By Sonya Ellingboe | 0 comments
An old farmhouse on Littleton’s List of Merit has been green-lighted for demolition.
The white farmhouse at 830 Ridge Road (at South Elati Street) has looked forlorn for some time and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints just to its west has wanted to buy the property and divide it.
The church needs more parking and it proposes to expand its parking area and resell the remaining large lot as an Estate Residential Zoned property, with the old house and outbuilding cleared away.
In order to accomplish this as quickly as possible, the owner requested that the quasi-judicial Littleton Historic Preservation Board, appointed by the city council, waive the 30-day demolition hold that is applied to buildings on the List of Merit.
The board, after discussion and input from an architect and the owner’s husband, and reading a lengthy inspection report by Duke Properties Inc. of Littleton that established that the property “has significant health and safety issues” and is not habitable, voted unanimously to waive the 30-day hold so demolition can proceed. Several board members expressed regret.
The Burnett house on the southwest corner of Ridge Road and Elati Street in Littleton has been OK’d for speedy demolition. Photo by Courtney Kuhlen | firstname.lastname@example.org
The List of Merit designation is placed on homes and other buildings surveyed in the past and deemed to be of merit historically, but not specifically designated as landmarks. (A list appears on the city website). The designation goes with the property when it is sold.
Known in the documents as the Jerome Burnett House, it was built in 1923, according to county records. Jerome and Teona Burnett were listed in the 1932 city directory and were farmers. It is described as a typical farmhouse structure of its time.
At a later date, Thomas Bradbury owned the house until he built a new home on the site of the present church, according to a later owner, attorney Jerome R. Strickland. Bradbury did a lot of farming work for Lawrence A. Phipps, who owned what is now called the Highlands Ranch Mansion.
The board then talked with Community Development Director Glen Van Nimwegen about proposed amendments to the code as related to the HPB, based on a memo from acting city attorney Kirsten Crawford and comments from the city council. (Council discussed these matters in a Jan. 24, 2012, study session and will continue discussion on March 26 instead of the previously announced March 13).
Proposed revisions relevant to Main Street properties are based on the lack of an application process and criteria for owners who want to opt into Main Street. Clear definitions of contributing and non-contributing structures should be defined. Incentives should be clearly defined as should design guidelines and their applications.
The memo addresses future historic districts, non-consensual landmark designation, List of Merit provision, appeals procedure and lists information on how other Colorado communities handle designation and preservation matters.
The board’s consensus was not to rock the boat at present in terms of trying to change the situation with the Main Street District. A suggestion to expand the district to include Alamo Street was not met with agreement. “We don’t have a good system of due process,” said member Chuck Reid. Planner Andrea Mimnaugh suggested the possibility of a Design District for Alamo, which has fewer regulations than a historic district.
This discussion will continue with the March 27 study session and thereafter.
The meeting closed with the mention that two facade improvement projects funded with HPB grants on Main Street are nearly complete: Haverner Millinery Building, formerly Veto’s, and the Olde Towne Tavern.