Council considers Brickelltown demolition request
Truckee developer Tom Grossman will go before town council May 6 with his plan to demolish two Brickelltown homes, which were deemed to be “supporting structures” in the recently-updated Truckee Historic Resources Inventory.
Town council considered the Historic Resources Inventory on April 15, and at the advice of planning staff elected to take no action on whether the homes were landmarks, pending consideration of Grossman’s appeal for a certificate of economic hardship to demolish the homes.
Both of the structures, located immediately to the west of the C.B. White House, are in a state of disrepair.
The easternmost home, which is yellow, dates from the first decade of the 20th century. The western home, which is green, dates back to 1895.
According to the updated historic resources inventory, both homes retain many of their historic features due to a lack of renovation and maintenance.
Grossman’s application for a certificate of economic hardship was denied by the town planning commission in July 8, following extensive public comment.
He appealed the planning commission decision earlier to the town, and his attorney crafted a compromise to speed up the completion of the historic resources inventory.
Under the terms of the compromise approved last summer:
— The town council upheld the appeal to the planning commission, rescinding the earlier denial of the certificate of economic hardship.
— The council deferred action on the application, subject to the terms of the agreement.
— The town began updating the Historic Resources Inventory and Grossman contributed $3,500 to the project to speed its completion.
— Based on information from the historic registry, the town was to make a determination by April 30, 1999 as to whether the buildings were historic landmarks.
— If the buildings were designated as historic landmarks, a certificate of economic hardship would be required to allow demolition of the buildings.
— If the buildings were not designated as his landmarks or the town takes no action on the landmark designation, then the applicant would be able to demolish the buildings without further approval from the town, except for a building permit..
— While the inventory was being updated, Grossman would have been allowed to process a zoning approval application for a replacement use on the two parcels.
Community Development Director Tony Lashbrook said
Grossman agreed before the April 15 council meeting to go directly to the certificate of economic hardship process again before council – the same process he would face if the buildings were declared historic landmarks.
Based on that, town staff made their recommendation to defer action about the status of the houses.
“The basis for our recommendation is that the only decision that would have required council action is the decision that properties were not historically significant and were not landmarks,” Lashbrook said.
“We think that decision requires much more policy discussion and is unachievable at an appeal hearing for an individual application.”
Lashbrook said if council had determined the buildings to be landmarks, Grossman could still have submitted the application for a certificate of economic hardship.
“If we had determined the buildings to be landmarks, they could still have submitted this,” Lashbrook said. “Lacking that action, it is still required.”
In order for council to approve a certificate of economic hardship, it must make all of the following nine findings:
— Denial of the certificate will cause an immediate and extreme hardship because of conditions peculiar to the particular structure or other feature involved.
— All reasonable use or return from a designated resource will be denied a property owner.
— Denial of the application will diminish the value of the property so much as to leave no substantial value.
— Sale or rental of the property is impractical, when compared to the cost of holding such property of uses permitted in the zone.
— A study has found that utilization of the property for lawful purposes is prohibited or impractical.
— Rental at a reasonable rate of return is not practical.
— Denial of the certificate would damage the owner of the property unreasonably in comparison to the benefit conferred upon the community.
— All means involving town-sponsored incentives have been explored to remove economic disincentives.
— In the case of a proposed the Community Development Director shall make a finding that the designated resource cannot be remodeled or rehabilitated in a manner which would allow a reasonable use or return from the property to the property owner.
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