Historic bill now up to Brownback

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May 20, 2013 - 12:00 AM

A bill to repeal state restrictions imposed on properties near those on the National Register of Historic Places passed both the House and Senate, State Rep. Ed Bideau, R-Chanute.
The restrictions are on properties within 500 feet of a historical property in a city, 1,000 feet in an unincorporated areas.
The bill would lift substantial restrictions on several properties in downtown Chanute, the Murray School area and would benefit Humboldt if it elects to pursue creation of a historical district in its downtown business district.
The bill passed out of the House Friday, and out of the Senate earlier in the week, with the support of Sen. Caryn Tyson.
Allen County is represented by Bideau and Tyson.
The bill now goes to Gov. Sam Brownback. Bideau said he had “every reason to believe he will sign the bill into law.”
Bideau emphasized the bill would not change restrictions on historical properties, rather on surrounding areas.
“It will not terminate local governments’ power to make their own decisions and choices on restrictions for the area around a historical property through their zoning powers, building codes and home rule powers,” he said. “It will simply prevent the state from doing that unilaterally, without consent of local government and without any notice or hearing rights to the owners of properties.”
The problem arose more than two years ago, Bideau continued, with a proposed historical district in Chanute.
“We were shocked to discover the state was putting on these perpetual restrictions that could never be changed, without any notice or hearing rights to property owners.”
He proposed and encouraged the legislation.
However, he added, “Owners should be very careful about putting a property on the National Registry, because it will then be subject to permanent restrictions that may adversely impact their investment in the property and their insurance costs.”
Humboldt’s Downtown Action Team and the town’s governing body had sought to have the law changed, with thoughts of proposing downtown structures, including the bandstand, for the national registry.

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