Some Niles leaders hope a new ordinance will increase tourism and property values downtown.
Tuesday night, they met with business owners to explain the proposal which would amend the Niles residential historic ordinance to include the downtown commercial district.
It would require owners to have plans approved by a committee before making changes to the outside of the building.
The restoration would have to fit certain architectural and aesthetic guidelines aimed at preserving the downtown's current look.
“They can use temporarily materials to do this,” said Fredda Zeiter, chair of the design committee. “They can improve the thermal capacity of the buildings by putting in thermal pane windows. So we're not going to be requiring they use historically the same materials.”
The committee said other towns who've implemented similar ordinances have seen property values in historic districts go up.
Their next meeting to answer business owners' questions is 4:30, August 21st at the Riverfront Café in Niles.