Historic Preservation Commission Disbanded by Vote of City Council

The Frankfort Historic Preservation Commission was disbanded Monday night when the Frankfort City Council voted 5-2 to rescind the ordinance that established it in 2015.

“The ordinance that established it did not match,” said Frankfort Mayor Judy Sheets. “There were things that weren’t the same and its like how can you establish a commission based off your standards if they don’t match. I spent a lot of time looking at that and thinking it would be nice if we could rescind this. Let’s start over.”

Sheets knows this is far from over.

“I’m not saying on down the road we wouldn’t have an advisory council or establish another committee that maybe had the way it read different that went more in accordance with our standards,” said Sheets.

City Councilman Steve Beardsley asked the Mayor if she would form a committee on what to do next without the HPC.

“It’s something that I thought about anyway even before this,” said Sheets. “I had no idea on what would happen tonight. I was just waiting to see what they (the council) said and move forward.”

HPC Chairman Bud McQuade handed out a list of possible adjustments that could be made to the entire council. Some of the council members agreed with McQuade as did Sheets. Some of the recommendations were as follows:

  • The committee shall be reduced from five members to three citizens appointed by the Board of Works. These would be rotating three-year terms.
  • Perhaps the current size of the Christian Ridge and South Frankfort districts by appropriately reduced in geographical size.
  • The Committee shall be considered to be consultants to the Building Inspector only and not the final say.
  • They shall meet as needed with no public interaction. This does have to be in-person.
  • The Building Inspector, upon receipt of any appropriate building permit application, shall, if the structure is located within the said districts and the proposed renovation(s) meet the exterior requirements, make available to the consultants the needed information which has been provided by the applicant, for the consultants’ review. After determining their opinions, it shall be given to the Building Inspector to assist him/her in making the Building Inspectors appropriate decision/
  • The consultants will not offer any approval, disapproval, only their majority opinions to the Building Inspector.
  • Upon receipt of the required information, the consultants shall render their opinion(s) within five working day. The Building Inspector could then present his/her decision without delay. This would eliminate the current 30 day or more procedure and should provide a more fluid solution process.
  • If the applicant disagrees with the Building Inspector’s decision, they could follow the already in place method of grievance by petitioning the Board of Works.
  • The current HPC has been actively pursuing and developing a qualified pool of potential candidates. Three.
  • The members have been challenged to review the current standards.

In other news, the Council voted 6-1 on the first reading of an ordinance wanting to revise three-hour parking on south Main Street.

“I do know that its a situation where people who work downtown take up those spots and were trying up those spots all day,” said Sheets. “That was a concern of some. They wanted to have those open for other people. That’s only a block away from our downtown area. If you want to go downtown shopping to me that would be a place you can park.”

The area they want to change is from Walnut to Wabash in the downtown area.

The council voted unanimously to approve the first reading on the 2024 budget.

The council formed a committee to take applications for one of their appointments on the Utility Service Board. If anyone is interested, call the city 765-654-5715.

Councilman Mike Brite resigned his position on the Frankfort Redevelopment Commission effective immediately. He was replaced Eric Woods, who volunteered to fill in until a replacement is found.

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