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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ind. Decisions - "Craig application over siding again denied in New Albany: Preservation commission’s first decision was upheld by court of appeals"

Daniel Suddeath reports in the May 20th New Albany News & Tribune:

NEW ALBANY — A retroactive request to allow vinyl siding to be used to replace the original wood material of the house that quarters Bradford Realty was denied by the New Albany Historic Preservation Commission this week.

It was the second time the commission rejected Bradford Realty owner Ron Craig’s petition for a Certificate of Appropriateness — or COA — for the installation of vinyl siding, and the previous decision was upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals in March.

The issue is vinyl has already been applied to the 419 E. Market St. building, and there isn’t much of a track record for the city to call upon in terms of how to go about removing the siding.

Bradford Realty is located within the Downtown Historic District, and the commission oversees certain building repairs for structures inside historically designated zones. One of the city’s guidelines for such building repairs states that if wooden features are missing or damaged beyond repair that they be “replaced in kind.”

In 2008, Craig sought to replace the original wood siding on the house, as he said the panels were blemished and in need of being upgraded. But Craig didn’t seek approval from the commission before ordering the repairs, and the city’s guidelines forbid original wood from being replaced with an artificial material.

Officials notified Craig after work had commenced that he had to request a COA before replacing the siding. He appeared before the commission, and his was request was denied.

Craig took the matter to court and claimed he had no knowledge the building was in the Downtown Historic District, which was established in 2002. He made the same assertion to the commission Wednesday, as he stated he discussed the matter with the building commissioner at the time.

“There was never any mention of the historic preservation zone,” Craig said.

In 2011, Special Judge Daniel Moore decided in favor of Craig, as he ruled the commission failed to properly notify land owners of historic district restrictions. But that ruling was overturned by the Indiana Court of Appeals in March, and the commission stuck to its original decision by again denying Craig’s COA request.

“No revisions have been made to the design guidelines since the initial denial, and the application itself is essentially unchanged, requesting after-the-fact approval for vinyl installation,” said commission member Christina Pfau, who read the staff comments portion of the reply to Craig’s application.

More from the story:
Craig asked why his application was denied when Don Williams Plumbing and Heating was recently allowed to replace siding on its building at the corner of Spring and Ninth streets, which is in a historic preservation district, with vinyl material.

Stephen Pacciano, president of the commission, said the cases were different. The original wood siding on the Williams Plumbing building had previously been replaced with aluminum, he said. Therefore, the city’s regulations allow for artificial to artificial replacement, so William’s Plumbing was allowed to use vinyl siding, he said.

The Bradford Realty building still had its original wood siding at the time the vinyl was applied, city officials said.

See earlier entries regarding this case.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 20, 2012 08:37 PM
Posted to Indiana Decisions | Indiana Government