Community Hopes To Attract More Business

Historic District measure advanced to second reading. The Plattsmouth City Council passed an ordinance on first reading last night that would create the Downtown Plattsmouth Historic District. The ordinance must pass two more readings to become effective.

The Cassgram reports the city has been a Certified Local Government for historic preservation since 2005 and has used almost $100,000 in related funding, but to this point the guidelines have only been suggestive. The ordinance that is advancing to second reading would make the guidelines enforceable.

If passed, the ordinance would amend the city’s zoning map by adding an overlay district downtown “to protect, promote and accentuate the visual qualities that distinguish Plattsmouth’s historic architecture, while respecting the property rights of the building’s owner,” said a pamphlet explaining the purpose of the guidelines.

According to City Administrator Erv Portis, consent to the creation of the district has come from 60.34% of property owners of privately-owned property in the proposed district.

The city—a public owner of 13% of the property in the district—was a consenter to the petition to create the district, as was the county which holds 17% of the property within the district.

During the public hearing, Harlan Seyfer of the city’s Historical Preservation Board urged passage of the measure. Seyfer said that from his research, Plattsmouth will be only one of about a half dozen cities under 8,000 people nationwide with such a preservation ordinance. He said he foresees tourism opportunities for Plattsmouth.

Charles Jones, executive director of the Plattsmouth Main Street Association, said that he encountered property owners in the district that supported the ordinance once they understood the intent.

In response to a city council question about those private property owners who did not sign on to the petition, Portis acknowledged that there are some who have concerns that the ordinance may be “government overreach.”

At its December meeting, the Plattsmouth Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval.

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