The Oregon Planning Commission recently approved a Conditional Use Permit for the Harbor View Historical Society after the organization acquired more property.
The commission had granted a Conditional Use Permit in an R-2 Medium Density Residential District to the historical society at 2083 Autokee Street in 2010 for the operation of a museum with the stipulation that it be reviewed after three years of operation, according to Jim Gilmore, commissioner of building and zoning.
Michael Joseph and Gary Cashin, agents for Harbor View Missionary Baptist Church, applied for the Conditional Use Permit.
The historical society converted the church into the museum and opened in 2012.
Gilmore said there have been no complaints about the museum from surrounding property owners and that the organization has made significant improvements to the property.
He said the group had acquired two more properties adjacent to the museum from the Lucas County Land Bank. The historical society razed a deteriorated house previously located on one of the parcels. It plans to expand operations to include the properties.
The Project Review Committee had no objections to the Conditional Use Permit, though it recommended the organization submit a site plan for review before there is any more development.
The museum is currently open to the public on Wednesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. It provides homework assistance to students on Wednesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Admission is free to the public due to support and assistance from the U.S. Navy and private donors.
Rick Orovitz, a member of the Planning Commission, said neighbors he had spoken to had positive comments about the museum.
Mayor Mike Seferian, a member of the Planning Commission, told The Press last week that the property is well maintained.
“They have cleaned up that area,” said Seferian. “It’s a neat little place, with a small budget with military contributions and other donations. It’s a shoestring operation. But it’s certainly a real asset to that neighborhood.”
Seferian said he also spoke to some of the neighbors near the museum.
“They said the historical society had done a real nice job cleaning up the property. It had been a real eyesore. It motivated others in the area to clean up their properties, too,” said Seferian.
The organization’s goal is to preserve the history of Oregon, the Village of Harbor View, and the area once known as the Northwest Territories of the U.S. The museum highlights shipping activities at the mouth of the Maumee River, as well as showcases the five villages that existed before Oregon became a city, including Immergrun, Momeneetown, South Shore Park, Ironville, and Harbor View.