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City cites owner of historic Janesville home

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
August 27, 2009
— The owner of the Lovejoy mansion has been cited for demolition without a permit or review by the Janesville Historic Commission.

Brad Goodrich has been ordered to submit material to the commission so he can seek approval to complete the work on the Lovejoy house at 220 St. Lawrence Ave.


Brad Cantrell, Janesville’s community development director, said his staff has been in discussions with Goodrich for several weeks.


Goodrich runs the Ekklasia Foundation in the former mansion, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Goodrich started work on the building last year, but the commission in November ordered him to stop after he removed decorative detailing and plastered over other details with EIFS, a concrete/stucco-like material.


A property owner in the historic overlay is required to get a building permit for exterior work, and the first step is appearing before the historic commission. The commission can’t forbid the work, but it can delay it for six months if the parties disagree.


The historic commission in November asked Goodrich to appear before he continued work. He has not done so.


The city issued the recent citation after staff members learned that Goodrich demolished the rear stoop, Cantrell said.


The city has asked Goodrich to submit his plans in the next 30 days so the historic commission can evaluate them, Cantrell said.


“He’s been removing details of the home without a review by the historic commission,” he added.


The citation, issued Aug. 24, carries a fine of no less than $250 but no more than $1,000 per offense. That can be compounded daily until he meets the city’s conditions.


Goodrich submitted some information in June that was incomplete, Cantrell said. The city has been waiting for more.


On Aug. 21, Goodrich also was issued an order to resume his efforts to renovate the nearby Mercy Manor, the former nursing home that he owns at 119 S Parker Drive.


Goodrich in 2007 received a conditional-use permit to renovate the building into an assisted-living facility. That conditional-use permit has now expired.


Neighbors have complained frequently about the mess surrounding the building.


Now, financing for the project appears to have stalled, and liens have been issued against the property.


Goodrich has 30 days to get a new conditional-use permit and financing, resolve the liens and submit the building plan for final review, Cantrell said.


If Goodrich does not address the demands, the city could consider another course, including a raze-or-repair order, Cantrell said.


“He (Goodrich) has cleaned up around the site. We have to give him credit for that,” Cantrell said. “ … But there’s been very little progress on completing this project.


“I guess where we’re kind of at is, where do we go from here? He just needs to give us an indication of what’s happening and what he intends to do.”


The city hopes the citation and order will give Goodrich impetus to move forward, Cantrell said.



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