Historic District Files new complaint
Group adds city and six Center Street residents in filing
Complaint asks for permanent injunction
With the voluntary dismissal of a complaint filed on behalf of the Center Street Historic District Association against the Ashland County Historical Society last month, the city was added as a defendant and six Center Street residents as plaintiffs in a new complaint filed in Common Pleas Court Wednesday.
Common Pleas Judge Deborah Woodward Wednesday also withdrew from the case stating she was a paying member of the historical society, according to court records.
The society in July had applied for and was denied by the city's Historic Preservation Board demolition of the A.N. Myers home with plans to build new. According to the preservation board's ordinance, at the end of a 60-day period following such a decision, an extension agreed upon by the city and the society could be made, any public or private body could make a bona fide purchase or lease offer for the structure, "or the application for the demolition or moving shall be approved by the board."
The association made an $85,000 bid to the society before the 60 days were up, and a counteroffer was made by the society to sell the home to the association for $1, with the condition it would then be moved.
The association then filed the original complaint asking for a permanent injunction barring the society from demolishing its A.N. Myers home and that a demolition permit granted by the city to the society be declared void. The association's attorney, John Good, then said the city's permit was not valid, alleging it could only be lawfully granted by the preservation board.
In late November, the society then filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, alleging the association was not recognized as a legal entity with the state and therefore could not enter into contracts. It also said that the city, which granted the demolition permit, should be included.
The complaint filed Wednesday also asked that the demolition permit issued by the city be declared void and for a permanent injunction.
"We're just trying to clean it up, which is a common thing to do, so we get a hearing on the merit," Good said.
The complaint alleges points including that the association made a bona fide offer on the home, the society failed to respond to it in good faith and that the city "illegally and in violation of its own ordinances" issued a permit for the home despite the bona fide offer and preservation board denial.
City Council President Glen Stewart acknowledged he received a copy of the complaint Thursday. City Law Director Rick Wolfe, who will represent the city, could not be reached for comment. Attorney Ronald Forsthoefel, representing the historical society, also could not be reached for comment Thursday.