Thursday, September 15, 2016
NO RETROACTIVE DEMOLITION PERMIT FOR JOHN VALDES
A 4-1 VOTE on September 15th by the City of St. Augustine Historic Architectural Review Board DENIED local historic home reconstruction builder JOHN VALDES a "retroactive permit" to destroy 125 Washington Street.
VALDES is former Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Board, former HARB member, and unsuccessful candidate for the City Commission seat now encumbered by Todd Neville.
VALDES did not apply for a demolition permit: instead, he destroyed an historic building, "unilaterally, without permission."
VALDES was in a hurry. Like other people in a hurry, he's unrepentant.
I opposed VALDES' retroactive permit as a bad precedent. HARB members agreed, 4-1. VALDES may now face Code Enforcement action for working illegally.
Also testifying was City Building Official Richard Shauland, who said the building was not in imminent danger of falling down, and that he and City Historic Planner Jennifer Wolfe were in the building under the eaves for 20-30 minutes, and that it was in "no imminent danger" of falling down. VALDES replied, "I could make it that way."
VALDES plans to appeal the denial of the retroactive permit to CIty Commission and talk about changing procedures.