Historic Preservation Commission discusses Goncho demo request

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


Historic Preservation Commission chair Mary Patterson is not certain if a proposed demolition of the Goncho Apartment building will be discussed during the commission?s meeting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 8 in the Washington Public Library, even though it will be on the agenda.

Patterson explained this morning that in order for the discussion to move ahead, a 14-day notice posted on the building regarding the meeting is required for the commission to move ahead with voting on a request. While the commission discussed the proposal during its Dec. 18 meeting, no action was taken for this reason. This morning no notice had been posted on the building and Patterson believes the issue will just be tabled. The commission is expected at some point to make a recommendation to the Washington City Council on whether the building should be demolished and the council will decide.

?This is our first time to do this,? Patterson said of the new ordinance that requires people planning to demolish historic buildings to petition the commission. ?We?re proceeding carefully.?

She said people wishing to make comment on the demolition will have the opportunity during the public comment section of either commission meetings or Washington City Council meetings.

Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson said the procedure in the ordinance, which the council approved earlier this year, states that the commission has to formally review the proposal before making a recommendation to the council. He said there will be plenty of opportunity for public comment on the issue.

?At this point we are picturing this coming before the council on Jan. 30.

Hinson said owners Andy Drahota and Dave Waite had requested the demolition permit to make way for a redevelopment project. He said the plan is to construct six 2-story townhouse units with about 1,600 square feet each and garages.

He said the council is also expected to vote on putting the project on the the city?s urban renewal plan during its meeting Tuesday.

Goncho has been unoccupied since the building was ruled unsafe and the tenants were required to move out in January 2013.

A meth lab had been discovered in one of the rooms.

The building had also been inspected and a list of safety items had been given to the owner.