INDIANAPOLIS | State Sen. Jim Arnold, D-LaPorte, persuaded the Indiana Senate Tuesday to give owners of property located in a historic district a procedure to remove the historic designation.
"We're not eliminating these districts; it just gives them an option because there was no way to do it before," Arnold said.
Senate Bill 4, which passed 46-0 and now goes to the House, permits the owner of a single-site historic district to ask the designating council to remove the historic classification. In districts with multiple properties, 60 percent of property owners would have to want the historic status canceled.
Petitions for de-designation would be reviewed by the historic preservation commission of the local unit of government that initially declared the property historic.
The commission would hold a public hearing, determine whether the property warrants continued historic designation and advise the governing council.
The council then would decide, based in part on the commission's recommendation, whether to grant the petition to eliminate the historic district or keep it intact.
Arnold said there needs to be a process to help owners stuck with historic home obligations they don't want.