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story.lead_photo.caption Rachel Senzee Photo by News Tribune / News Tribune.

The Jefferson City Historic Preservation Commission denied a demolition request, but it could still happen.

At its meeting Tuesday evening, the commission voted 4-1 against the demolition of a rental home in the 600 block of Waverly Street.

Neighborhood Services Supervisor Rachel Senzee said the denial doesn't really have teeth because the owner can just request a demolition permit and continue with the project.

The building was constructed in 1935, according to staff records, which makes it 86 years old.

Under city code, Senzee said, the demolition of a building over 50 years old needs to be reviewed by the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC).

Senzee said the property owner's reason for demolition is rotting floors. It is a rental property.

The owner doesn't have a redevelopment plan, she said, but he'd consider building a new home on the property.

For properties over 100 years old, if HPC votes against the demolition it stops the process unless the property owner appeals to the City Council.

However, that kind of process doesn't extend to those in the 50- to 99-year old range. The property owner can continue with the demolition request without HPC's approval.

He still needs to file for a demolition permit.

While the denial doesn't hold weight, commissioners said they wanted to take a stance rather than just let the issue die.

"At least we've still said something," HPC member Michael Berendzen said.

This is one of the issues with the historic preservation code, Senzee said, because it doesn't specify what review means for those buildings age 50 to 99 or lay out a process if the review is denied.

The city is reviewing and updating the historic preservation code to make it clearer and more streamlined. The process is expected to take around 18 months.

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