Board of Zoning Appeals hears discussion on IOOF building


By Sam Wildow

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TROY — The city of Troy Board of Zoning Appeals held an extensive meeting on Tuesday in regard to the building located at 112-118 W. Main St., also referred to as the IOOF building and one of Miami County’s former courthouses.

In October, the Troy Planning Commission voted 4-3 to approve a Historic District application for demolition for the downtown property located at 112-118 W. Main St.

On Tuesday, the Troy Board of Zoning Appeals heard over five hours of discussion on this topic, including appeals from neighboring property owners and interested parties from the Troy Historic Preservation Alliance. 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 ultimately came to no public conclusion as of press time on Tuesday, but the board is expected to make notice of when it will provide a decision on the request to appeal the Planning Commission’s decision on the 112-118 W. Main St. building.

Prior to the board going into executive session to deliberate, both sides of the issue spoke for over two hours each, including rebuttals. The appellants included Evil Empire, a limited liability company owned by Jeremy M. Tomb, who occupies the neighboring structure to 112-118 W. Main St. Tomb represented Evil Empire, as well as the interests of the Troy Historic Preservation Alliance (THPA), calling Ben Sutherly as a witness to testify on the interests of the THPA.

The THPA are tenants of 110 1/2 W. Main St. in Troy, having signed a lease on or around the date of the Planning Commission decision in October, according to Tomb. Their rent is $1 per year.

Tomb also called Cheryl Cheadle, owner of 110 W. Main St. where Key II Security & Investigations, Inc. is located, as a witness. Cheadle has a six-inch easement in the adjoining wall between her building and 112-118 W. Main St.

Sutherly, referred to as the defacto leader of the THPA, debated whether the standards for demolition were met, including whether or not the state of the building was actually an imminent danger to public safety, which was one of the qualifications for demolition. The building is under adjudication orders from the Miami County Department of Development to resolve “unsafe conditions related to public safety.”

Sutherly also debated whether it presented an economic hardship to the owner to repair, specifically discussing what the building was worth due to the owner purchasing the building for $485,000 in 2018. A previous sale of the building, which was a sheriff sale in 2011, was for $125,000. In 2002, the building sold for $224,000, and in 1989, the building sold for $122,500. Sutherly and Chris Manning, executive director of the Overfield Tavern, also discussed the historical significance of the building.

“To lose it would be irreplaceable,” Sutherly said.

The Troy-Miami County Public Library’s offer to purchase the building was also discussed. Rachelle Via, executive director of the library, declined to answer questions about what the library’s offer was. In a letter from Ben Redick of Bruns Realty Group, Redick states the library’s offer on Oct. 8 did not meet the minimum requirements to be considered a legitimate offer at this time. According to the letter, “the seller made it clear” that an offer would have to be at least $440,000 as the property is already under contract to be considered a legitimate offer and the library’s offer was “at more than 30% below asking price with additional contingencies beyond standard due diligence.” The letter had previously been submitted to the city and then posted on Mayor Robin Oda’s Facebook page.

Derek Muncy, an attorney representing the current owner of the building, Randy Kimmel of 116 West Main LLC, said they were willing to set funds aside and provide a written guarantee that the lot will be developed after the building is demolished. Muncy said they would also consider a bond for a reuse plan that guarantees redevelopment of the site within two years.

Muncy also said they had no knowledge of Cheadle’s easement in the building before October as their title search into the building only went back 40 years. The easement is from 1902. Muncy said the easement would be unaffected as the approval for demolition came with stipulations to protect neighboring properties.

Additional information on the Troy Board of Zoning Appeals’ decision was not available as of press time. The board is expected to make its decision public at a later date.

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