Council approves demolition of Main Street property

Laura JAMESON/THE EXPRESS This house at 315 E. Main Street was purchased by Steve Shannon, owner of Steve Shannon Tire and Auto Center. The property will be demolished and converted into a parking lot and green space.

LOCK HAVEN –City council approved the demolition of a property at 315 E. Main St. during a Zoning Conditional Use Hearing Monday night.

The property is located in the city’s historical district, meaning council as well as the planning commission and the city’s historical committee needed to approve the demolition.

The property owner, Steve Shannon, plans to tear down the existing one-family home, garage and shed and convert it into a parking lot and green space, said contractor Drew Barton.

Barton said Shannon, owner of Steve Shannon Tire and Auto Center, located at 301 E. Main St., plans to utilize the back half of the property as a parking lot and convert the front half that faces Main Street into green space.

Code and Zoning Officer Cyndi Walker said both the Historic Advisory Committee and the city’s planning commission met and endorsed the demolition.

Charles May, of 317 E. Main St., voiced concerns for possible damage to his property next door.

May stated that his basement has been having issues with water since Jan. 12, 2018, when five inches of water filled his basement.

“Before that the basement was dry and dusty,” he said, adding that he’d lived at the property for decades.

These issues didn’t begin until after Shannon purchased the property and his basement didn’t dry out all summer long, he said.

May asked council if they’d be able to ensure the water line connected to 315 would be capped off at the street, instead of burying it during the demolition.

Both May and Michael Romanesky, who owns the building next to 315, expressed concern for possible damage to their properties during demolition.

May’s wife Gloria, voiced concern for the possible asbestos that may be in the home.

With the Roxy Theatre across the street, many adults, children and elderly frequent the area, she said.

She asked Barton if there were any procedures in place to prevent any public health issues.

There are procedures in place but he was unable to provide any specifics at the time, Barton said.

Councilman Richard Conklin made a motion approving the demolition under the conditions that the property owner give neighbors a week notice to prepare for construction; bond the neighboring properties against damage and ensure the water line be shut off and capped off at the curb.

The motion was seconded by Councilman Joel Long and approved through unanimous vote.

The property owner must now apply for the proper permits before demolition can begin which may not be approved until the beginning of 2019, Walker said.