Monday, August 03, 2009

Pythian Castle Update

8/5/09 - Update on the update - Just a note to remind readers there is a reason ordinances are not generally reported on while they are in draft. Because it is a draft proposal, it is not set in stone and can be changed. We will not know the exact details of the proposal until it is listed on the City Council agenda, which appears to be tentatively scheduled for the meeting of August 10, 2009. -Jackie


It looks like there may well be an ordinance on an upcoming City Council agenda which might apply to Tamara Finocchiaro and the Pythian Castle.

The purpose of the DRAFT proposal is:

"To allow Small Business Development Loan program activities to be funded that eliminate specific conditions of blight or physical decay on a spot basis and not located in a designated slum or blighted area."

Finocchiaro made a copy of the draft amendment and its attachments available to "JackeHammer" late last week.

"The city has determined this modification to the (Small Business Development) loan program to allow for spot blighting and the renovation of historic structures should be permanently changed to apply to others, like myself, outside the existing districts," Finocchiaro wrote in the attached email.

Also attached was an email from City Grants Administratior Vern Morgan, written to Finocchiaro. In it, Morgan indicated the proposed ordinance, if passed, would make it possible for the City to make a loan on Finocchiaro's property but, was written much more broadly than the original draft, (as noted in this previous "JackeHammer" entry) at the suggestion of the City's law department. Morgan indicated the draft ordinance will be on the City Council's agenda for the August 10, City Council meeting.

According to the documents, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides the funding for the City's Small Business Development Loan Program (SBDLP), "and HUD regulations allow for activities to be funded on a spot basis including the correction of code violations and historic preservation," however, the documents also pointed out that currently, the SBDLP rules and regulations only allow for the correction of code violations or historic preservation in certain designated areas of the City.

The new "eligible activity" under the proposed amendment to Special Ordinance No. 25584, Chapter 3 of the SBDLP rules and regulations would allow loan eligibility for:

"Rehabilitation/renovation of a property that is eligible for, or already listed on, the Local Historic Sites Register or National Register of Historic Places when such rehabilitation/renovation meets the national objective of spot blight and slum removal (Section 208(b)(2))."


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