At the September 20th Washington City Council meeting, the council unanimously approved the major site plan for Scooter’s Coffee which will move into the lot that the historic Smouse House occupied. The demolition date for the Smouse House has been set for Monday, September 26th.
The Washington Historic Preservation Commission approved the demolition on June 20th, citing its long-term vacancy, safety hazards, and the current estimate that it would cost over $1.5 million to renovate. At the July 5th Washington City Council meeting, the council unanimously approved a demolition permit. However, the demolition could not ultimately be finalized until the National Register of Historic Places supported the demolition.
Washington Mayor Jaron Rosien spoke with KCII and talked about how much involvement the City Council had in determining what would move onto the former Smouse House lot. “The council operates in terms of codes and ordinances, which has to do with the traffic and the entrance and exits around Scooters Coffee. We want to support business and industry here in Washington, and not at the expense of other industries and businesses here in Washington. However, Council concerns are restricted to codes and ordinances and not to debate the type of business going in. Similarly, if someone wanted to have a reading event in the park, it’s not appropriate for the council to debate what book is going to be read or what a shop might sell in the square.
The next meeting of the Washington City Council will be on Tuesday, October 4th at 11:00 am in the Council Chambers at City Hall.