The Lakewood Planning Commission unanimously upheld its decision to deny the designation of the Heideloff property as historic landmark under the city’s ordinance.
Last month’s decision ended in a split vote.
The home at 13474 Edgewater Drive was expected to be demolished to make way for a new $2 million lakefront home.
But it may not be.
The property owners, Michael and Stacey Semaan, would consider allowing the neighbors to move the home to save it, said James O’Leary, an attorney representing the family.
“This house could be moved and the Semaans would be willing to donate it,” he added. “And why wouldn’t they? As long as someone wants to move it, and pay to move it, it saves them the cost of demolition and it keeps the preservation of the house.”
Members of the commission deliberated for only about 15 minutes before voting 7-0 to deny the rehearing.
“I think the commission was consistent with what we saw,” said O’Leary. “The request for a rehearing presented no new information. I think the commission made the right decision.”
At the center of the debate was the issue of private property rights versus historic preservation.
The neighbors, not the property owners, submitted the paperwork to make the mansion a historic landmark.
Mary Breiner, the applicant for the designation and resident of nearby Homewood Avenue, said she’s not likely to take any additional action.
“What good is the city’s ordinance?” she said after the meeting. “It’s a disappointment.
The historic landmark ordinance is written as a two-step process: First the planning commission must decide whether a property is eligible for the designation — which it did in December.
“Almost any building in Lakewood could meet the eligibility, the next step is a little more subjective,” said Mark Stockman, the chairman of the commission.
If this is designated historic what kind of burden would this place on the owners who have stated that they want to tear it down?”
Bill Gaydos, who abstained from voting at his first meeting on the board last month, said that he considered the “highest and best use” for the property.
“The owner should have the right to take the property to that next level,” he said.
The Semaans have said they intend to build a $2 million home on the lakefront. Those plans are pending in the city’s architectural board of review.