Historic Board OKs home demolition
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 10:00 AM
The Historic Board on Monday approved the demolition of a Fourth Street home that is owned by one of the board members.
Mike Pittman, chairman of the board, planned to renovate the property to be used as a garage, but upon further investigation, he found extensive termite and fire damage to the roof trusses, which he believed made the property unsafe. After his discovery, he asked the board to give him permission to demolish the property.
Pittman said he plans on widening the foundation to make a three-car garage on the property. He plans on using vinyl siding and creating a greater pitch for the roof.
The board voted 4-1 to approve the demolition of the property, which is considered non-contributing to the historic district. Paul Davis was the lone vote against the decision, because of the way he said Pittman handled the situation.
Pittman, after recusing himself, requested a special meeting by the board to discuss the demolition because he felt it was a safety risk for the area - a playground and park are both close to the structure.
Davis told Pittman he felt he was using his position on the board as a way to get the meeting called to expedite his demolition order, adding that he felt Pittman was receiving "special treatment" in the matter.
The board also approved Pittman's plan for the three-car garage. Not all of the details were worked out - including what type of garage door would be used on the building - which Davis also criticized Pittman for. Typically such details would have to be worked out before coming before the board, Davis said.
Board member Pam Newhouse abstained from the vote because Pittman was using vinyl siding, which the Historic Board generally does not endorse
Camille Fife, the city's preservation planner, said vinyl would be acceptable since the structure is non-contributing and is not an addition to a historic home.
In other business, the board also approved an amendment to its rules of procedure that would allow Fife or building inspector Mark Johnson to approve certificates of appropriateness for new or replaced fences that meet residential design review guidelines.