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Batavia building will not get classification upgrade

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

BATAVIA – The Batavia City Council on Monday rejected a recommendation from the Batavia Historic Preservation Commission to upgrade the historical classification of a building at 106 N. River St. from “contributing” to “significant.”

“It is nothing more than an old frame building,” said 7th Ward Alderman Dave Brown, chairman of the Community Development Committee. “It doesn’t meet any of our codes.”

Despite objections from Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke, the commission last month decided to stick with its recommendation to upgrade the building’s classification.

Schielke contended there was no historical significance to the building other than the signs on it.

“If it were to be demolished, the applicant would first have to apply to the city for a demolition permit,” Brown said. “We could make it a stipulation that the signs be preserved.”

Schielke had given commissioners a history of the building and the surrounding area, explaining how the area previously was frequented by farmers to obtain feed and farming equipment and bring milk to the nearby creamery.

He was concerned that upgrading the classification of the building could hinder potential redevelopment of the property.

“That is probably a prime site for redevelopment in the near future,” Schielke had said.

Historic Preservation Commissioner Steve Vasilion told aldermen at last week’s Community Development Committee meeting that the commission’s biggest concern was making sure the building’s signs were preserved.

“I agree the building is not in great shape,” he had said. “We are going to err on the side of preservation. We fully respect whatever you decide.”

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