Preserving Common Sense Above All (4/13/10) - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Preserving Common Sense Above All (4/13/10)

While I'm all for historical preservation, I'm kind of baffled by the situation surrounding Genny's Diner owner Frank Faris and his ill-fated plan to demolish the dilapidated house next to his property to make way for parking. 

Because his plan ran afoul of Louisville's Metro Landmarks Commission, he was told he not only couldn't tear it down, but had to fix it up. Since he couldn't afford to, he was ordered to sell it. When he got no offers, he was ordered to give it away. And earlier this month, when no one would even step forward to take it for free, he was sentenced to home incarceration. 

I'm no lawyer, so I can't say whether that ruling was required by the law. But if it was, that's one bad law. 

As an official city agency, the Landmark Commission certainly has the legal right to set standards. But I think it also has a responsibility to establish standards that make common sense and actually work to preserve things that are worth preserving. 

"Age" and "historical value" are two very different things. While that house is plenty old, the demonstrated lack of people willing to take it for free pretty much proves its supposed "value" is zero. And I think the failure of the Landmarks Commission to recognize this simple fact damages its credibility. 

But what do you think? Call and let us know. 

I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.

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