The Worthington Architectural Review Board recently dealt our community a very low blow. It was dealt another by City Council on March 14. We are talking about the addition to 849 Oxford St.

To the editor:

The Worthington Architectural Review Board recently dealt our community a very low blow. It was dealt another by City Council on March 14. We are talking about the addition to 849 Oxford St.

The current ARB completely ignored the historic district guidelines and publically insulted and ignored the many, many written and voiced objections of most of the neighbors in giving approval to the addition. Nowhere in the Historic District is there a modern, monochromatic warehouse-style addition or existing home. What were they thinking?

The ARB sought no input from the Worthington Historical Society (which helped draw up the original guidelines with Dave Foust). The WHS didn't even know of the proposal until the appeal process began. The WHS Board of Trustees, along with more than 100 other local residents, signed petitions related to the appeal questioning the ARB's actions. We were very distressed that these petitions were never allowed into the discussion at the appeal hearing.

The ARB has opened Pandora's box. We must stop it from further devaluing our historic neighborhood and the uniqueness of Worthington, which so many of us found as the reason to live here.

Contact City Council and demand that a representative of the Worthington Historical Society, selected by the trustees, have a position on the ARB. The ARB obviously needs someone who understands and can interpret what the appropriate look of the Historic District is and how historically significant certain aspects of its architecture are.

The current ARB clearly does not understand what their purpose is. Maybe many positions on it should be given to people who do understand and appreciate the guidelines that have protected such a treasure. There are hundreds of people already living in the area who could do a much better job.

John and Steffanie Haueisen
Worthington

Decisions of ARB, council criticized
To the editor:

The Worthington Architectural Review Board recently approved an addition at 849 Oxford St. in Old Worthington, despite the fact many of the adjacent neighbors had expressed valid concerns about this addition, including concerns about its modern, industrial look.

As 48-year residents of Old Worthington, we disagreed so strongly with the ARB's decision that we initiated an appeal to Worthington City Council.

At the same time, 100 people (including our neighbors and other residents of Old Worthington, including the board of trustees of the Worthington Historical Society) signed a petition that questioned this and other decisions recently made by the ARB. The petition was presented to city council.

Neighbors wrote letters to council members, expressing their concerns.

At a standing-room-only council meeting on March 14, many residents spoke against the ARB's decision and questioned why long-established rules didn't seem to apply to this addition. Dave Foust, a former member of both city council and the ARB - and co-developer of the ARB guidelines - explained why he believed that the ARB made a mistake.

Council responded by turning a deaf ear to all of us.

Lou Goorey set aside the petitions, and the three newest council members - Scott Myers, Joe Davis, and Robert Schmidt - seemed to have a great deal of difficulty understanding that the Historic District has a clear and distinct appearance at all.

If the ARB isn't accountable to the citizens of Worthington, who does it serve? If the current members of Worthington City Council refuse to consider the concerns of Worthington's citizens regarding the decisions made by ARB, shouldn't we elect council members who will?

Jerry and Sue Kneubel
Worthington