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Judge halts unauthorized demo of Troy building, orders owner to install supports

TROY — A Troy judge has ruled to halt the demolition of the historical building that was partially knocked down without approval Wednesday.

A hearing was held Wednesday afternoon about the property located at 112-118 W. Main Street.

At the hearing, Chief Building Officer Rob England testified that the building, in its current condition, remained “unsafe” and had structural issues that “could result in collapse.” England had no opinion if the building was in “imminent danger of collapse,” according to court records filed late Wednesday night.

>> PHOTOS: Troy property owner starts demo without city approval

Since there wasn’t an imminent risk, Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Stacy Wall ordered the building owner “shore up the busted header and sagging bricks on the south wall.” Wall ruled that the owner has until Friday at noon to do so.

The property owner was also ordered to place all debris on-site in

“We will be monitoring compliance with Judge Wall’s orders, which we believe are in the best interest of the community at this time. We will also be completing our own structural engineering analysis in anticipation of the Tuesday, April 4 court hearing on the City’s injunction against the property owner,” Troy Mayor Robin Oda said in a post to the City of Troy’s Facebook page.

News Center 7 reported Wednesday that the building owner got a work crew to start demolition around 3 a.m.

Julie McMiller, the secretary of a nonprofit called the Troy Historical Preservation Alliance (THPA), to Mike Campbell that her organization had been fighting the proposed demolition for three years.

“It has a very high historic significance. It was our third courthouse for the county and it has huge significance for the black community,” McMiller said.

THPA claimed one of the three interconnected buildings helped liberated slaves get paperwork documenting them as free individuals.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: ‘Flagrant attempt to bypass the law;’ Troy property owner starts demo on building without approval

A new owner bought the building in 2018 and planned to demolish it after it was damaged by a tornado in 2020. He was granted permission by the city’s Zoning Commission and then the Board of Zoning Appeals.

“They voted four to three in both of those forums to tear the building down, to allow the demolition to go forward and we took it to court in Miami County and we won,” McMiller said.

The building owner appealed that decision and the THPA won the case less than a week ago in the Second District Court of Appeals in Montgomery County, but the owner believed he had permission from Miami County and the city to take the building down after it was storm-damaged again over the weekend.

Patrick Titterington, Troy’s Director of Public Services and Safety, said he made it “quite clear” that the owner didn’t have approval to start the construction. He said he learned of the early-morning demolition work and walked over to the site, giving workers an oral stop work order. The owner ignored it until the city’s law director obtained the injunction.

“There was some miscommunication or misinterpretation or difference of opinion,” Titterington said.

McMiller called the owner’s action to tear down the building without authorization a “flagrant attempt to bypass the law and take down one of the most historic buildings in downtown Troy.”