On Dec. 8, city council will again consider whether a North Sandusky Street home currently eyed by Delaware County officials for demolition should be included in the city's historic district.

On Dec. 8, city council will again consider whether a North Sandusky Street home currently eyed by Delaware County officials for demolition should be included in the city's historic district.

The home, at 116 N. Sandusky St. and known as the Leffler Building, came under scrutiny after Delaware County officials targeted the land on which it sits for construction of a new county courts facility.

Subsequently, April Nelson, a Delaware resident and former six-year member of the Delaware Historical Preservation Commission, petitioned the HPC to expand its historic district to include the home.

She was motivated, she said, by a desire to preserve the structure, which was built around 1910 and was home to William McKenzie, a Delaware entrepreneur who ran a local lumber company, founded a bank and was credited with helping revitalize the city following the destruction wrought by a 1913 flood.

Nelson also said she believes the house should be included in the city's historic district so any new structure built on the property would be subject to more stringent architectural review and standards by the city.

"Extending the district does not prevent the building of a courthouse on this site -- in fact, it's an appropriate site for a courthouse," she said. "Nor does it prevent demolition."

In recent months, the HPC voted 5-2 to expand the district to include the home, and the city's planning commission levied a split, 3-3 vote on the matter.

Because there wasn't a majority planning commission vote, at least five city council members would have to vote in support of the historic district expansion in order to expand the district.

Delaware city manager Tom Homan and the city's planning and community development staff oppose adding the property to the historic district. They said the site doesn't fit the city's definition of a property of cultural or historical significance. They said renovations to the original structure already have taken place, and it's vital to the city that the new courthouse remains in Delaware.

"I don't want to lose that institutional use there," Homan said.

On Monday, fourth-ward councilman and HPC member Andrew Brush maintained his support for expanding the district. Other council members, however, hadn't made up their minds and decided to take the matter to at least another meeting.

Current HPC chair Roger Koch asked council to delay a decision until 2009, noting current county commissioners Glenn Evans and Jim Ward are lame ducks who will step down in January after being voted out of office, and commissioner Kris Jordan will leave to join the Ohio House of Representatives.

Evans' and Ward's respective replacements, Ken O'Brien and Tommy Thompson, have said they won't support current plans to build the $51-million courts building Evans and Ward have approved.

Delaware County auditor Todd Hanks, who also is a candidate to replace Jordan as commissioner, has refused to sign off on a sale of county bonds which would fund the project.

"If you are inclined not to extend the review authority of HPC over this piece of land, then I would encourage you tabling this (matter) for two more hearings," Koch said.

Although consideration of the historic district expansion was on council's agenda last Monday and county officials were notified that the issue would be discussed, no county representatives attended the meeting.