Troy Board of Zoning Appeals approves demolition application 4-3


By Sam Wildow

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TROY — The city of Troy Board of Zoning Appeals voted 4-3 on Thursday to approve the demolition application by 116 West Main Street, LLC regarding the property located at 112-118 W. Main St. in Troy, also referred to as the IOOF building. The property is also a former Miami County courthouse.

Board member Larry Wolke made the motion to approve the application. Wolke, along with board members Will Harrelson, Anthony Smith, and John Stickel, voted in favor of the motion. Board members Kent Frauenberger, Marty Baker, and Richard Burns voted against the motion.

Wolke also serves as a member of the Troy Planning Commission, and the Planning Commission’s previous decision was what being appealed to the Board of Zoning Appeals. On the Planning Commission, Wolke was part of the minority vote to reject the application on Oct. 11. The Planning Commission approved the demolition application 4-3.

During the Board of Zonning Appeals’ meeting on Nov. 9, Wolke received clarification from city staff and the law director that casting a vote on the Board of Zonning Appeals would not be considered a conflict of interest.

The Board of Zonning Appeals first heard appeals to the Planning Commission’s majority vote to approve the demolition application for the property at 112-118 W. Main St. during the Nov. 9 meeting. At that time, the board heard over five hours of discussion on this topic, including appeals from neighboring property owners and interested parties from 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.

During the meeting on Thursday, the board entered into executive session to continue deliberating on the topic shortly after 10 a.m., returning to the public meeting at approximately 1:30 p.m. The board also briefly discussed allowing additional testimony on the topic due to an un-named party submitting additional findings to the board after the Nov. 9 meeting. The board decided not to allow the additional testimony.

“We need to bring it to a conclusion,” Wolke said.

Harrelson said he felt it would be unfair to reopen testimonies without giving all parties a chance to prepare for it.

At the end of the meeting, Wolke’s motion included a number of stipulations for the demolition application for the property at 112-118 W. Main St., many of which were similar to the stipulations the Planning Commission provided in October to protect neighboring buildings and salvage items of historic value. Wolke’s motion also included the provision that the applicant, 116 West Main Street, LLC, must submit to the city of Troy an application for a certificate of appropriateness for the new construction and replacement structure for the site within 90 days of Thursday.

The owner of the building, Randy Kimmel of 116 West Main LLC, first filed an application for demolition in September 2020 due to the costs it would take to repair the building. The demolition application was tabled a number of times, including twice for purchase agreements that later fell through due to a lack of funding that could be secured to repair the building.

The Board of Zoning Appeals is expected to file a written decision explaining its findings at a later date.

Following the meeting, Kimmel said he felt the board made the right decision, adding that it was not a fun decision for anyone.

The THPA released a statement following the board’s decision, stating the group was disappointed with the decision.

”The decision made by Troy’s Board of Zoning Appeals is out of step with the culture of stewardship in historic downtown Troy, which many property owners and residents take very seriously,” the THPA said. The THPA is considering all of it options. Without going into further detail, the THPA said it hoped the owner of the 112-118 W. Main St. building would “sell the property for a fair price to an interested buyer.”

“A convincing case was made that the owner of 112-118 W. Main St. failed to provide clear evidence that the standards of demolition were met,” the THPA said. “The history represented by 112-118 W. Main St. is too important to lose.”

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