While everyone was congratulating themselves at getting the LHD ordinance into the Planning & Development Committee and the defeat of the Committee of the Whole attempt, devious plans were put into motion right under the eyes of the historic preservationists.
The ever smiling Sith Lord and his hidden allies hatched their plans and while most everyone walked out of the Council Chambers, he put forth his amendments to chop off the only real power presently the city has to stop thoughtless demolitions and renovations.
I caught it because I went off to PortMedia and Sarah Hayden put on the video broadcast while I was editing. I was horrified.
We are having more and more developers and thoughtless homeowners requesting to demolish their historic homes or to so severely modify them they can be hardly recognized.
The only measure, pre-LHD, is the Demolition Ordinance – which gives a one-year delay to a demolition so some reconsideration can be made. Even then, if the year expires; the owner is free to tear down their structure. Unfortunately, the new trend is to wait it out without any reconsideration or negotiation and to fully plan to demolish. The Architectural Trust said in 2001 that already 700 homes had been lost, or so gutted they had lost their historic value at that time. Since then, the demolition trend has steadily increased in recent years.
Fortunately, there are plans in the works to submit a strengthened demolition ordinance to further slow this destruction of our historic assets.
But the Sith Lord wanted to spit in the face of the historic preservationists and work to destroy any slowing down of demolishing, gutting or severe renovations. As I have indicated, the Dark Side hold no value to our historic seaport and are actually ashamed of our historic district and our old houses.
The Sith Lord has proposed to limit the power of the Historical Commission!
Note that the amendment would force the Historical Commission to ‘take the word of the applicant’ as to the structural integrity of the building!
This is a real stinker – I will be alerting every historic preservationist and those who wish to value the future of our beloved City to make sure these amendments surely die in committee! We need to make note of any city councilor (apart from the Sith Lord of course) who attaches himself to this disgusting set of amendments.