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Critics blame 'bureaucracy at its worst" for Frederick cabin dilemma | News

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Critics blame 'bureaucracy at its worst" for Frederick cabin dilemma
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FREDERICK, Md. (WUSA9) -- A public hearing Thursday night opened the door to potentially demolish a crumbling 200-year-old log cabin on East 5th street in Frederick that critics say is beyond saving and has become a serious safety hazard.

"I'm a little nervous standing here," Billy Shreve, Frederick County Commissioner said.

Shreve advocates tearing the cabin down as soon as possible, citing a report from a preservation expert who finds that the structure is beyond saving and is of little value except for some historic hardware that might be recovered.

The structure, known as the Rose cabin, was abandoned by its last owners and heirs and is on the verge of collapse, threatening passing pedestrians and neighboring properties. It may once have been a slave quarters.

The Frederick City Historic Preservation Commission has been split on whether to allow demolition. Shreve calls the paralysis "bureaucracy at its worst".

The cabin is currently owned by Frederick Habitat for Humanity, which purchased it in 2005 with a verbal understanding with city officials that it would be demolished to make way for affordable housing.

"We tried every avenue possible to get this house to a better place, but there is no better place," Ron Cramer, Habitat for Humanity president said. 

Cramer says the non-profit is giving up and will deed the property to the city of Frederick.

A representative for the Historic Preservation Commission declined to be interviewed by WUSA9.

After a two-week study period, the commission will meet again to make a final decision on a possible demolition. 

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