As an Oakwood resident, I am appalled with the Board of Adjustment’s decision regarding Louis Cherry’s nearly completed house. When the March 11 news article “Oakwood construction to stop” accurately summarized the opposition to the house and the completely sound reasons it was approved, I had hoped the BOA would use its month delay in certification to realize its mistake in derailing the decision of the Raleigh Historic Development Commission to approve the project.
I have listened to the strident concerns of the relatively small minority of Oakwood folks who are involved with the Society for the Preservation of Historic Oakwood board. They are not the representatives of Oakwood residents and are partisan to a rigid view of historic preservation, partly to protect their property values.
The current controversy is not about preservation but about new construction, and the current guidelines clearly allow for construction of Cherry’s personal dwelling. Most of my neighbors believe that Cherry, having followed all procedures and received approval, has the right to build his house as he sees fit.
The issue does not rest on the validity of modernist style, though it is an important historic style with deep roots in the Raleigh community. The issues are civility and fairness (and now that the house is nearly complete, common sense).