By Teri Carnicelli
EDITOR’S NOTE: SEE CORRECT HEARING DATE/TIME BELOW.
The owners of a home built in 1926 and located at 7019 N. Central Ave. have obtained legal representation to assist them with an application to have the home demolished—an application that was denied by Phoenix Historic Preservation Officer Michelle Dodds in May.
Referred to as the William F. McElroy house, the home sits on property that was part of the original Orangewood subdivision platted by William J. Murphy in 1895. David and America Young, owners of the property, filed an application in April to have the home torn down.
However, the Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission voted 6-0 at its May meeting to initiate historic preservation review for the home, which could result in the home being listed on the Phoenix Historic Property Register, providing a new zoning overlay that would protect the home from major changes—including demolition.
The Youngs filed an appeal, which was scheduled to be reviewed by a city historic preservation hearing officer first on June 6, and later rescheduled for June 26. Last month the couple retained the services of Tiffany & Bosco, P.A., who submitted a request on behalf of their clients to continue the appeal, again. It is now scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 26, in the west ground floor conference room at Phoenix City Hall.
An initial review of the home by the city’s Historic Preservation office concluded the home, representative of American Colonial Revival style architecture, is eligible for placement on the city’s Historic Property Register, but further study must be made. The Youngs contend the home has no historic significance and is irreparable, far beyond the scope of what the average person would pay to “fix up” a home.
Given its present condition, the Youngs believe their best and most profitable option would be to have the home torn down and sell the 1.2 acres of prime land, adjacent to the Murphy Bridle Path, to a developer.
The North Central Phoenix Homeowners Association has come out strongly in opposition to having the home torn down, and representatives have said they will fight it all the way to the Superior Court, if needs be.
William Fischbach, an attorney and shareholder with Tiffany & Bosco, said in a statement, “We feel very strongly about protecting our clients’ private property rights under the United States Constitution and Arizona law. That said, we look forward to working cooperatively with the city of Phoenix, North Central neighborhood representatives, and other stakeholders to explore viable options for this property.”
To check the schedule of the July 26 hearing, visit www.phoenix.gov and select “More Public Meeting Notices” from the home page, then click on the Historic Preservation Hearing link for July 26; look for Application #HPDA 1900271 on the agenda. You also can call the Historic Preservation Office at 602-261-8699.