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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