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Court order stops demolition of Hyde Park home

Friday, May 22, 2009 by Austin Monitor

Members of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association on Wednesday intervened in a lawsuit between the owner of the potentially historic Bradford-Nohra House and the city, and, at least temporarily, stopped the owner from demolishing the house.


District Judge Steven Yelenosky issued the Temporary Restraining Order and set a hearing for June 4, according to the neighborhood’s attorney, Phil Durst.


David Conner, president of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association, confirmed the issuance of the TRO to prevent destruction of the house, built in 1913. The family of 96-year old woman who lives in the house had sued the city to prevent the Council from designating it as historic.


The City of Austin issued a demolition permit for the house on Monday after learning that the vote by the Historic Landmark Commission in June 2008 was insufficient to deny the demolition permit. That 3-2 vote started the chain of events that sent the zoning case forward to the City Council for historic designation.


However, after the restraining order was issued, the city was required to suspend the permit. City Attorney David Smith said that happened on Thursday.


“It’s a tough situation because there’s strong feelings (on both sides) about what’s the right thing to happen,” Smith said.


The Council gave preliminary approval to historic zoning for the house at 4213 Avenue G in late March. The case had been set on Thursday’s Council agenda for final approval but it has now been postponed indefinitely.

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