Last night the Village Trustees unanimously approved the Local Law 1 of 2011 which introduces a substantial civil penalty for the illegal demolition of historic structures. All parties involved in the demolition will be required to pay up to the estimated cost of restoration or replacement of whatever is demolished to the maximum practical extent. Take that! In addition, part of the building department process will involve educating owners, contractors, architects, etc. of these new codes prior to issuing permits, and the criminal fines were raised from $100 to $5000. Yipee!! Now we have penalties with real teeth. Thank you petition signers, letter writers, and Village Trustees! This new code will not only protect our village's architectural treasures, but also send a strong message that this community's heritage is imporatant and valuable and that the blatant disregard of our codes will not go unpunished.
If you are wondering why I keep showing the same photo at the top of these "demolition consequences" updates, it's because it was the illegal dismantling of this house, known as "The Moorlands" on Halsey Neck Lane, last May which prompted these new penalties to be considered and adopted. While that house is gone forever (and a loose replica rising in its stead), at least something positive as resulted. I am personally delighted, and hope you are too!
So now what? I have a long wish list as you can see along the right side of this blog, but I think 'Neglect' should be the next item to tackle. There are far too many structures in our historic districts abandoned and falling down. Let's see if we can do something about that. I'll probably need your help, so please stay tuned!