To MOOve or Not to MOOve

September 10, 2009

After 8 years, the fate of the Jackling House is still up in the air. It is up to Superior Court Judge Marie Weiner to decide if the demolition permit which the Town COWncil issued at its meeting on June 23rd, complies with environmental laws. The Town COWncil has held quite a few hearings on this subject since their original approval of the demolition permit was invalidated by the Court.
See previous articles here and here see also here and here.

We were originally critical of the COWncil because they could not get the process right. The Court faulted the Council for not having substantial evidence on the record of the cost to build a new house to support its findings that various alternatives were economically infeasible. The Court did not say that the alternatives were feasible, only that the record was inadequate. The COWncil clearly wanted to allow the demolition and ignored the fact that not all alternatives had been explored.

Now it does appear to us that all kinds of mitigations were considered. Time is taking its toll and the mansion is in very bad shape. It does not appear that anyone wants to move and restore it. Ultimately, the COWcil conditioned demolition on an agreement that will salvage and reuse the parts of the structure that are salvageable. While the result is not historically satisfying, it seems to us that the alternatives are not feasible. A property owner should not be forced to rebuild a crumbling edifice nor should he be forced to sell his property.

The Judge has yet to rule on this matter. But, in our opinion, it is time to MOOve on.

One Comment on “To MOOve or Not to MOOve

  1. Anonymous

    I certainly support allowing Mr. Jobs the ability to demolish and rebuild his home. I believe that any home that Mr. Jobs builds will be far more historic than the Jackling House. Besides, Mr. Jobs made it very clear that he had no intention of spending a dime restoring the current structure and it would simply end up in ruins. That’s certainly his right.

    Having sat on the Town Council during the original hearings, I can assure you that we thoroughly explored the alternatives (including moving the home or salvaging and rescuing parts of the structure) and that we did explore “all kinds of mitigations.” They just weren’t sufficient for Uphold our Heritage or Judge Weiner. Somehow I think we could have done ten times the work and it would still have not met Uphold our Heritage standards. Uphold our Heritage opinions are just as entrenched as Mr. Jobs. Again, that’s certainly their right… but they don’t own the property.

    I think the current council did a more exhaustive job and certainly did a better job documenting their process. That said, it was still unacceptable to Uphold our Heritage. It will be interesting to see who Judge Weiner sides this time around.

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