Uptown Westerville is in the process of being added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Bassem Bitar, Westerville's planning manager, said a recently approved resolution for the process is consistent with the Uptown Westerville plan that Westerville City Council approved in 2014. He said Uptown Westerville Inc. worked closely with the state's historic preservation office and a consultant to determine the boundaries for consideration.
He said there will be about 57 contributing buildings and 10 non-contributing buildings included. He said the boundaries focus on the State Street corridor.
Bitar said the period of significance for the district, which helped determine the boundaries, was 1852 through 1969. The Stoner House, which was built in 1852 was used as the southern boundary on the west side of State Street.
It is the oldest building in Uptown, according to the city.
Bitar said the boundary goes up to Joe's Automobile Repair, 80 N. State St.
The national register is the official list of properties recognized by the federal government for their historical significance and is a program under the National Park Service.
Ohio History Connection's state historic preservation office administers the program locally.
To be considered eligible, a property must meet the National Register Criteria for Evaluation, which involves examining a property's age, significance and integrity, according to the register's website. In terms of age and Integrity, the designation considers whether the property is old enough to be considered historic- generally at least 50 years old- and does it still look much the way it did in the past.
In terms of significance, consideration is given to how the property is associated with events, activities, or developments that were important in the past; with the lives of people who were important in the past; and with significant architectural history, landscape history or engineering achievements, according to the website.
Nominations can be submitted to a state's historic preservation office from property owners, historical societies, preservation organizations, governmental agencies, and other individuals or groups, according to the website.
Bitar said the resolution does not add any additional regulation for the property owners in the area determined, but that participating owners would be eligible for federal and state tax credits for renovation projects, as well as federal grant assistance of qualifying historic preservation projects.
"It also promotes cultural tourism," he said.
A public hearing with property owners was held in February.
The resolution was brought before Westerville's council on March 19 and passed with a 5-1 vote. Councilman Tim Davey voted "no" on the resolution, saying he appreciated the lack of restrictions, as long as the property owner does not accept the grant, and some of the publicity that would go along with Uptown Westerville being part of a historic district, but at the state and federal level there are higher-priority items the grant money could be spent on.
He said that state and federal government putting money into local properties is not the highest priority and that formed the basis of his vote, according to the council's meeting minutes.
"At the national level, we've got $22 trillion in debt and tens of trillions of dollars of unfunded liability," he said.
Mayor Craig Treneff said the resolution is important to the Uptown district being a viable area.
"It's an important part of our history and the identity of our city," he said.
The resolution was sent on to the Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board for consideration.
The Uptown district is not currently listed on the online database at bit.ly/2PecwuR.