The Historic Preservation Commission is designed to “ensure the harmonious, orderly, and efficient growth and development of the city.”
“When I first saw the building, I knew that is not what we approved,” said Joan Benjamin, a representative with secondary historic preservation related disciplines. “The height of it was astonishing.”
The property owners, Matthew and Tara Brown, proposed demolishing an existing home on Oak Street to construct an 80-by-54-foot structure. The proposal would include a single-car garage and gymnasium with a workout/locker room. Though the structure is not likely to be visible from Centenary Avenue, it may be seen from the properties located on Oak Street and Bowman Avenue. The exterior of the building was to have siding and shingles to match the existing residence and garage building.
“The (drainage) system is already stressed on Bowman Avenue. I am concerned about the additional water,” said Barbara Burns, a local resident.
The Council said the issue should not be a problem. Measures are being taken to reduce the flooding from Centenary and Bowman avenues and 8th Street N.W.
City attorney John Kimball said concerned neighbors had a window of opportunity to appeal the Historic Commission’s approval. That window of time has since expired. The attorney highlighted that the dimensions of the project were included in the presentation to the Historic Commission.
The Commission only has jurisdiction over the look of the outside of a structure. It has no input over what is built inside, Kimball said.
He said determination on whether the outside of the building complies with what was approved was hard to make while the building was still under construction.
On Centenary Avenue, water flows under Ocoee Street and stands on the side of the roadway. The solution to street and property flooding will be to put in new, larger pipes and add another catch basin, said Tommy Myers, public works director.
These changes should allow for excess water to run its natural course without causing flooding to surrounding housing along Centenary and Bowman avenues.
Once the new pipes are in place, a slab of new pavement will top the recent one so it remains smooth. Myers said it will match the existing pavement.
The motion delayed final approval of the Bowman and Centenary avenues drainage project until the next meeting so the Council may gather more information on the drainage project.
The next Cleveland City Council meeting will be Feb. 18 at noon.