The request for permission to demolish three old houses at Fourth and Calapooia, a contentious issue, will come up for a public hearing before the Albany City Council on Oct. 10.
Council meetings start at 7:15 p.m., and the hearing on Oct.10 will begin shorty after that. City Manager Peter Troedsson announced the date in his weekly memo to the council at the end of last week. The council had voted to take case after the Albany Landmarks Advisory Commission rejected the request.
The landmarks decision had the effect of delaying a possible demolition until at least July 9, 2019. Four members of the council, a majority, don’t think the owners of the property should have to wait that long. They voted on Sept. 12 to hear the case without the owners having to file and pay the fee for an appeal.
The owners, longtime Albany homebuilders Mark and Tina Siegner, bought the dilapidated and trashed houses in February for $85,000 from the Signs of Victory Mission, which had bought them for one dollar from a previous owner and had used them for “transitional housing.”
The Siegners hoped to either renovate the structures or replace them with modern dwellings compatible with the neighborhood, which is part of the Monteith Historic District. They applied for $1 million in urban renewal loans to help pay for renovating the houses and adding four garages and two apartments on the the back of the property, but their application was rejected. That’s when they applied for permission to raze the houses because without financial aid, restoration is not economically feasible.
The city council, in taking the case, agreed its hearing would be in October, but the date was not firm until it was announced later in the week. (hh)