Dave Reid

Historic Preservation Commission Delays Hide House Project With Quick Adjournment

By - Jul 21st, 2009 08:49 am
Hide House

Hide House

The development team of General Capital Group and Joseph Development was before the Historic Preservation Commission to request a certificate of appropriateness which would allow them to demolish a portion of the Hide House complex, a former tannery at 2625 S. Greeley St. in Bay View.  This became a necessary step for the developer to take because at the last meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission the entire Hide House complex had been nominated for interim historic designation by Alderman Tony Zielinski, and received approval by the commission.

At the Monday July 20th meeting, prior to a presentation by the development team, and prior to any public commentary, a motion was made to adjourn the items related to the possible demolition.  Alderman Bauman argued that because the developer had also appealed the interim designation, that this request for a certificate of appropriateness wasn’t “ripe.”  Additionally, the commission argued that it didn’t need to hear this more than once and that by adjourning these items it would save everyone time.  Despite, this argument the result was that this maneuver lead to a lengthy discussion with Assistant City Attorney, Gregg C. Hagopian, regarding the possibility of legal issues that may arise by taking this action.  He warned the commission to “error on the side of caution,” but his advice was largely ignored by the commission as they adjourned the items.

A point not mentioned during the meeting, but one that makes this maneuver questionable, is that both Alderman Bob Bauman and Alderman Zielinski sit on the Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee so the chances of the interim designation being overturned on appeal seems on its face, pretty unlikely.  Once the significant items were adjourned the attorney for the development team, Bruce Block, was given a brief moment to speak during Item 7 as it had been noticed for public comments.  He explained, “to delay this for a month for no reason is definitely a hardship.”

This delay may only add a few weeks or a month to the project, but any delay to a project adds cost, and in this case threatens the entire project due to the time sensitivity of the WHEDA tax credits.

The next step in this process is the appeal of the interim historic designation which will go before the Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee on Thursday July 23th, 2009.

Categories: Real Estate

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