RIPON COLLEGE’S EAST Hall, left, was built in 1851, 10 years before the start of the Civil War. Construction began on the church building to the north 15 years later.        Tim Lyke photo
RIPON COLLEGE’S EAST Hall, left, was built in 1851, 10 years before the start of the Civil War. Construction began on the church building to the north 15 years later. Tim Lyke photo
     The people have spoken.

     When it comes to living in a district regulated by a historic preservation ordinance, residents in the Ransom and Tygert street neighborhoods told local preservationists at a July 17 hearing: “Not with my house.”

     Fair enough. While a historic preservation designation grants City Hall assurance that the historical integrity of its older neighborhoods will be maintained, it comes at a cost that Americans hate to relinquish to anyone else: freedom.

     What homeowner would welcome the long arm of the government dictating how she may improve property she purchased, lives in and on which she pays taxes annually?

     So Ripon’s Historic Preservation Commission — which has shepherded a process that has been comprehensive, instructive, transparent and thorough — likely will vote at its meeting next week Tuesday not to create two residential districts that would require the approximately 250 property owners who live within them to make no major exterior improvements to their homes and outbuildings without first receiving a “certificate of appropriateness” certifying that work proposed fits within guidelines drafted to preserve their buildings’ historic character.

     That will leave Ripon with one historic district: downtown.

     That leaves downtown standing alone, with two residential areas and one college campus on the “no” side of the historic district ledger.

     That’s one too many. ...

                                   — Tim Lyke

     To read the entire editorial, including Pastor Dietsche’s hope for his legacy (and the time a cat snuck into church), see the Aug. 1, 2019 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.