Injunction denied in case of St. Patrick's demolition - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Injunction denied in case of St. Patrick's demolition

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WATERVLIET, N.Y. -- The battle over the future of St. Patrick's Church in Watervliet has been going on for months, the demolition permit issued in January.

"You don't have to be religious to love this building," says Rosemary Nichols, a member of the Citizens for St. Patrick's.

Nichols says the church is the reason she lives in Watervliet.

"It's like tearing out my heart," she says.

Nichols says that is why the judge's decision in favor of continuing the demolition was difficult to hear, but within hours filed an appeal with the city of Watervliet zoning board of appeals.

"The stay will be pursuant to law until the zoning board of appeals renders its decision," says Nichols.

But Paul Goldman, the attorney for the city of Watervliet, says that is incorrect.  Goldman says the zoning board of appeals does not have jurisdiction to hear an appeal of an issurance of a demolition permit under a chapter of the city code, and the contractors are free to proceed.

"At the end of this, they're free to do whatever they want," says Goldman.  "There's no restraint on them at this present moment."

Goldman says there were 16 public meetings and two public hearings before the city council voted.  He says it was a well-thought out decision.

"That's what the city decided, that's what the elected officials decided," says Goldman.  "Unfortunately, we still have some people who are unhappy, but they are still residents of our city and part of our community."

But Nichols says St. Patrick's is also apart of the community and she won't stop fighting.

"We have an obligation to the community, those who care about it deeply, to make sure we have exhausted all of our legal opportunities to protect the building until saner heads prevail."


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