For immediate release
Questions? Contact Barb Allmann at (920)256-1678; or
Dennis Statz at (920)559-0561
Alderperson Allmann and Historic Preservation Commission Chair Statz petition for due process
On December 4, Alderperson Barb Allmann and local business owner Dennis Statz filed a petition to appeal the Sturgeon Bay Fire Chief’s raze order of the historic granary with the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. Statz is the chairperson of the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) and Allmann serves as the Council representative.
On October 30, the City’s Historic Preservation Commission passed a resolution in support of preserving the granary and working with the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society to utilize private dollars. Minutes of the HPC meeting were not shared with the City Council until after a motion to dismantle the structure was voted on and approved by the Council on November 21. The HPC resolution has not been discussed by the Council and although members of the Council have asked for the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society proposal to be added to numerous Council agendas, the mayor of Sturgeon Bay has declined to include it.
“The Historic Preservation Commission is made up of citizens who volunteer their time and voted to see the granary preserved,” states Allmann. “Our community deserves to at least hear the details of the Society’s proposal, know what’s being offered, and have a discussion on possibilities.”
The Allmann/Statz petition references the HPC resolution, a letter of support from the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center, and the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society’s offers to utilize private donations in excess of $1,250,000 to restore the structure. The petition references the City’s 2010 Comprehensive Plan that lists five overall goals, one of which is to “seek preservation and maintain the abundant natural and historic resources within and surrounding the City.” The petition also includes an exhibit of over 50 letters from community members in support of preservation.
In August, the granary was listed on the State Registry of Historic Places. This requires a review of the structure prior to demolition. On November 3, the Wisconsin Historical Society alerted the City that it would not be able to review the granary and stated it “had not been provided sufficient documentation that the building is structurally deficient.”
The Allmann/Statz petition states that the City Fire Chief has no contemporary structural engineering reports or other professional report to substantiate the finding in the raze order and gives no option for remedy or repair.
Alderperson Laurel Hauser spoke with the Department of Safety and Professional Services Attorney Supervisor Al Rohmeyer after the petition was received. Rohmeyer told Hauser that although the Sturgeon Bay Fire Chief acted as a deputy of the state in issuing the raze order, DSPS sees this as a local issue and strongly encourages the Council and the Fire Chief to come to an agreement. Rohmeyer stated that he’d advised the Fire Chief to work with his lawyers to suggest a compromise. As of this press release, no compromise has been received.
The complete petition, with supporting documents, is available on www.centerlineforum.org/documents.