The Oregon Planning Commission on Dec. 21 voted to recommend approval of a Conditional Use permit in an R-2 Medium Density Residential District at 2083 Autokee Street that will allow for the operation of a local history museum in a building that is currently a church.
The applicants for the Conditional Use were Michael Joseph and Gary Cashin, agents for owner Harbor View Missionary Baptist Church.
Jim Gilmore, Oregon’s commissioner of building and zoning, said the property is located at the southwest corner of Mississippi and Autokee streets. The surrounding zoning is R-2.
Gilmore said the museum would have a lower impact on the community compared to the church.
Joseph said the five year plan for the museum includes gathering historical data on communities that existed in the past, such as Immergrun, Momany Town, South Shore Park, Ironville and Harbor View, for students to study.
According to Joseph, the first year of the five year plan calls for the acquisition of a suitable structure to use as an office and meeting place, gathering the history of the area, using the museum as a rental for events such as weddings or a meeting place for groups until construction of the exhibits is completed, and the acquisition and razing of an abandoned house to the east of the property for a park like setting.
The second year calls for the construction of the exhibits and the layout of the proposed museum in an area currently known as the Sanctuary, the erection of a bus shelter and creation of a free library.
The third year would see the development of a community hall for 200 people, with washrooms and showers, a kitchenette for fund raising dinners, the development of a parking area to the north and south, and the creation of a museum gift shop.
The fourth year calls for the construction of a new addition, working toward the concept of a proposed hostel and targeting groups that would use it.
The fifth year would see the start of fund raising dinners and book readings, the development of hours of operation, and the creation of a regular volunteer staff and team to operate certain areas of the museum. There would also be the creation of an intern program with local universities on a regular basis to study and enhance existing historical documents and displays. Plans also call for the development of a further relationship with the Ohio Historical Society, the start of a hostel program.
Joseph said the museum would be a public place.
Kathy Patchen, of 2063 Autokee Street, asked if the project would disturb her landscaping, since it goes up to her property line.
Joseph said plans call for the installation of a fence on the property line which will leave her approximately two feet. The owners would be willing to sell her a few feet of property to reduce the impact on the size of her yard.
Mayor Mike Seferian, who is a member of the Planning Commission, asked if there would be enough parking spaces for receptions and parties. He did not think there would be enough room for 80-100 spaces and that there would have to be compliance with parking regulations.
The Planning Commission included a provision for a three year time limit on the conditional use to review the project.