The Oak Park Area Association of REALTORS® weighed in on a proposal to amend a historic preservation ordinance in the Village of River Forest.
The current historic preservation program identifies nearly 300 properties as “historically or architecturally significant.” The proposed changes involve those properties by:
- Requiring owners of significant properties to discuss the proposed demolition before the village’s Historic Preservation Commission, allow comment and suggest alternatives to tearing down the home.
- Requiring homeowners seeking a demolition permit for a significant property to wait up to 180 days for the permit for a demolition.
Last September, the association expressed concerns about a delay being too long; the initial proposal called for a nine-month delay. The holding costs of a new owner/builder could add up significantly with an unduly long delay period. Also, the association sought clarity on the length of this village-imposed delay so prospective buyers would have certainty in knowing the process.
At a public meeting Feb. 22, the River Forest Board of Trustees grappled with these issues, heard from homeowners and debated the proposal. The REALTORS®’ concerns were noted and generally agreed with. Mike Scobey of IAR staff stated at the hearing that the proposed delay should not become “a de facto prohibition on demolitions.”
Revisions to the proposal are expected and a vote by the village board could take place on March 14.