JEFFERSONVILLE — The Indiana Department of Transportation will have to find somewhere else to place a home being moved to make way for the Ohio River Bridges Project.
Jeffersonville’s Board of Zoning Appeals denied a variance to move a home from 116 Fort St. to a vacant lot at 409 E. Maple St. The home was one of the properties slated to be moved as part of a settlement agreement the state reached with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
According to the settlement agreement, priority was given to relocate five homes that contributed to the historic character of downtown Jeffersonville slated for destruction to make way for the bridges project, with a preference to relocate them within in the city’s historic district. The settlement agreement was the result of a lawsuit between the National Trust for Historic Preservation, conservancy group River Fields Inc., the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Indiana Department of Transportation.
To resolve the legal action and be able to move forward on the Ohio River Bridges project, the states’ transportation agencies agreed to dedicate $1.7 million to a historic preservation and enhancement fund. The relocation of the five homes were given priority consideration for the funding.
Greg Sekula, director of the Indiana Landmarks Southern Regional Office, said that four of the five homes that will be relocated have lots secured to move them. The home remaining was the house at 116 Fort St.
Two lots remained where the home could be placed inside the historic district, and an attempt a month earlier to locate the home at one site, with a variance, was denied by the Board of Zoning Appeals.
A variance is requested when a property or home does not meet the current zoning standards and must get a special approval to build or locate in the manner requested. The variance sought Tuesday was to allow the home to be a total of 1 foot — about six inches on each side of the home — closer to its neighboring structures that what is normally allowed through zoning.