A short history of Wilber Heights
1928: Wilber Heights developed as a single-family residential development. No zoning in place when homes are built.
1973: County zoning ordinance takes effect; Wilber Heights zoning is split between light industry and heavy industry. Homes become nonconforming and limits are placed on renovation and rehabilitation.
1977: The zoning of the Wilber Heights neighborhood was reconsidered in a zoning map amendment case. It sought to rezone the entire neighborhood to residential. The 1977 rezoning was denied due to its impact on the numerous commercial and industrial uses in the neighborhood by rendering them nonconforming.
1977: The Eastern Prairie Fire Department petitions the Planning and Zoning Committee to change status of Wilbur Heights to residential. Petition was denied on all counts.
1977: County briefly considers and subsequently abandons and effort to find a third alternative by creating a "Transition to Industrial" zoning district. It would have legalized all existing uses in the area.
1991: Then-county zoning official Frank DiNovo proposes a "limited interim measure which would enhance the use value of residential property in Wilber Heights without substantially contributing to the survival of the existing nonconforming uses." That measure fails.
– LIZ CLANCY LERNER