• Springfield neighbors want city to produce reports before demolishing historic homes

    By: Letisha Bereola

    Updated:

    Neighbors in Springfield are demanding higher standards for demolition projects in historic districts.

    The meeting comes after neighbors say they were told that only the back porch would come down at a recently demolished Springfield home and that city leaders would look at the stability of the structure before deciding if any more of the  structure needed to come down.

    The home was demolished and that caught neighbors by surprise.

    “Twenty-five percent of the houses in the Springfield historic district have been demolished. It is my opinion this needs to stop,” said Alison Good with the Urban Core CPAC.

    Good helped organize a meeting between Springfield neighbors and city leaders.

    The goal: require the city to produce an engineering report before it tears down an historic home.

    “That has numbers on it … that specifies what percentage of the structure is problematic,” said Good.

    And she wants the city and neighbors to agree: demolition is not the only option.

    “When you tear down historic homes, you’re not only tearing down that particular house but you’re seriously impacting the fabric of the district,” said Good.

    Although Good has support of a lot of her neighbors, there are some who want to see historic homes disappear.

    “They have so many bugs, homeless people are occupying them and it’s just kind of dangerous,” said Kris Vega.

    Good hopes the city and Springfield neighbors can find some common ground.

    “I was born an optimist. I think if the citizens and the city get together and decide we want to change how Jacksonville deals with these things … that can be done. It can be done quickly,” said Good.

    The city responded to neighbors’ complaints about the most recent demolition with this statement.

    “A city and private engineer evaluated the structure for safety and stability. After removing the rear addition, it was determined that the remaining structure was too unstable/unsafe to remain and was therefore also removed.”

    Good is calling for a moratorium on all demolitions until neighbors and the city can find common ground.

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