Residents Speak Out Against Proposed Demolition in Hinsdale

Dec 8, 2023 7:54 am CST | Updated Dec 8, 2023 7:57 am CST

In a passionate meeting held on Wednesday, residents of Hinsdale voiced their concerns and objections to the proposed demolition of a historic house. The chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission ultimately decided against allowing a vote on the demolition, leading to further tensions between the homeowners and the commission.

The house in question, located at 425 E. Eighth St., was sold for $2.5 million a year ago to Jeff and Nicole Cantalupo. They have expressed their desire to tear down the existing 2½-story home and replace it with a new one, a trend that has been observed in Hinsdale for some time now. However, the residents, led by Cathy Moran, strongly opposed this decision, citing the loss of affordable housing and the creation of an “elitist society.”

Moran, who grew up in Hinsdale, emphasized the importance of entry-level pricing and homes that were once available to the community. She lamented the demolition of the Sears prefab homes in west Hinsdale, which were originally affordable starter homes. “Our parents were able to come to Hinsdale because there was entry-level pricing and entry-level homes. That is no more. We have created an elitist society, and that’s not right,” Moran expressed emotionally.

Shari Sexton McNerney, who grew up in the Eighth Street house, pleaded with the architect and builder to consider alternative locations in southeast Hinsdale. McNerney’s attachment to her childhood home was evident as she fought back tears during the meeting.

Chairman John Bohnen, although his decision was only advisory, stated that the replacement house violated the village’s zoning code and that the process was rushed without any preliminary meetings. He also cautioned the owners about potential issues with utilities during the winter months and emphasized the village’s zero tolerance policy towards demolition by neglect.

The meeting ended with applause from the audience in support of Chairman Bohnen’s decision. The homeowners and their architect, Abraham, were left to ponder their next steps, including potential legal recourse.

This gathering highlighted the ongoing conflict between residents and developers in Hinsdale, reflecting the broader tensions surrounding the preservation of historical and affordable housing in communities undergoing rapid development. The fate of the Hinsdale house now hangs in the balance, as stakeholders weigh the economic benefits of new construction against the loss of community history and affordability.

FAQ:

1. What is the main topic of the article?
The article discusses a passionate meeting held in Hinsdale regarding the proposed demolition of a historic house.

2. Who are the key stakeholders in this situation?
The key stakeholders include the homeowners, Jeff and Nicole Cantalupo, the residents led by Cathy Moran, the chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission, Chairman John Bohnen, and the architect and builder involved.

3. What was the decision made by Chairman John Bohnen?
Chairman John Bohnen decided against allowing a vote on the demolition, citing violations of the village’s zoning code and a rushed process without preliminary meetings.

4. What were the objections raised by the residents?
The residents strongly opposed the demolition, citing the loss of affordable housing and the creation of an “elitist society.” They emphasized the importance of entry-level pricing and homes that were once available to the community.

5. What potential issues did Chairman Bohnen caution the homeowners about?
Chairman Bohnen cautioned the owners about potential issues with utilities during the winter months and emphasized the village’s zero tolerance policy towards demolition by neglect.

Definitions:

1. Historic Preservation Commission: The Historic Preservation Commission is a governing body responsible for preserving and protecting historic buildings, structures, and landmarks.

2. Demolition: Demolition refers to the act of tearing down or destroying a building or structure.

3. Zoning Code: A zoning code is a set of regulations that define land use and building requirements within a particular area or municipality.

4. Elitist Society: An elitist society refers to a social structure where a small group of privileged individuals hold power or influence, often at the expense of others.

Suggested Related Links:
– Hinsdale Official Website
– National Trust for Historic Preservation

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