GENEVA – Geneva aldermen voted 5-3 July 8 against the creation of the South Geneva Historic District.
A majority of the standing-room-only crowd cheered and clapped their approval that the City Council did not uphold the Historic Preservation Commission’s 6-0 recommendation in favor of the district.
The vote followed two hours of public and alderman comment at a special meeting held in the Kane County Boardroom at the government center.
Most homeowners out against creating a second historic district in the city, including Teresa Keenan.
“Homes need to progress as American families do,” Keenan said. “Families do not live today like they did 100 years ago.”
Gillian McNamara, who led the historic district petitioners, said the nominators and supporters believe continued commitment to historic preservation is vital to Geneva’s economic success.
McNamara listed a number of homes that were demolished and their lots subdivided.
“This proposed district is a gift from us to all Genevans,” McNamara said “Once these homes are gone, we cannot get them back. And they are not protected unless they are protected.”
The creation of another historic district in Geneva was controversial, with hearings that started on March 19 and were continued to April 16 and May 21.
Those who voted against creating a new historic district were 1st Ward Alderman Tara Burghart, 2nd Ward Alderman Richard Marks, and Dean Kilburg and 4th Ward Alderman Gabriel Kaven and 5th Ward Alderman Craig Maladra.
Those voting in favor of upholding the Historic Preservation Commission's recommendation were 1st Ward Alderman Mike Bruno, 3rd Ward Aldermen Becky Hruby and 4th Ward Alderman Jeanne McGowan .
Second Ward Alderman Michael Clements was absent because of a long-planned family function and 5th Ward Alderman Robert Swanson recused himself because he had owned a house in the proposed district. Though Swanson had recently sold the house, he still recused himself.