When the Davenport City Council ended an 18-month ordeal in December by allowing John Wisor a permit to demolish a designated historic home at 1125 Jersey Ridge Road, Mayor Bill Gluba called for a moratorium on the demolition of historic properties.
He refused to sign the demolition resolution - delaying but not stopping it from going into effect - and the Quad-City Times quoted him as saying: "I hope it sends a signal to Mr. Wisor or anyone else who seeks to flaunt the gaps in the ordinances. This council will stand up to those people."
Those were big words, and the council will soon have the opportunity to back them up.
The core issue here is "demolition by neglect" - when the owner of a historic structure lets it deteriorate to the point that it becomes financially impractical to repair or restore. This is one way that property owners get demolition permits for buildings that are protected as historically or architecturally significant or part of designated historic neighborhoods.
Later in December, the Davenport City Council passed a moratorium on issuing demolition and building permits for historic properties, allowing for a review of city code. The moratorium expires on April 1, and recommendations for code changes are expected to go before the Plan & Zoning Commission and the city council in March.