Plainfield resident questions delay in house demolition OK
By Madhu Mayer Correspondent January 15, 2013 8:08AM
Updated: February 19, 2013 1:10PM
A Plainfield resident is questioning why his family is not allowed to demolish its home while others can do so without delay.
Thomas Carey attended Monday’s committee of the whole workshop to request demolition of the home at 14927 S. Route 59.
Carey argues the village board fails to make a decision on his family’s case while others receive immediate approval for demolition requests, like Overman-Jones Funeral Home on Route 59, which will use the lot for parking once the house adjacent to the business is razed.
When Carey came before the historic preservation commission in July 2012 for demolition consideration, the committee delayed the proposal until the Route 59 vision project was completed. The following month, the Plainfield Village Board concurred with the recommendation and supported a delay until the study was done.
Staff has been working with the Civic Artworks firm on facilitating a communitywide discussion on what the community’s vision is for Route 59 from Main Street, or Route 126, south to Union Street. The project likely will be finished by March.
Village planner Michael Garrigan said the request to demolish the house, which is vacant and has been for sale for several years, must be carefully considered because it has been recommended as a future landmark on an individual basis and within a future historic district. He said the village’s historical urbanized core survey identified the house as a “upright and wing’’ with a construction date of 1845.
“The condition of the property and the fact that it has not been substantially modified explains why the subject property has been identified as having a high priority for local landmarking and constitutes one of the best examples of early vernacular architecture in the village of Plainfield,” said Garrigan.
Carey wants the house demolished because the family believes an empty lot would be easier to sell.
Trustee Bill Lamb agreed that he does not want to see another vacant lot on Route 59.
“What disturbs me is there is no site plan,” said Trustee Jim Racich, adding it further troubles him that there are houses on either side of the property in question. Unlike the house adjacent to the funeral home that will be demolished, Racich said the Carey property has historical significance to Plainfield.
Carey said it is not fair to ask his mother, who is 91 years old, to maintain a house that is “basically worthless.”