The Strasbourg Council rejects the Church’s request to demolish the historic house | Community news
When: Strasbourg City Council meeting on December 14th.
What happened: The council sided with its Historical Architectural Review Board when it voted unanimously to reject the First Presbyterian Church’s motion to demolish its historic home at 121 S. Decatur St.
Background: Terry Sweigart, a representative from the Church, and Rev. Bob Bronkema said they understand the value of the lots in the district, but their decision to demolish the house had to do with their long-term strategy of future planning and the need to move the main building of the Church in the future. Sweigart said the house was very expensive to repair and asked if it was historically significant just because it was old and within historical limits.
HARB’s side: Tom Lainhoff, chairman of the audit committee, said the house was built 225 years ago and is one of eight historic single-story buildings built in Strasbourg and one of two that survived today. He said the house was in disrepair when the Church bought it 20 years ago and it had not been properly maintained over the years. He said he was also concerned about what might happen to a log home on the property.
Quotable: “We take the administration very seriously, just like the church,” said Lainhoff. “For HARB there is nothing more important than the historical remains of the past in Strasbourg. We definitely reject that. “
Side of the Council: District Manager Steve Echternach read out a 2013 development hearing committee decision that upheld the church’s request for derogation allowing them to take the property from apartments 119 and 121 S. Decatur St. and add it to their property at 101 S. Add Decatur St. The square meter requirement was part of the inquiry, as the plots in S. Decatur St. 119 and 121 wanted to be made smaller than permitted in the historic residential area and the intention at the time was to sell the houses.
Approved budget: The Council approved the 2022 budget without a tax increase and adopted a decision setting the tax rate at 3.03 million.
Other news: A conditional use hearing was held to review Strasburg Scooters’ plans to expand its business at 246 N. Decatur St. to the adjoining property at 252 N. Decatur St. Owner Marc Crusemire said the expansion was needed to add more parking space and make the business more functional. A storage structure as well as landscaping, new signage and sidewalks are proposed for the site. He said there will be an area where customers can learn how to properly ride the scooters before putting them on the road. The expansion is not expected to increase traffic on Route 896, he said. The council has 45 days to take a decision and plans to do so at its January 11th meeting.