"I agree with this (decision) but there are properties in the East Rome Historic District that don't need to be in a historic district," Doss said. "We have, historically, been a little too ambitious with our historic districts."
Property owner Jason Purcell did not appear at the Commission's public hearing Monday night, and members of the Historic Preservation Commission said he did not come to them before asking to be removed. The HPC, Rome Floyd Planning Commission, planning staff and State Historic Preservation Office all recommended denial.
Commissioner Evie McNiece backed Doss' call for review, but not in this case. She noted the objection from the state and said the city ordinance requires a property owner to get the consent of at least 75 percent of the other owners in the historic district for removal.
"Just because someone does not take care of their property is not a reason to pull it out of an historic district," McNiece said.
Planning Director Artagus Newell said the request came after Purcell was brought into environmental court for code violations. He read from the executive summary of the SHPO report on the application:
"The removal ... sets the precedent that properties on the boundary of a local historic district may opt out by neglecting their buildings," Newell said.
Community Planner Brittany Griffin, who handles historic preservation in Newell's office, said there are grants available to help defray the cost of rehabilitation. She met several times with Purcell, she said, but he ceased communication.
Commissioners also held public hearings on three other land-use applications before approving each one.
Houses at 1109 E. Second Ave. and 332 E. Seventh St. that had been zoned for commercial use and remodeled as offices were changed back again. Bill Temple, representing the owner, said the new neighborhood-office-commercial zoning would allow the flexibility to use them as homes.
"We've got more demand for in-town residential than we've got small lots," the real estate executive said.
Also, Larry Martin got heavy commercial zoning for a community commercial lot at 1801 Dean Ave. so the existing tire store could expand into automotive repair.