Sunday, March 22, 2009

UPDATE!!! 155 North Campbell

This past Thursday morning, Butchertown residents gathered at the Old Jail building downtown for the appeal hearing on the Oakleaf's property at 155 N. Campbell. If you recall earlier posts, they are responsible for demolishing many historic homes north of the flood wall. This is the last standing home in a row of what was once a quaint block of shotguns.

Appeal hearings are called when an applicant is denied a demolition permit and feels that there was either a clerical error, or bad factual evidence used in the conclusion that the structure should not be demolished. After the Oakleaf's council fully acknowledged that they didn't feel that there was any error in the fact finding or a clerical error, the Landmarks Commission then asked what there grounds were for appealing. Her lawyer then did his song and dance which led to what he is now calling "economic hardship" which gives them a chance to extend the case even longer. Even though the Commission voted down the appeal, in favor of preservation and Butchertown, the Oakleafs have until the May Landmarks meeting to prove economic hardship.

Although it was a small win for now, it was sad to see Oakleaf's council trying to argue an appeal that he had clearly not researched. Landmarks had to walk him through the procedures, holding his hand to even determine grounds for the appeal. On the other hand, it should be hard to prove economic hardship for a person who owns so much property. If they just rented this out over the years for a marginal cost, the place would have paid for itself, it's upkeep, and be a revenue stream for them. Clearly this property is worth more to the Oakleafs as a bulldozed lot than as a historic home. And my question to the Oakleafs is, if you are experiencing such "economic hardship," then why haven't you put any of your real estate up for sale to raise capitol? !?!?

Stay tuned for updates!

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