Historical Society Director Takes Different Tack To Save Bella Vino Building

By
Alyssa Hansen

Dateline
Updated Wed, Jan 18, 2012 5:20 pm

Athens County Historical Society Director Ron Luce is trying a new strategy in an effort to save a historic Athens building.    

At the Athens City Planning Commission meeting today, Luce asked that Athens businessman Ric Wasserman act as a humanitarian, give up the property on West Stimson Avenue, and let it be sold to someone who will keep the historic structure.  
 
But Wasserman was having none of it and indicated he's going ahead with his plans to tear down the building. He also said he resented having to attend another planning commission meeting to defend himself.
 
Luce says he's concerned about zoning and the problems this could cause for the city. "There's a serious violation of code, in my opinion.  I am convinced that if we go forward with what was decided last week, it just creates chaos of our code in this entire city.  Our code, in my opinion, essentially means nothing if we can twist it and distort it to mean anything that we want it to mean," says Luce.
 
The planning commission last week approved construction of an apartment building where Bella Vino, a specialty wine and beer store, is located.   
 
Luce's arguments appear to be falling on deaf ears. City law director Pat Lang has already said he will fight any potential lawsuit.
 
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