Bartles-Maguire Gas Station Survives Landmarks Commission Review

October 05, 2011
Waukesha City Hall
What may have been the last chance to save the Bartles Maguire Gas Station from impending demolition, ended in a stalemate Wednesday night at City Hall.

After hours of public debate the Waukesha Landmarks Commission reached a four-to-four vote on the petition of the Waukesha Family YMCA to rescind the landmark designation of the building so they can “raze” the 82-year-old landmark and demolish it to create more parking spaces for YMCA members.

Stan Riffles, past Director and attorney representing the Waukesha Family YMCA vehemently contended that the Landmarks Commission is duty bound to honor their petition to rescind the landmark status.  Riffles contended that they have acted in good faith to sell the historic building, but the landmark status has prevented them from doing so.  He further stated that the language of the ordinance demands that the landmark status be rescinded and further contended that the commission’s hands are tied.  However, evidence presented at the hearing by both citizens and the city attorney appears to demonstrate that Riffle’s contentions are misplaced.

The Waukesha Family YMCA purchased Walley’s Service Station for $152,500 and is selling the property for $159,900.  However, a recent assessment by the City Assessor established that the property’s fair market value is less than $115,000.00, more than $40,000 less than what the YMCA is asking.

Coupling those facts with the current economic recession, four of the Waukesha Landmarks Commission members were not persuaded that the YMCA met their burden under the law of acting in good faith to sell the property, thereby refusing to grant the petition to rescind the landmark status of Walley’s.

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