Issues on Main Street

By: Todd Larkin Email
By: Todd Larkin Email

ARDMORE, Okla. -- Main Street is considered by many to be the heart of Ardmore, but some business owners say they are being held back from making improvements to downtown buildings, and that could hurt the entire city.

Several Main Street business owners say the Ardmore Historical Preservation Board is limiting the changes businesses can make to downtown buildings, and it could end up hurting the entire city in the long run.

Main Street business owners say they have been working with the historical preservation board for several years, but that it's becoming too difficult a task because it takes the board too long to approve or even vote on improvements.

Many owners say it's such a hassle to make changes they had rather let their buildings fall apart or just leave all together.

Owners say it’s like fighting a never-ending battle, and the welfare of Main Street is at stake.

"If you try to run a business and it takes 60 days for a sign permit or even longer, it’s just horrible, and we are trying to make things better here," says Damian Hoffield, owner of Tribal Bikes and Boards.

Hoffield says simple issues like the color of his sign have been more of a concern for the historical board than parking and improvement issues. He says all he wants is to help revitalize the area and make downtown a better place.

"We could go to parking and stuff like that, but there are portions larger that needs to be addressed. One thing would be to make Main Street better would be a sense of community down here."

The Historical Board declined an on camera interview but said they do want to work toward the same goal as business owners. Splatters owner Tammie Stephens says working together is the only way to improve Main Street and the city of Ardmore.

"We are all going in the same direction. We want to be able to keep our business down here and keep up. We make a big community for people to come down and shop for hours and enjoy the food."

Historical Board members say they will try and come to some conclusions to help relieve pressure on the board and business owners..

Their next meeting is scheduled for August 14th.

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  • by KAREN Location: OKLAHOMA on Aug 9, 2007 at 07:52 AM
    Anne, please “short-term “. These people aren’t setting up some weekend flea market. These are buildings they own. You statement is absurd. They aren’t always watchdogs – they are bullies. Why should someone beg to have lettering on their window? Be patient? For what, permission to upgrade what they OWN. You have to realize these people are trying to make downtown better. Why would they hurt themselves or their neighbors or the downtown atmosphere? That is part of the draw to the area. Updates have to be made. Insurance companies “require” copper wiring, ansal cooking systems, etc, Lead paint & asbestos must be removed. These updates are needed for safety reasons. This might mean a necessary change in a building. Catch up with the times – they are passing you
  • by Anne Location: Denison, Texas on Aug 8, 2007 at 06:20 PM
    These same issues exist everywhere--short-term wish for individual profit versus long-term welfare of the larger community. The Preservation Board is the watchdog to insure that individuals don't do things to their buildings that will have a negative effect on their neighbors. They make sure that historic buildings are maintained for the good of the whole town, now and in the future. Be patient and help them do their job better, rather than griping about not getting youjr way immediately,
  • by Judith Location: Ardmore on Aug 8, 2007 at 06:18 PM
    To keep a downtown alive and running, improvements must be made. Many of the buildings are a sight to sore eyes. "Out of towners" do not want to go into some of the buildings simply because of how they look on the outside. I understand wanting to keep things as they are, but the Board needs to allow more and better improvement that will help preserve these buildings. The Board needs to take into thought that everything needs work. Why not these buildings?!
Sherman 4201 Texoma Pkwy (903) 892 -8123 Ardmore 2624 S. Commerce (580) 223-0946
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