|Certificate of Appropriateness Application
208 Hartman’s Mill Road
Tax Map 26, Parcel 36
Linda and Howard Carey
Ms. Scala gave the staff report. The applicants were requesting to demolish the James D. Nemo House built in 1870-1877. It is an Individually Protected historic Property. Standards of Demolition and the Design Guidelines for demolitions had been consulted. The criteria indicate the property should not be demolished with the only issue being the condition of the property. The Board could ask the applicants to submit a structural report. The Board could also visit the site before making a decision. Preservation Piedmont had sent a letter offering their services to the applicant to discuss options other than demolition.
Mr. Howard Carey stated this house was next door to the house they originally bought in the neighborhood. The house was being run over with shrubbery, trees, etcetera. Mr. Carey stated they had begun maintaining the yard out of fear that snakes would come over to their property. They then bought the property not knowing itwas an historical property. They had consulted contractors; the price to repair the house was too high. Contractors informed the applicants nothing could be done withthe structure and suggested demolition.
Ms. Heetderks called for questions from the public and then the Board.
Mr. Knight asked if the applicants had consulted a contractor who specialized in restoring older, historic buildings. Ms. Carey stated they had.
Mr. Lucy wanted to know when the house had last been inhabited. Mr. Carey stated approximately ten years ago or possibly longer.
Ms. Heetderks asked if the Careys had followed up with Mr. Wunsch of Preservation Piedmont and its offer to help with tax credits. Mr. Carey stated they had lookedover the packet but not yet gotten back with Mr. Wunsch.
Ms. Heetderks called for comments from the public.
Mr. Aaron Wunsch, of Preservation Piedmont, stated the house had considerable architectural merit and was one of the only Gothic Revival houses in the city. He encouraged the Board to vote for preservation.
Mr. Benjamin Ford stated the owner had a responsibility to maintain the house; the City had a responsibility to enforce the repair and maintenance of the protected property. Mr. Ford wondered if the City had attempted to contact the owner about the condition of the property in the last ten years or previous to that. He hoped thestructure would be preserved.
Ms. Heetderks asked Ms. Scala if the City had had anything to do with the property as it had been vacant for the last ten years. Ms. Scala stated she did not know theanswer but could research it.
Ms. Heetderks cited the Guidelines for demolition: The following factors shall be considered in determining whether or not to permit the moving, removing, encapsulation or demolition, in whole or in part, of a contributing structure or protected property: (a) The historic, architectural or cultural significance, if encapsulation or demolition, in whole or in part, of a contributing structure or protected property: (a) The historic, architectural or cultural significance, if any...including, without limitation:
(1) The age;
(2) Whether it has been designated a National Historic Landmark, listed on the National Register...or listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register;
(3) Whether, and to what extent, the building or structure is associated with an historic person, architect or master craftsman, or with an historic event;
(4) Whether the building or structure, or any of its features, represent an infrequent or the first or last remaining example within the city of a particular architectural style or feature;
(5) Whether the building or structure is of such old or distinctive design, texture or material that it could not be reproduced, or could be reproduced only with great difficulty; and
(6) Whether the building or structure is of such old or distinctive design, texture or material that it could not be reproduced, or could be reproduced only with great difficulty;
(b) Whether, and to what extent, a contributing structure is linked, historically or aesthetically, to other buildings or structures within an existing major design control district, or is one (1) of a group of properties within such a district whose concentration or continuity possesses greater significance than many of its component buildings and structures.
(c) The overall condition and structural integrity of the building or structure, as indicated by studies prepared by a qualified professional engineer and provided by the applicant or other information provided to the board;
(d) Whether, and to what extent, the applicant proposes means, methods or plans for moving, removing or demolishing the structure or property that preserves portions, features or materials that are significant to the property's historic, architectural or cultural value; and
(e) Any applicable provisions of the city's design guidelines.
Two) The public necessity of the demolition;
(3)The public purpose or interest in the land or buildings;
(4) The existing character of the structure or area and its surroundings;
(5) Whether or not a relocation would be a practical or preferable alternative;
(6) Whether or not the proposed demolition would effect adversely or positively other historic buildings or character of the historic district; and
(7) Whether or not there has been a professional economic and structural feasibility study for rehabilitating or reusing the structure and whether or not its findings support the proposed demolition. Ms. Heetderks stated those were the only criteria the Board was allowed to consider.
Ms. Heetderks called for comments from the Board.
Mr. Coiner felt it was an awkward situation when someone bought something and didn't know what they were getting into. However, he stated the Board could not look at that. Mr. Coiner felt there were good opportunities to fix the property and make it a showplace like it once was.
Ms. Swenson thought clear evidence was needed that the house could not be refurbished prior to being demolished.
Mr. Knight felt this request did not meet any of the Guidelines the Board must consider.Mr. Coiner suggested the applicants withdraw their proposal to gather additional information.
Ms. Gardner, having considered the standards set forth in the City Code, including City Design Guidelines for Demolitions, moved to deny this request for demolition, finding it does not satisfy the BAR's criteria, including: Secretary of Interior's Standards, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6(b), as well as City Design Guidelines 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Mr. Knight seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously to deny demolition. Ms. Heetderks stated the applicants had the right of appeal to City Council.