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St. Edward Looks to Raze Home to Make Way for Community Garden

City’s architectural board tables the issue, hoping to get some additional details.

Officials from are hoping to tear down a house that the school owns at 1350 Nicholson Avenue to make way for a community garden. 

But the proposal was met with some opposition at the city's architectural board of review meeting on Thursday.

Don Murphy, the school’s business manager, presented plans to the board.

“A garden would allow students to continue to work on service projects and the garden would provide fresh vegetables to our community meal program,” he said. “We are looking for ways to expand on the education opportunities for students and this is a way to do this.” 

Nearly 400 students participate in the gardening program, he added. 

The school would demolish the house, add fencing and landscaping and provide a water source to the garden.

The first time St. Edward officials proposed the plan to demolish the home last year, there were no plans for the future use of the property — and the board rejected the idea.

“We weren’t in favor of it, because we aren’t in favor of having a missing tooth in the neighborhood,” said board chairman Michael Molinski. ”We asked you to come back with a plan, and it looks like you’ve got that.”

At least one neighbor was skeptical — and that’s putting it mildly.

Richard Corrigan, who lives next door to the home at 1356 Nicholson Avenue, said the school doesn’t currently maintain the property, so he has doubts about the proposal.

He had strong words for the plans. 

“That house has been devaluing my property since they bought it 14 years ago,” Corrigan. “It’s been sitting there empty. If it was me, I would have been fined and put in jail for what they’ve done there. This community garden is a fraud.”

The board agreed that it needed more information before making a decision.

“I’d like to see more due diligence, (to find out) what condition this (house) is in,” said board member Michael Fleenor. “This garden seems out of place. If it were next to your property, it would be nice.”

“We take seriously, the demolition of any house in the city.”

The issue is set to come before the board again at next month’s meeting.

Pat Ballasch June 15, 2012 at 03:55 PM
It's nice we have a public forum to let people know where problems exist. Good luck Mr. Corrigan
The original Bill June 15, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Why didn't you just sell your house to St. Eds when the offered to buy it?
K M Smith June 15, 2012 at 11:52 PM
I'm skeptical, they didn't even take care of their 20'x20' plot at Cove Park. I'd want to see something that seems like it could be reasonably executed and accountability if they don't. Unlike lawns, there aren't rules about how "maintained" a community garden must be. Also, why spend the money to tear a house down when they could spend less than that and accomplish the same thing by buying one of the lots already raised and available?
The original Bill June 16, 2012 at 12:29 AM
The reason that St Eds wants to tear down the house is because it is in disrepair. So much work needs to be done that the cost for repairs would exceed the value of the house.
Lakewoodite June 17, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Oh My God!!! Not a garden... with smelly manure ..... and with 400 students traipsing around... why not just put a McDonald's, a new drug store or a gas station there!?! I would much rather have a run down crack house stay. Why do things have to change? Lets complain more about this and every thing else people are trying to do to make Lakewood a better place!

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