The Landmarks Commission hoped to convince community members to create a local historic district downtown through two informational meetings last week.
If the historic district is approved, the Landmarks Commission would have the authority to review proposed exterior changes of 67 buildings from Fifth Street to the Yahara River. The designation would not affect the interior of the buildings, nor would it require property owners to change existing exteriors unless they decide to make changes.
The designation would replace the current downtown design overlay district, implemented in 2009 with a similar review process through the Plan Commission. Under the historic district, the Landmarks Commission would create and implement new design guidelines.
In the presentation, Landmarks Commission president Peggy Veregin said there will no longer be destruction by neglect, meaning property owners will have to maintain the exterior of the buildings. If the designation can protect the historical buildings, it will encourage tourism, increase property values and have a single ordinance for the buildings, she said.
After a public survey available on Stoughton’s city website closes, the outreach firm, The Lakota Group, will create a report of the findings. After the findings, the Lakota Group will make another public presentation before the Commission presents the proposal to the City Council, who will make the final decision.