RALEIGH: Judge: No timeline in 'modern' Oakwood home decision - WSMV Channel 4

Judge: No timeline in 'modern' Oakwood home decision

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Some neighbors in Oakwood complain Louis Cherry's design is too contemporary for the historic neighborhood. Some neighbors in Oakwood complain Louis Cherry's design is too contemporary for the historic neighborhood.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

The fate of a contemporary home under construction in an historic downtown Raleigh neighborhood is in now in the hands of a judge.

Superior Court Judge Elaine Bushfan heard closing arguments Tuesday in the case of a "modern" home being constructed in Oakwood, but said there's no timeline for her decision because of the amount of paperwork.

The rift between the neighborhood and architect Louis Cherry and his wife Marsha Gordon began last September when the couple received approval from the city's Historic Development Commission to start building the home.

But in November, Gail Weisner, who lives directly across the street from the construction, asked the city's Board of Adjustment to review that finding, arguing the home did not fit in with the turn-of-the-century architecture surrounding it.

In March, the city Board of Adjustment voted 3-2 to put construction on the home on hold.

While many believe the controversy surrounding 516 Euclid Street is dividing the Oakwood district, neighbors on both sides of the debate say that is not the case.

"We are a passionate group," said Don Becom, an Oak City Preservation Alliance member who opposes the design of the home. "We agree on some issues and we don't on others. But we're still friends and neighbors and that's what it's all about."

But not all of Oakwood's residents oppose Cherry's home. Flanked by several of his neighbors, Donald Mutrud said the modern home is why he decided to buy on the same block.

"That was one of the deciding factors to pull the trigger on my house," Mutrud said.

Mutrud along with supporters of the modern style home believe the house is a good thing for Oakwood.

"There is a group of us that wants to make sure that it's known that we think it's compatible with things in this district," Mary Dillon said. "That will add to the richness and diversity of the neighborhood."

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