MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Mobile City Council voted against an appeal brought by a Mobile property owner.
Apparently, the home owner violated the city's historical guidelines by installing the wrong type of door on their home.
“The whole idea is to preserve what's there,” said Devereaux Bemis, Director of the Mobile Historic Development Commission.
The property owner bought a home in the Old Dauphin Way Historic District in February, renovated it, and prepared it for sale.
They painted it dark grey, rebuilt the interior, and replaced a dilapidated door.
But then a complaint was filed through the city's 311 phone system which got the attention of the Historic Development Commission.
“We went and looked at it and there had been a double door Historic door from 1905 and it had been replaced with a nice looking door, unfortunately the door that it was replaced with was very much a late 20th Century door; it was about 80 years out of date,” said Bemis.
The Historic Development Commission issued the home owner a violation for not following district building guidelines.
The home owner then filed paperwork with the board asking them to accept the door. However, the board said no.
“When the review board gets a request they look at two questions, will it impair the Historical integrity of the building or will it impair the Historical integrity of the neighborhood and in this case they had found it impaired both,” said Bemis.
The home owners finally wound up in front of city council members at an appeal hearing.
Residents on Le Moyne Place were asked to appear before the council to voice their opinions.
“This house was in shambles. I've lived here since 2004; almost 10 years and I've watched this house continually degrade over time. I don't know the investors, don't have a clue what their names are but they took this house and made a beautiful Mobile Historic home out of it,” said Sheila Morris of Mobile.
The council voted 4 to 2 against the home owner.
The property owners will now have to submit a plan to change the door and pay more money for its replacement.
The Mobile Historic Commission says some real estate agencies notify clients before they buy in the historic districts, but the commission said it's ultimately the home owners responsibility to know and understand the building guidelines.
The property owners, who asked not to be identified, said the issue of renovating an historic district house never came up during the remodel.
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