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Medina puts caveats in place for Sophia Huntington Parker farmhouse

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    Local historian Suzanne Sharpe is seeking a way to save the Sophia Huntington Parker farmhouse at 347 N. Huntington St., Medina.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE FILE

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MEDINA — The Sophia Huntington Parker farmhouse must move by Nov. 1 or the city will remove the house in any fashion it deems appropriate.

That is just one caveat put in place by Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell and approved Monday by City Council when it authorized Hanwell to put the historic house up for bid.

Hanwell said he hopes to bid out the farmhouse at 347 N. Huntington St. in the coming weeks.

No date has been set.

Hanwell said he hopes to get the auction done during Council’s summer vacation with the house going to the highest or best bidder.

Medina resident Suzanne Sharpe said she hopes that’s her. She is keeping her optimism that she will emerge with the house despite the city deciding against her idea of buying the home outright for just $1.

Sharpe came into play with the house because there were plans to demolish it as part of a house swap deal between the city and Medina Schools.

The district wanted to purchase the home and trade it to the city for the Bowman House, located at 625 Bowman Lane.

The school system said it would tear down the house on Huntington, which would allow the city to expand the parking lot at Ray Mellert Park. The district would then own the Bowman House where 20 special-needs students learn life skills.

City and school officials agreed to alter those plans when Sharpe came forward with an idea to move the Huntington house as it is one of Medina’s earliest pioneer homesteads.

Sharpe said the combined cost of a new lot and to move the house on a flatbed truck is about $65,000. Sharpe said the 130-year-old Greek revival house would be moved in two sections.

Sharpe and sidekick Skip Baran received some good news Tuesday at the Medina school board meeting. The school district will pay to restore the lot left vacant if the Huntington house moves and fill in the cavity of the basement, district Business Director Jon Burkhart said.

Grass must be planted in the area, per Ohio Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.

Council said it’s unsure if anyone else will bid on the house.

Ward 3 Councilman Eric Heffinger said all he cares about is the house will be saved and the city will get the 0.629-acre lot.

Council President John Coyne said it’s prudent for an open bid on the house.

“We’ve never really given anything away unless it’s to the school,” he said. “(Auctions like these) usually go to the person most interested.”

Hanwell made seven suggestions on the sale of the house:

  • Advertise public sale and removal of home by no later than Nov. 1;
  • Bill of sale will transfer ownership of the house before the move begins;
  • The winner of the bid will pay all moving costs, as well as the costs to move utilities;
  • The winner will fill in the hole by Nov. 15, which is nullified by the school district willing to accomplish the task;
  • Bid winner will provide necessary insurance for the removal, move and placement of the home in a new location;
  • If house isn’t moved by Nov. 1, the agreement becomes null and void. At that point, city will remove the house in any fashion it deems appropriate;
  • Any other qualifications or requirements that Law Director Greg Huber deems appropriate and necessary.

In other news

During a public hearing Monday, Council considered the rezoning of 1088 S. Court St. from R-3, high density urban residential, to C-3, general commercial.

Trillium Creek LLC wants to rezone the property to install a Key Bank drive-through ATM.

Attorney Justin Eddy, of Tucker Ellis law firm, said 30-40 cars would visit the ATM on a daily basis.

David Hoek, a resident at the nearby Pinewood Condominium Association, said traffic is already overcrowded in the area.

“About 9,000 vehicles per day travel on South Court,” he said. “There have been 13 accidents in past 30 months (in the area).”

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.


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