Council bucks historic commission

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, February 17, 2011

The City Council bucked the Historic Landmarks Commission on Wednesday, narrowly approving the after-the-fact request of Pinner Street homeowners to allow vinyl siding on their home.

Harland and Robert Evans, the owners, said after Wednesday’s meeting they thought it was the best decision.

“We don’t want it to fall down,” Robert Evans said, adding that they installed the vinyl siding to help keep the windows from leaking rainwater during storms.

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The Evanses were in the middle of installing the vinyl siding when they received a violation notice from the Historic Landmarks Commission. Vinyl siding is not a permitted material within the historic district.

They then applied for an after-the-fact permit, which the council-appointed commission denied 7-0. The owners then filed an appeal to the City Council.

The appeal sparked a joint meeting between City Council and the Historic Landmarks Commission. In the meeting, most of the discussion centered on whether certain areas of the district — like the part of Pinner Street where the Evanses live — are “historical” enough to be included in the district.

Those discussions still are ongoing, but City Council was under a deadline to act on the appeal this week.

Before voting in favor of allowing the vinyl siding, Councilman Jeffrey Gardy said he thought the city could take care of the issue if it had more time.

“I totally agree and concur with what the Historic Landmarks Commission did,” Gardy said.

A motion to grant approval of the vinyl siding passed 5-3, with Councilmen Robert Barclay, Leroy Bennett and Michael Duman voting in opposition.