Church says it can't rehab historic home -QCTimes
Here are the two quotes I found humorous.
“The issue here is whether government can tell you to take your dollars and put them into a building,” he said. “The city would be forcing the church to take money from its congregation to preserve the property. This is an issue of basic private property rights.” -Alderman Hamerlinck
“It’s easy for us to sit here and tell people what they can and can’t do,” he said. “But unless we are willing to cough up the bucks, this is really a form of condemnation.” -Alderman Lynn
So now the city can't tell private property owners what they can and can't do with their property? Well, I guess that means that residents can build an addition that goes right to their property line, stop shoveling their walks or mowing their yard, start storing rusty cars in their backyards, build a 10 story building with bare 22 gauge wiring for all electrical outlets, have unmarked doors that open into 50 foot chasms, and of course tear anything down that they own, no matter how historic. They also can't be forced to maintain property they have bought, because that would be "forcing them to spend money." Strange, but I think Shawn just insisted that we do that to Menards.
Wait a second, none of that's true, because we very much DO tell people what they can and can't do. Its called codes, zoning, laws, etc. Historic properties are just one more of the many ways that communities do indeed control what people do with their private property. I guess neither of these Alderman teach that class.
As far as Shawn's comment, I don't see where the city is forcing the church to spend any money. If their plan to renovate the house has failed, they should sell it. If I bought 20 acres in a residential area to build homes, but it turned out I didn't have the money, I couldn't just build a factory instead. I would have to bite the bullet and sell the land. It seems clear that the church either made a mistake by buying this home, or planned all along to use it for much-needed parking for their large new sanctuary. I really don't want to accuse a church of lying, so I'll assume they just made an unfortunate mistake. I don't see why this historic home should suffer for it.