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December 7, 2012

LHD plan set for failure

Council poised to reject proposed ordinance Monday

(Continued)

Language on how to put such an idea into an ordinance was assigned to Planning Director Andy Port.

One idea that did gain some traction was Ives’ proposals to craft a demolition delay. She had suggested that the currently proposed delay regulation be extended from 12 months to at least 24 months.

Ices suggested that the “delay permit” travel with the owner, not the house. She said that the purpose was to discourage builders from buying homes, holding them for a year and then tearing them down to replace them with newer or more numerous versions.

Councilors agreed that aspects of demolition would be discussed going forward. Indeed, numerous aspects of historic preservation will be the subject of future meetings — as yet unscheduled.

Cronin suggested focusing on a demolition delay, protection for the downtown and a voluntary LHD perhaps linking to the Fruit Street Historic District.

The meeting ended with an eye to the future.

That future begins Monday, when the City Council is expected to formally reject the proposed LHD ordinance. Though the the Local Historic District Study Committee has been working since 2007, its vision for the future will likely be snuffed out early next week.

After that, discussion will continue.

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