Historic preservation tax credit passes Ohio House

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 05/17/2006 - 06:26.

This just in, from Greater Ohio... these economic incentives are important to historic preservation - perhaps it's not to late to save the dozens of historic buildings in and around the Flats and downtown Cleveland that are currently doomed to demolition by community planners... at least folks seem to care about preservation in Columbus... anyone care here?

Historic preservation tax credit passes Ohio House

Am Sub HB 149 passed the Ohio House with a unanimous vote Tuesday morning, May 16, marking an important victory for Greater Ohio and other groups supporting redevelopment of older communities. It now goes to the Senate where a companion bill, SB 60, has been considered but not passed. The Senate will take up the House version. (Compare the two bills.)

Greater Ohio and Heritage Ohio, a statewide historic preservation network, were instrumental in passage of the bill. "This is a first step in a long series of practical changes to Ohio policy that will support redevelopment of existing communities, protection of Ohio's farmland and greenspace and other tenets of intelligent land use," said Gene Krebs, Greater Ohio's State Director. "Legislation such as HB 149 offers a 'soft solution' to abuse of eminent domain for economic development. It also gives communities a tool to preserve and enhance walkable, family-friendly neighborhoods."

Krebs credited Rep. Chuck Calvert for sponsoring the bill and Rep. Sally Conway Kilbane for moving the bill through committee, as well as Speaker Husted for bringing the bill to the floor before recess.

I emailed my Rep., Sally

I emailed my Rep., Sally Conway Kilbane, asking her to vote for the Historic preservation tax credit, here is her response:

The following is Representative Conway Kilbane’s response.


Dear Ms. Kiefer,


Thank you for your recent email of support for Sub House Bill 149.  I am pleased to share your position on this issue.





Sally Conway Kilbane

State Representative, District 16

Who are the historic preservationists in NEO?

At first read, this bill looks like an improvement. I am concerned the House version sets limits on number of project allowed to qualify (20) and the cap of $250,000 per project - the Senate bill does not have those limitations. When I was doing historic preservation in New Orleans the investment tax credit for certified projects was 25% - around 1984 Reagan dropped that to 20%, where it is today. Even that smaller percentage is a make or break factor in many projects. Both the House and Senate versions of this bill increase the ITC back to 25% - the House bill is much more restrictive than the Senate bill, but it seems far better than nothing.

Considering the state of the Coast Guard Station, and the irreversible community sacrifice of all the historic property on the East Bank of the flats, I wonder who are the historic preservationists in town and why aren't they active in raising awareness of the importance of these and our other legacy properties, and the importance of this historic ITC legislation.

Having been to recent Cleveland Landmarks Commission meetings about the Broadway Mills Property, also in the Flats and slated for demolition (along with many other historic properties in the way of a propsed freeway expansion), I realize the Cleveland Landmarks Commission is reactive rather than proactive, and they do not appear to pursue a role in advocacy. Their mission challenges them to play a much greater role in urban planning and development, so perhaps that can change for the better in the future...

I looked at the Cleveland Restoration Society website to see if they had advice on these bills and suggestions for community engagement, but I do not see anything posted there - the site is very out of date.

We need to educate a new class of concerned citizens about urban historic preservation and renewal. A good place to start is by engaging citizens to contact their legislators and let them know we care about historic preservation. I'll work on a list of who may care, and who clearly does not. If such a list exists, or you have thoughts on this, please post.

Cleveland Landmarks Commission mission...



ROBERT KEISER, Chief City Planner
Cleveland City Hall
601 Lakeside Avenue, Room 519
Cleveland, Ohio 44114

Cleveland Landmarks Commission Web Page


To identify architecturally and historically significant buildings, sites, and districts as local landmarks. To protect those landmarks from demolition and inappropriate alterations. To work with local neighborhoods, City of Cleveland departments, and City Council on historic preservation issues.

The Landmarks Commission is an 11-member board created in 1972 by City Council to establish historic preservation as public policy. The Landmarks Commission recommends buildings, sites, or historic districts of architectural significance that are eligible for local designation as landmarks. Exterior changes to individual landmarks or properties within historic districts are reviewed by the Landmarks Commission as part of the building permit process. The Landmarks Commission is a Certified Local Government acting in cooperation with the state Historic preservation Office and the National Park Service on issues regarding National Register Listing and cases involving Section 106 environment.

There are three primary areas of the Landmarks Commission: Permits and Cases, Survey, and Design Review.


This area of the Commission provides staff support and carries out the administrative procedures of the Commission. It also manages Commission records. This includes preparing meeting agendas, minutes and case files, meeting with applicants about proposed changes to buildings that have been locally designated, and providing advice regarding design issues for Certificates of Appropriateness.


Survey identifies buildings, sites, and historic districts for the purpose of Cleveland landmark and National Register designation. It conducts architectural surveys to assess the significance of historic buildings, sites, and districts, and it promotes the historical significance of Cleveland neighborhoods.


Design Review provides staff support to neighborhood-based design review committees, including training. It prepares their meeting agendas and minutes and prepares staff reviews of designs submitted to the committees.

I agree, much more needs to be done

The Cleveland Restoration society and other organizations need to be much more proactive, but at least they emailed me asking to email my Rep.