Home’s demolition blasted by residents

Upset about the demolition of a historic home, some people are critical of the process that led to its destruction.

The Vaughn home, an old farmhouse located on Sixth Street in Coupeville, was demolished earlier in the month after the Design Review Board signed off on the proposal.

Coupeville resident Margaret Storer said during the Tuesday evening’s Town Council meeting that design board approval made a mockery of the historic demolition ordinance.

The Design Review Board met early in April to consider the demolition of the home that was built around 1910. They approved the demolition because restoring the historic building would have been an economic hardship for the owners.

Town planner Larry Kwarsick originally approved a demolition permit in March. However, when he realized the house was a historic structure, he stopped demolition on the home and forwarded the application to the review board as described under town regulations. By the time the demolition work had been stopped, a door and a window had already been removed from the home.

Another resident, David Medley, was concerned about a pattern of residents not learning about controversial actions until after they happen.

In addition to the demolition of the Vaughn house, he cited the recent cutting down of a Bristlecone pine at Cook Park.

“We’ve got this pattern that is very disturbing, we always find out the day after,” Medley said.

In an interview after the meeting, Mayor Nancy Conard defended Kwarsick despite the error in issuing the permit.

“There’s no question he made an error,” Conard said, explaining that once Kwarsick realized the error, he made sure the demolition stopped and that the proposal was sent to the design board for its consideration.

She added that the removal of the window and door didn’t influence the board’s decision. The house was quickly demolished once the decision was made.

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