Two historic structures in downtown McMinnville are in limbo about what will become of them. The city is taking the property owner to court and a judge will decide.
“Every deadline we have set has passed,” said McMinnville Planning and Zoning supervisor Josh Baker to Historic Zoning Commission members Monday when questioned about the status of the properties. “If I don’t hear from the property owner today, I have been instructed to turn the matter over to the city’s attorney.”
The properties are located at 205 E. Main Street and 106 N. Spring Street. Both are owned by Mark Latka, a former Main Street McMinnville director. While the first property was built in 1915, the second was built in 1955 and is locally known as the Dinty Moore building.
“After we turn the matter over to legal, it will be up to the judge what the outcome will be,” said Baker. “If the properties were located anywhere else, we would want them torn down. Being in the historic district, we would prefer they not be.”
Baker says the city has given Latka numerous opportunities over the years to bring the properties up to code. However, nothing substantial has been done and both were eventually declared unfit structures.
Monday’s deadline was for Latka to submit construction plans, as well as a list of materials needed for the work, on the Main Street property to McMinnville Planning and Zoning.
Historic Zoning Commission member Rachel Killebrew says she has noticed some work has been done to the outside without requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness from the commission.
“He knows he has to,” she said. “He was president of Main Street McMinnville when this was implemented. Requesting a COA gives us the chance to see what will be done before anything is and to make changes.”
While Killebrew fears work will be done without coming before the commission first, another commission member doubts work will ever be done.
“I don’t think he is ever going to do anything,” said Junior Medley. “He’s had plenty of time to do something, but he hasn’t.”
Baker confirmed Tuesday the deadline passed without receiving the requested information. The matter pertaining to both properties was sent to the city’s legal counsel, attorney Tim Pirtle.
The next meeting of Historic Zoning Commission is July 11 at 10:30 a.m. on the second floor of city hall.