The Masonic Hall

The masonic hall, a designated local landmark in downtown Stoughton.

A proposal from the Landmark Commission to make Stoughton’s entire downtown a historic district stalled because of the coronavirus, but it is still moving forward.

The proposal would give the Landmarks Commission the authority to review the look and style of the buildings from Fifth Street to the Yahara River. The commission had been expected to discuss the decision with the Common Council March 18, but that meeting was canceled due to illness concerns.

There is expected to be one more public presentation before the proposal goes to the Common Council.

The locally designated historic district is a mechanism to preserve the character of the buildings. It means an extra layer of protection for downtown buildings, switching authorization for exterior changes away from the Planning Commission and giving it to the Landmark Commission, the Hub previously reported.

If property owners want to change the color of their building’s facade, replace windows, add signage or complete structural additions, they would have to go through an approval process, city zoning administrator Michael Stacey – a Landmarks Commission member – told the Hub in October.

The designation would not affect the interior of the building, nor will it require property owners to change existing exteriors.

There is already a similar layer of approval process in place on the 67 properties. The historic district would replace the downtown design overlay zoning district implemented in 2009.

The Landmark Commission, hired The Lakota Group, a historic preservation consulting firm, to help with the outreach process.

There have been at least four public meetings, and meetings with individual business owners who will be effects by the proposed district.

Contact Mackenzie Krumme at mackenzie.krumme@wcinet.com.