels that historic and neighborhood preservation is important to Janesville's economic and cultural sustainability. The City has a definite role in preservation activities. Preservation should be integrated into the overall process of planning for community development. Plans for streets, schools, and other community facilities should be evaluated for their impact on historic resources. Zoning changes and/or variances should be evaluated in terms of their effect on the neighborhood and historic resources.
The City of Janesville receives grants under various federal and state programs. Funds should be used: to support neighborhood goals; to rehabilitate historic structures in an appropriate manner; to continue surveys of the historic resources of the city. Alternative housing should be made available for those who might be displaced by rehabilitation activities. In addition, reuse of historic buildings should be a major consideration in all redevelopment projects.
The League supports the City of Janesville's historic district ordinance and the work of the historic preservation commission. This allows interested property owners to take advantage of the various tax incentives for preservation. The affected neighborhood should be involved in the establishment and definition of historic district boundaries.
The city should also
1. publicize the tax incentives which are available;
2. encourage property owners to find alternatives to the destruction of historic buildings;
3. reevaluate existing city ordinances for their effect on historic structures;
4. require that new construction in historic areas be compatible with the area;
5. require that renovation of historic structures and those in historic districts be in keeping with the style of the buildings.
6. allow variances to the ordinances to encourage the reuse or repurposing of historic buildings;
7. enforce the existing building codes so that historic structures do not deteriorate because of neglect.