Charlottesville Planning Commission Declares Landmark Blighted - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Charlottesville Planning Commission Declares Landmark Blighted

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The Charlottesville Planning Commission officially declared the skeletal Landmark Hotel building blighted, or unsafe, and is now giving the owner a time table to make some changes.

Two options on the table Tuesday night were to make the building safe until the project can be finished or demolish the building. Even though the planning commission went with the first option, demolition is not completely off the table.

“This is very visible from the graffiti that you see all the way at the top of the building. It's obvious that folks are getting in there,” said Jim Tolbert, Charlottesville’s director of neighborhood development.

The planning commission voted to have owner of the building, John Dewberry, make the building safer. Although the commission unanimously voted to give him 30 days to install a taller fence and add security cameras among other preventative measures, demolishing the building was discussed.

"I would recommend a variant on option 2, which is that we move to un-landmark the Landmark Hotel with a partial demolition,” said planning commissioner Genie Keller.

Many from the public agreed, calling the building a dangerous eyesore.

"I would like the city to take strong measures to demand that something be done with the property. It's a danger to everybody else downtown,” said Michael Williams, who spoke out at the commission’s meeting.

Dewberry must also have a structural report done and must report on the condition of the building every four months. If the condition fails inspection, the planning commission could then ask for demolition.

The issue must still go before City Council for final approval. NBC29 did reach out to Dewberry to see why he didn't attend Tuesday night's meeting, but has not yet heard back from him.

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