Troy debates demolition moratorium for downtown

Troy resident Rosemary Jones protested the demolition of a Main Street building that housed an early county courthouse and an array of well-known businesses. The proposal to demolish the three-story building at 112-118 W. Main St. that was damaged during the January tornado that struck downtown Troy was voted ?????? Oct. 28, Wednesday afternoon.
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Troy resident Rosemary Jones protested the demolition of a Main Street building that housed an early county courthouse and an array of well-known businesses. The proposal to demolish the three-story building at 112-118 W. Main St. that was damaged during the January tornado that struck downtown Troy was voted ?????? Oct. 28, Wednesday afternoon.

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Troy City Council is being asked to consider moratoriums on demolition permits and single-level parking lot construction in the downtown to allow time to review both issues.

The requests follow a controversial Oct. 11 vote by the city Planning Commission on a proposal to demolish the Tavern building on West Main Street damaged in the January 2020 tornado. The commission voted 4-3 to approve the demolition permit. Two appeals of that decision have been filed with the city Board of Zoning Appeals.

Discussions of possibly using the space for parking if the building would be removed led to Schilling’s questions about the need for more parking lots downtown and the best use of property in that area.

ExploreTornado-damaged, downtown Troy building faces uncertain future

“Downtown Troy’s vibe and excitement is a direct result of the people who work, live and visit downtown Troy to shop and be entertained. Every time a building or home is torn down in downtown Troy, an opportunity is lost for a business to locate or a family to live in downtown,” Schilling wrote.

Each parking lot or green space placed in the downtown “directly threatens the long-term viability of the downtown,” he said.

Council President Bill Lutz said council committees would meet on both moratorium requests. The meetings are expected to be held Nov. 8.

During a proposed moratorium on parking lots, Schilling asked for review of recent downtown parking studies. He also asked anyone considering building a downtown parking lot to review plans and consider a building for business or living space instead.

During a moratorium on demolition permits, Schilling called for a review of local guidelines and those in use in other communities with downtowns similar to Troy’s. The review would be by city staff. The moratorium wouldn’t restrict permits requested due to total loss to a building by fire or other natural events, he said.

Council member Todd Severt also called for a moratorium and review.

Like Schilling he noted the change in reuse plans for the Tavern building property at 112-118 W. Main St. The initial proposal was a parking lot, but a subsequent proposal called for a grass lot. That proposal to purchase is pending while due diligence is being performed. That offer includes a condition for building demolition with an eye toward developing a boutique hotel on the site, the planning commission was told.

“We do not need a parking lot filling the gap tooth between the buildings,” Severt said. The moratorium would allow time to assess and assure that any change in the lot (with building removal) has it shovel ready to “redevelop in a fashion consistent with our beautiful downtown,” he said.

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