Man fights to demolish historic home - WNEM TV 5

Man fights to demolish historic home

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

He asked for permission to move his historic home, but the city said no.

Now he is calling for the wrecking ball, but he can't do that without permission from the historic district commission.

The historic home is on Center Avenue in Bay City.

"Walls have been ruined, floors have been ruined, doors have been buckled. The window sills have been buckled," said Dr. Don Sabourin, homeowner.

In January of 2016 a water pipe split in the home.

"Filled the house on the second flood with 30,000 gallons that rained down through the rest of the house," Sabourin said.

He said his insurance company called the home a total loss. He said it would take hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair the home, which is why he is looking to demolish it.

"It's not something I wanted to do," Sabourin said.

It is not an easy process. He appealed to the Bay City Historical Board on Wednesday. After a grueling two hours of questioning and public comment, the board postponed their decision.

The board said Sabourin needed more proof of financial loss.

"There's so much emotion on both sides of the fence that it's really hard to come up with a decision and be fair. Again, the historic district commission can't do anything but go by the guidelines established by the state," said Joel Labrie, with the board.

Sabourin said he believes the entire situation could have been prevented if the board let him move the house in 2015, but they denied his appeal. His neighbor agrees.

"I think the problem was brought about by the historical commission not allowing him to move it. At this point in time, I think the only answer is to demolish it," said Fay Smith, neighbor.

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