Troy Board of Zoning Appeals written decision recently released; BZA majority decides demolition conditions were met

By Sam Wildow

swildow@aimmediamidwest.com

TROY — The the city of Troy Board of Zoning Appeals recently released its written majority decision regarding its 4-3 vote on Thursday, Nov. 18, to approve the demolition application by 116 West Main Street, LLC regarding the property located at 112-118 W. Main St. in Troy.

The subject property is also referred to as the IOOF building and is also a former Miami County courthouse.

Last week, Board of Zoning Appeals members Larry Wolke, Will Harrelson, Anthony Smith, and John Stickel voted in favor of approving the demolition application, which the Troy Planning Commission had also voted 4-3 to approve. Board members Kent Frauenberger, Marty Baker, and Richard Burns voted against the motion.

The Board of Zonning Appeals first heard appeals to the Planning Commission’s majority vote to approve the demolition application for the property during its meeting on Nov. 9. At that time, the board heard over five hours of discussion on this topic, including appeals from neighboring property owners and representatives of the Troy Historic Preservation Alliance (THPA). The board also heard arguments on whether those making appeals had any standing to request the board to appeal the Planning Commission’s decision. The board then went into executive session before scheduling a follow-up meeting on Thursday, Nov. 18, at which time it voted 4-3 to approve the demolition application.

In the board’s recently released majority decision, the board found that Evil Empire, a limited liability company owned by Jeremy M. Tomb, who occupies the neighboring structure to 112-118 W. Main St., and THPA, which rents a space in one of the neighboring buildings, each had standing as interested parties and considered their appeals. The board did not find that Ben Sutherly, who previously spoke on behalf of the THPA, had standing on his own to appeal, but the board considered the appeal of the THPA as a whole.

In its written decision, the majority of the board reached the following findings:

1. The applicant presented clear evidence that at least two of the four conditions for demolition exist.

2. The applicant presented clear evidence that the structure has incurred extensive damage to its basic structural elements and the structure presents an immediate danger to the public safety as declared by the Chief Building Official as required.

3. The applicant presented clear evidence that the square foot cost of meeting the minimum building code would exceed the square foot market value of similarly used and improved structures in the historic district as required

4. The applicant submitted a reuse plan, however that reuse plan failed to sufficiently and fully mitigate the adverse effect of the proposed removal upon the property, the street scape, and the historic district as required

5. The applicant’s reuse plan, as modified before being put to a vote by the Planning Commission, was to demolish the entire structure and replace it with a seed and straw lot for development and, although that reuse plan was based upon a seed and straw lot, it did not provide definite plans for reuse of the site as required.

Due its findings on the reuse plan, the board included additional stipulations for the applicant, including that the applicant is to submit an application for a certificate of appropriateness for the new construction of a replacement structure within 90 days of the Nov. 18 decision.