Lisbon building owner says village ordinance halted her remodel

Lisbon building owner Renee Lewis says her remodeling project was halted due to a village ordinance that won't let her hang the signs she wants on the building.

LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – Lights flicker in front of the former Hamilton building — the oldest brick building in Ohio. With 200 years of history, the current owner Renee Lewis is bringing new life to the old building.

With its remodel, Lewis said it was important to maintain its historic touches.

“Part of the restoration of the building is to make the signs indicative of the period of the building,” she said.

But Lewis said a village ordinance has prevented her from doing so, because the signs she wants to hang on the building are not up to code.

“I want to say it’s heartwarming, but I’m stressed out because I can’t believe I can’t finish my restoration and put my fabulous signs on,” she said.

According to a Lisbon village ordinance, signs must be a certain type and are not supposed to be perpendicular to the building. Lewis and her supporters said they hope there is an exception to the rule.

“I think the village is constantly in the news, looking like they are against local business because of signage for heavens sake,” said Susan Mallery.

Village Council President Roger Gallo said he supported Lewis and the signs on the building. But, the council will not make a decision until Tuesday night.

“Its not because we’re anti-business,” he said. “It’s quite the contrary. It’s just rules, and technically, the signs don’t meet the requirements and that’s how it got to this point.”

Lewis said she hopes the signs are allowed to go up, and business will be open by the end of December. Once the building reopens, it will have four businesses including a piano bar, an inn and a restaurant.

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