October 29, 2013
The developer for the Landmark Hotel says he has done his part to keep vandals out of the Downtown Mall site. But city officials don’t see it that way.
Almost two weeks after he was due to submit a plan to secure the unfinished hotel structure; Atlanta-based developer John Dewberry submitted a response instead.
In a letter, Dewberry said he could "no more control a graffiti artists from climbing my fence than you can a bunch of teenagers head strong to roll your home, trees and yard".
Jim Tolbert of Neighborbood Development Services says they want a plan, not a response.
"It’s safety as much as anything. I mean graffiti is illegal, and should be removed by the property owner. This property owner is not making any effort to do so."
So what’s next? Tolbert says if Dewberry does not come up with a plan to secure the building, the Planning Commission will bring a one to Charlottesville City Council.
And in that case, Dewberry will be responsible for footing the bill for whatever they decide to do. Tolbert says ideally, Dewberry will come up with a plan to secure the structure and there will be no need for the city to step in.
In the meantime, the hotel that was once a symbol of the booming downtown business remains a shell of building filled with trash and littered with graffiti.