Man wins fight to tear down historic Bay City home - WNEM TV 5

Man wins fight to tear down historic Bay City home

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Bay City is home to dozens of beautiful historic homes and buildings.

One of those iconic homes is in the process of being demolished.

Some residents have fought hard the past few months to try and preserve the historic structure.

“It’s sickening. It’s a crime,” said Jane Wittbrodt, historic homeowner. “My heart is broken and I feel betrayed that it was allowed to happen.”

The historic home on Bay City’s iconic Center Avenue is in the process of demolition.

The owner of the property, Donald Sabourin, said it’s a sigh of relief.

“We’re really excited to kind of close this chapter of this whole long three-year ordeal,” Sabourin said.

He originally had big plans for the home. He wanted to move it to another lot down the street and restore it, but the Bay City Historic District Commission said no.

Afterward, the pipes burst causing extensive damage.

“The insurance company deemed it a total loss,” Sabourin said.

That led to a fight to tear it down. It’s a fight Sabourin eventually won, but at a cost to the commission.

“There were three historic district commissioners who resigned over that decision,” Wittbrodt said. “It’s a sad day, a very sad day.”

Not every neighbor feels that way.

“It’s not a viable house anymore. So, I don’t have a problem with it going down,” said Warren Smith, historic homeowner. “I thought the lot was gonna look better anyway. So, I guess I’m the winner.”

Sabourin said once the house comes down he has big plans for the property, but he’s keeping it a secret.

“It’ll come out in the historic district commission meeting because we will have to have a vote on it. But it’ll be very appropriate for our house,” Sabourin said.

He said the demolition will take about a week to complete.

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