Niagara Gazette — The Niagara Falls Historic Preservation Commission has delayed action on an application for a local landmark designation in anticipation of further information.
The group is considering an application from Christopher Puchalski, a history buff who has led the charge to protect the chimney, but decided to table a measure to approve a public hearing and comment schedule while waiting to hear from the city's attorney and other department heads on the status of the chimney, as it will need to be moved as part of the Robert Moses Parkway South reconfiguration project set to begin this fall.
Jamie Robideau, the commission chair, suggested the group revisit the matter, which was moved to table by commission member Christopher Stoianoff, when it had heard more from the parties involved during a monthly meeting on Wednesday.
"We have nothing to lose by tabling it now," Robideau said.
The commissioners voted unanimously to table the matter.
The commission's action has been further complicated in that the New York Power Authority, the entity that owns the land the chimney rests on in the embankment of the parkway, asserts that it also owns the chimney, in which case Puchalski's application would be considered void.
Only an owner of a property or the commission can put forward an application for local landmark status.
The power authority sent a letter to the city claiming that it owned the chimney with attached documentation, including the deed, and asking the city to deny the application.
Robideau said he did not feel that the commission would find support with the city council, which would have to approve the landmark status, if the they decided to move the application forward on their own.
"My feeling is that we're sort of swimming against the current," Robideau said.