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Court allows for demolition of historic Saratoga property

By Lombardo David
Thursday, October 24, 2013

The State Supreme Court's Appellate Division upheld a lower court ruling today that will allow for a historic property to be demolished in Saratoga Springs.

Demolition of 66 Franklin St. had been approved by the city's Design Review Commission, but the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation mounted a legal challenge last December and received a temporary injunction against the demolition. In March the state Supreme Court ruled that Joseph Boff , the owner of the 1870s-era home, could demolish the property, which he said was beyond repair.

Today's court ruling is available below.

The Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation has been fighting the demolition for more than two years. The Foundation had maintained that the old house, which is a contributing structure to the Franklin Square Historic District, could be renovated.

Following the ruling, Chris Armer, president of the Foundation, said in a statement, “We felt strongly that the DRC failed to follow the intent and requirements of the historic review ordinance. Unfortunately, this decision undermines the spirit of the ordinance and jeopardizes other historic buildings in Saratoga Springs.”

The Design Review Commission had required Boff to prepare an environmental impact statement on the proposed demolition , stating his reasons for demolishing the building, possible alternatives, and the impact that demolition would have.

In the impact statement prepared for Boff by attorney Matthew Mazur of Ianniello, Anderson, Sciocchetti and Reilly of Clifton Park, the cost to reconstruct or "replicate" 66 Franklin St. is listed at more than $2 million.

The impact statement also notes that some city officials have said the building is a dilapidated, unsafe structure that could collapse. Architects who inspected the building for the Preservation Foundation have stated the building can be saved and renovated, however.

@poozer87

Saratoga Springs Demolition Ruling

 
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