Private Property Rights Questioned Over Lakewood's Heideloff House

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Over the past few weeks, a battle of the past, present and future has been playing out at Lakewood City Hall. The property in question, the Heideloff House on Edgewater Drive, is in the midst of a debate over historic preservation and the rights of private property owners.

The Lakewood Planning Commission deferred any action on the matter during a meeting last night, according to Lakewood Patch, but here's the gist so far:

Stacey and Michael Semaan, currently living in Strongsville, own the 98-year-old home at 13474 Edgewater Drive. Original plans to live there - and subsequent plans to renovate the home - fell through when all repair options were deemed cost prohibitive. The family soon decided to demolish the home and build anew.

Enter neighbor Jeff Weber and other families from the area. They've submitted proposals for the historic designation of the property, a move that would effectively kill plans to knock down the house. The commission recently ruled that the house does qualify for the designation, but it has not yet conferred it.

Per the city code, anyone may submit a property for historic designation; it does not need to be done by the property owner.

At this point, the dueling questions of whether the home is approved for demolition and whether the home will earn historic designation are working through two of Lakewood's boards and commissions - monthly meetings that take place on different weeks. Approval of either measure would cancel the other out.

About The Author

Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
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