Historic District

Authorizing Legislation:

The Ravenna Design Review Commission was established by Codified Ordinance 1984-69.  Ordinance 1986-16 established the first local historic district, which includes all properties facing Main Street between Sycamore and Linden Streets.  The Design Review District is a grouping of buildings, structures or sites that have architectural and/or historical merit as a whole, offering a sense of time and place, though the buildings, structures or sites may not be of individual significance. 

The Ravenna Historic Design Guidelines, Ordinance 1987-7, were developed in accordance with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior/National Park Service standards for the treatment of historic properties.   These standards include basic principles for the preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction of historic buildings.

Specific information pertaining to the Ravenna Design Review Commission can be found in Part 14 – Building and Housing Code; Title Six – Miscellaneous Building Regulations, Chapter 1434 - Design Review District.  The Commission is comprised of ten volunteer, non-partisan members to represent varied expertise in the community (nine voting).   Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor and serve a two-year term.

 Member  Appointee  Term Expires
 Ravenna Chamber of Commerce  Eric Hummel  12/31/12
 Mayor’s Designee (non-voting)  Kerry Macomber  12/31/12
 Specialist  Bob Wrentmore (Portage County Building Official)  12/31/12
 Ravenna Resident  Diane Kane  12/31/11
 Ravenna Resident  Angie Reedy  12/31/11
 Historic District Homeowner  Kimble Cecora  12/31/11
 Historic District Business Owner  Reba Cook  12/31/11
 Historic District Homeowner /Business Owner  Dave Petrone  12/31/12
 Historic District Business Owner  Ted Manfrass (Architect)  12/31/12
 Historic District Business Owner  Cass Owens  12/31/12
 Ex Officio Member  Mayor  
 Ex Officio Member  City Engineer  

Construction Activities within the Historic District

It is the intent of the Commission to maintain the integrity of the local historic district, upgrade building stock and increase property values.  Historic preservation fosters civic pride with a sense of belonging and continuity thereby adding to the quality of life in Ravenna.

An Application for a Design Review Certificate for any constructing, changing buildings or changing the use of any premises within the City’s Historic District shall be made to the Chief Building Official (530 North Freedom St; Ravenna OH  44266) with the appropriate submittal fee.  Building plans, specifications and photographs of the building site or affected portion of the building must be provided with the application. The Chief Building Official shall give written notice to the Design Review Commission within two working days after the receipt of an application. 

The Commission shall meet within two weeks to review the application.  If the application does not contain sufficient information for the Commission to review it, another meeting must be held within two weeks to consider additional information provided by the applicant. The Commission (or designated representative) must perform a site visit before issuing any Certificate of Approval.  

If the Commission determines that the proposed alteration will have no adverse effect, then a Certificate of Approval shall be issued. The approval shall be forwarded to the Building Department with a copy to the applicant.  If it is determined that there will be an adverse effect, then the Certificate of Approval shall not be issued. The Commission shall provide a written statement for its denial, shall suggest alternative changes, and submit a copy to the Building Official and the applicant.

General maintenance to a structure will not have to be approved by the Design Review Commission.  A maintenance project is defined as a project that affects less than 25% of the exterior of the structure and does not result in a change in appearance, material or craftsmanship.  Exterior painting falls under the category of general maintenance and does not have to be approved by the Commission.  This is also true for a change in color scheme; however, the Commission encourages the use of appropriate paint schemes for historic structures and is willing to offer suggestions.

Appeal Process

An appeal may be made to Council only after the Commission has considered the application on three separate occasions and has failed to reach agreement with the applicant. Upon introduction of the appeal to Council under appropriate procedures established by Council, Council may issue a certificate of approval by a majority vote.