LIMA — Two Lima City Council committees met Thursday night to review two potential new ordinances. The first considered would give real estate developers another tool when considering historic preservations, and the second could help tamp down violence at large parties.
The first ordinance on council’s two-meeting Thursday night agenda acted as the first step in a process to ensure those looking to use historic preservation dollars are able to meet the necessary legal obligations. Community Development Director Susan Crotty explained to councilors that the ordinance, if passed, would label Lima as a “certified local government.”
Under the new designation, the city would need to set up a historic preservation board and appoint and approve board members, but such efforts would allow private citizens to use historic preservation dollars from the state and federal levels within city limits, effectively opening up a potential new revenue stream for developers of older properties.
Crotty said at least one developer is looking at the option, and the City of Lima would need to move quickly to check off the bureaucratic necessities that would allow the developer to apply for such funds by the end of March.
To do so, Lima City Council will have to pass the ordinance during its next meeting Monday, Feb. 24.
The second ordinance considered by councilors on Thursday would create a special gathering permit similar to one used in Chattanooga, Tennessee, if approved. Essentially, the legal framework under consideration would require that anyone holding a gathering with over 50 people at a commercial venue apply for a permit with the city detailing the hours, location and number of attendees. That way, if police officers are required to respond to that location, or if there are neighborhood complaints, the city would have some sort of legal language to lean on to either shut down the party, or enough information to deploy the correct police response if a gathering turns violent.
“We’re making it safe to have those parties,” Councilor Derry Glenn said. “This is something we’re doing for safety reasons because in the past we’ve seen what happened.”
Councilors explained the need for such an ordinance by highlighting an Independence Day shooting at the former UAW Hall in 2018. At the time, a number of victims were shot and one 23-year-old man, Carrington Lott, was killed when shots were fired inside. Upon arrival with a limited number of men, police officers were ill-equipped to deal with a party with over a hundred attendees.
“We can’t just wait,” Councilor Jamie Dixon said. “We have to look at it if it’s on our doorstep, and right now, it’s on the doorstep of the City of Lima. We have to do something about it.”
Councilors asked the city’s law department to draft the necessary legislation. Councilors also requested that the city takes into consideration the fine structure with the understanding that the resulting ordinance should have some sort of “teeth” if someone fails to file the necessary paperwork and is found out.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.