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Syracuse's Ronald McDonald House on the move

Council votes to override Landmark Preservation Board on historic designation:

"Excuse me, we're trying to conduct our meeting," Hon. Bethaida (Bea) Gonz lez had to remind the crowd at City Hall after a vote that ended the dispute over the property at 1100 E. Genesee St.

In a 3 to 6 vote at the Common Council meeting Monday, the house owned by the Ronald McDonald House was not designated as historic like the Syracuse Landmark Preservation Board had recommended.

A super majority, a vote of seven, was needed to pass the historical designation, dividing the Council with three "No's" for the only split during the meeting.

"In the event that the council decides to reject the recommendation there should be a reasoned basis in order to be legally defensible," said Nancy Larson, at the Common Council Study Session Monday before the vote.

Syracuse Common Councilor Michael Heagerty, who was the swing vote on this issue, does not believe they could substantiate historical designation.

"They couldn't prove who built the home, nobody significant had lived in the home, nothing that created any kind of history in our city happened in that home.

There are several other pieces that could've been close but in my book they weren't close enough," he said.

Syracuse Common Councilor Kathleen Joy was one of six who voted to adopt the recommendation of the Landmark Preservation Board and the Planning Commission and to approve the designation.

"It's about following the city charter and city ordinances in the historic designation process," Joy said. "We must follow that process regardless of how we feel personally about the project or about the organization."

Although Syracuse Common Councilor Van B. Robinson also voted in favor of designation, not as a judgement to the purpose the building is to be used, but in adherence of the current laws and ordinances, he stated "A meeting will be called almost immediately to review and amend our existing ordinances."

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