Letter to the Editor 2022.12.30

'Carrots' needed to encourage more Landmarked Buildings

The City of Naperville has just one local historic district and four landmarked buildings. Building owners in the historic district face additional regulations, but financial and other incentives are lacking. In other words, there are sticks, but no carrots.

Perhaps Naperville could learn from a new ordinance in Hinsdale that offers relaxed zoning regulations and financial incentives to preserve historic properties.

Hinsdale is creating a Historic Overlay District and a list of significant properties within that district. Owners of these properties will be eligible for building permit fee waivers; expedited permit processing; village property tax rebates for significant exterior improvements; and matching grants for up to $10,000 with a minimum investment of $20,000. For more details see Historic Overlay District & Historic Preservation Incentives.

Many other cities have more landmarked properties and historic districts, largely because they use 'carrots' in addition to regulatory 'sticks.' By encouraging preservation through the use of incentives Naperville could protect the charm and character that has helped make the city so attractive.

— Joe McElroy