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Architectural board should not control homeowner improvements

Last December, St. Helens Downtown Historic District homeowners made it clear to the city they did not want an Architectural Review Board deciding the improvements they could make to their homes.

If these homeowners - who voluntarily joined a preservation area - reject the concept, why do you think homeowners who have not applied for that status want to be subjected to it?

The Main Street Approach is a product of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Study their website and you will see the breadth of control St. Helens Economic Development Council, or SHEDCO, volunteer directors want to establish over our properties through city ordinances.

For 20 years we have spread our purchases of furniture, groceries, hardware, new and used books, sports equipment, automobiles, bakery goods, legal services, haircuts, restaurant meals, etc., among local merchants. The primary beneficiaries of Main Street are businesses. We are not business owners, we are customers.

Pull up the map and exclude our properties, like you have already done for the five homes on the west side of First Street between Columbia Boulevard and St. Helens Street. There are more projects in Olde Towne and Houlton than SHEDCO can hope to raise funds for in several years.

I seriously question the business sense of anyone who thinks it is prudent to try to dictate to their customers what color to paint their homes.

Think about it. As I have said before: Leave us alone.

- Jim Wilson, St. Helens