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Dallas: preservationists compromise on teardowns

2807tanner from Robert Wilonsky's article at News You Can Actually Use, Actually:

Ever since last summer, the city -- specifically, Development Services and the City Attorney's Office -- have been attempting to streamline the process that allows for the demolition of buildings in historic districts that it considers "an imminent threat to health or safety." Initially, the Landmark Commission was horrified by the plan, which essentially eliminated the commission from the conversation and allowed the Fire Marshal's office to call in the wrecking ball. But several meetings later, the city has a compromise, which will be debuted this afternoon at the council's Public Safety Committee meeting.

In short, if the city wants a property gone, the Landmark Commission still gets a review before a certificate of demolition's granted -- but the time line's significantly shorter, the property owner or contractor has to show significant and continued progress on a monthly basis, and the Fire Marshal can "order demolition of a structure, without Landmark approval, if a clear and imminent threat exists." It's that last part that concerns Preservation Dallas executive director Katherine Seale, who this morning tells Unfair Park that caveat allows for the "possibility of abuse."

photo: The City Attorney's Office had hoped to tear down 2807 Tanner St., but preservationists intervened.