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Murray Journal

Lawsuit to preserve historical buildings proceeds

Mar 07, 2018 02:18PM ● By Shaun Delliskave

Kathleen Stanford alleges Murray City Planning Commission decision was made inappropriately. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)

A Third District Court judge has agreed to proceed with a lawsuit against Murray City filed by plaintiff Kathleen Stanford to preserve the historical Murray LDS First Ward and Carnegie Library complex (184 E. Vine Street). Murray City and JR Miller/Dakota Properties submitted a motion to dismiss the case, but on Jan. 22 the motion was denied by Judge Keith Kelly. A hearing date for the case was set for March 19.

The case alleges that the certificate of appropriateness granted by the Murray City Planning Commission, which would eventually result in the demolition of four historical buildings, was granted arbitrarily and inappropriately. JR Miller and Dakota properties asked to be a defendant.  

“I took the small window of opportunity to file my appeal in Third District Court,” said Stanford. 

Stanford contends the certificate was granted arbitrarily. She notes from the city’s General Plan that these historical buildings were designated for the city to preserve them, also contending that recommendations from the History Advisory board were ignored, and the city code violated in the way the process was carried out.

In a separate statement, Preserve Murray—not part of this lawsuit but involved in trying to preserve the former home of Mount Vernon Academy—said, “The outcome of this hearing can greatly determine what steps will be taken next by Preserve Murray in regards to the historic property at Mount Vernon Academy.”

“As I talk with citizens around the city there are two common misconceptions that I hear.  They either think everything has been decided and the buildings will be demolished, or they think the developer has backed out because the buildings are up for sale again. Both of these ideas are false,” said Stanford.

Preserve Murray and Stanford are also trying to raise funds to purchase the buildings.

Murray City had no comment on the pending litigation, but Mayor Blair Camp said, “I hope it will be resolved soon.”