September 17, 2021

Kendall County Board amends ordinance seeking participation in state historic preservation program

The Kendall County Board unanimously approved an amended ordinance on Tuesday, Dec. 15 for its application to receive local government status through the Illinois Historic Preservation agency.

If approved by the state, the county would become eligible for preservation grants to help renovate historic properties. Homeowners could also receive tax rebates and credits through the program.

The county had previously applied for local government status earlier this year. But after guidance from the state, the county had to amend its original ordinance, which was passed Tuesday.

The state asked the county to change language in the ordinance which would have allowed the county historic preservation commission to waive a $500 application fee for historic properties.

"The state doesn't want the potential for two classifications of applicants - one that pays the fee and one that does not," said board member Matt Kellogg at a committee of the whole meeting last week. "We wanted to be able to waive it."

Matt Asselmeier, the county's senior planner, told board members the application would be rejected if they did not amend the ordinance's language on waiving application fees.

County officials said the $500 fee is intended to prevent people from nominating local properties on a whim. The ordinance also allows for home buyers to contest nominations for historic preservation.