by Ashley Heeney
Tallmadge -- For the second time, the city has denied the owners of a Northwest Avenue home permission to demolish the structure.
Randy Lorkowski applied for a permit June 1 to demolish the 141 Northwest Ave. home he and his wife Linda purchased August 2005, according to Bill Allen of the city's zoning department. The application was not accepted due to a six-month moratorium on the acceptance of any permit applications for the demolition of structures built prior to 1907.
The moratorium is "in place to prevent any razings until Council can determine which structures shall be protected," said the city's law director, Penny Taylor. The moratorium was approved by Council March 8 and expires Sept. 9.
Randy Lorkowski notified Council of his appeal June 4, according to the ordinance presented to Council June 14.
A public hearing appeal is scheduled for June 28 at 7 p.m., in Council Chambers.
Taylor said Randy Lorkowski "will present evidence for his request to demolish and for the city to present evidence for their denial."
The Lorkowskis were unable to be reached for comment by press time.
Ward 2 Councilmember Dennis Thompson said Randy Lorkowski invited Council on a tour of the structure prior to the public hearing and Thompson said he thinks it's a good idea. The other Councilmembers agreed.
An ordinance before Council will either grant, or refuse granting of Randy Lorkowski's appeal.
Taylor said if Council denies the appeal on June 28, "Mr. Lorkowski may file an action in common pleas court."
Otherwise, Taylor said, he may wait until Council and the Heritage Homes Commission [formerly the Appearance Commission] compiles a list of heritage homes, per the legislation passed by Council. Grimm had suggested to the commission that it select 10 homes at a time.
"He [Lorkowski] may ask to be excluded from that list through the process as set forth in Ordinance 32-2007," she said. "Council makes the final decision.
"If the Lorkowski property is excluded from the list, Mr. Lorkowski may raze the structure," she said.
In 2006, the Board of Zoning Appeals upheld the Appearance Commission's decision denying Linda Lorkowski permission to demolish the home with the intention of moving her Tallmadge-based bakery business "Linda's Kitchen" to the site.
The Appearance Commission's argument was to preserve structures with 19th century architectural significance. Linda Lorkowski argued that 75 percent of her home is additions built post-1869.
Linda Lorkowski filed an appeal with Summit County Court of Common Pleas on May 11, 2006. The case was assigned to Judge Jane Bond who affirmed Feb. 23 the decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals.