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Missing key blamed for canceled meeting

Panel to consider historic district waivers

MORRISON – The key to holding a Historic Preservation Commission meeting is, well, a key.

On Tuesday, City Administrator Jim Wise didn’t have the key for City Hall’s front door for the commission’s evening meeting, but he had one for the back door. So a group of about 10 people followed him to the back door.

The meeting started late.

The commission, which meets in a basement meeting room, was planning to consider five requests from property owners to opt out of the historic district. The panel makes recommendations to the City Council, which has the final say.

At the meeting’s start, Tim Slavin, the commission’s chairman, said he was uncomfortable that people couldn’t enter through the front door.

The other commission members agreed, so they canceled the meeting.

They rescheduled for Dec. 5.

Alderwoman Marti Wood questioned the cancellation.

“The property owners were very upset about the meeting being canceled because there are deadlines to meet on the opt-out policy,” she said in an email.

The opt-out deadline is Dec. 31.

For years, the historic district has been controversial. Many accuse the city of failing to notify property owners that their properties were in the district. Others say the district involves overly restrictive regulations.

The property owners wanting exemptions are Gary Milnes, 628 W. Lincolnway; Judy Zuidema, 112 E. Main St.; Paula Custer of 107 Towne St.; Stephen Deckro of 101 E. Main St.; and the Masons’ Dunlap Lodge, 227-229 E. Main St.

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