Wednesday, December 3, 2008

City Historic Review Commission Holds Hearing On Controversial Bill

The Historic Review Commission today tabled a bill by City Councilman Ricky Burgess that would amend the city code by changing language regarding "Religious Properties." Councilman Burgess is in the process of amending his legislation with the help of the city law department but says he drafted this bill as a result of city councils dealing with the Salvation Army over its plans for its historically designated Malta Temple.

The Salvation Army did not wish to seek historic designation because they wanted to tear the building down and rebuild on their property to allow for a building that better served their needs. The Mexican War Streets Society was responsible for the buildings nomination. The Salvation Army was unable to garner enough support from City Council regarding their plans so Rev. Burgess stepped in. His legislation would allow for only the owner(s) to nominate a building for designation and would allow for owners of an historically designated building to possibly tear the building down if needed or wanted.

The bill has been tabled as a result of councilman Burgess announcing that he is not prepared with a final draft of the legislation because he and his staff are working with the city law department to adjust and amend his bill so that it does not have any unwanted consequences.

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