Mark Chester of Washington Avenue strongly supported the idea of a historical district regulated by a Historic Architecture Review Board.
"We must protect historic buildings in Phoenixville and prevent incompatible and unsightly developments from being built in the future," Chester said. "We don't want to write a blank check to any developer who wants to build in our community."
Horenci stressed that the Borough Council would decide what matters the architectural board could review.
Many residents, Horenci said, have voiced concern that the review board would interfere with their rights as property owners.
"The review board can serve a worthy cause in preserving our history - with the proper controls," Horenci said.
Two property owners on High Street asked the council why their neighborhood, which they said consists mostly of businesses, has been zoned residential in the proposed ordinance.
Donald Lawrence, owner of the Pennsylvania House Hotel on High Street, said a survey he conducted turned up only six residences in the neighborhood.
Lawrence said that his hotel would have nowhere to expand if the zoning were changed to residential.
"I don't want to be fighting a nonconforming use," Lawrence said.
Zoning officer Bob Carter said the Planning Commission reviewed the area twice and decided the character of the neighborhood is slowly returning to residential.