McMinnville Historic Zoning Commission has approved demolition of two downtown structures on Morford Street.
Property owner Kara Youngblood requested permission to demolish 205 and 215 East Morford Street. Plans for those lots are to expand Youngblood & Associates, located at 203 East Morford.
“There are several things that led me to want to approve the demolition,” said commission member Rachel Killebrew. “Everyone knows I never want to tear anything down. The engineering report was very well done. Although there are parts of that structure underneath that are original, the façade that they put on in the ’70s definitely does not make it look original. I thought he did a very good job in explaining the problems with the building.”
The report stated, “When buildings have lost their original architectural integrity, they can no longer contribute to the character of the district.”
“I think that’s also true,” said Killebrew. “I’m basing my proposal to go ahead and approve the demolition based on that report.”
The building at 215 East Morford Street caught fire last year which further damaged the structure.
Commission member Rachel Kirby expressed concern for the possibility of another empty lot that stays vacant for years.
“I didn’t purchase it to make it an empty lot,” said Youngblood. “I purchased it to expand, so it’s not going to be an empty lot.”
When asked by commission member Bobby Kirby when construction would begin, Youngblood added, “I would say within the year.”
Demolition was unanimously approved by Killebrew, Rachel Kirby, Bobby Kirby and Teresa Prober when McMinnville Historic Zoning Commission met Tuesday morning via Zoom, an online conferencing service.
The measure does not need to go before McMinnville’s Board of Mayor and Alderman for approval, meaning Youngblood has permission to start demolition.