Demolition by Neglect in Arizona
In addition to serving as the Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer in Phoenix, AZ, Christopher Cody seeks to tackle the most serious preservation challenge in Arizona: demolition-by-neglect. Historic structures are threatened by absent owners who do not provide the necessary maintenance to keep the property stable, thus requiring demolition. Many of these structures are within historic downtown areas. Cody’s goal was to research and develop model demolition-by-neglect ordinances for use across the state of Arizona, to produce supporting legal research for said ordinances, to identify legislative and legal barriers to their enactment, and develop a legislative advocacy plan if changes in state law are required.
Cody combined his own experience as an attorney with that of his mentor, Will Cook, an attorney with Cultural Heritage Partners, LLP and a nationally recognized expert in historic preservation law concerning demolition-by-neglect ordinances, to produce a toolkit that includes model ordinances, legal research, and a legislative action plan. This project will greatly benefit local, state, and national preservation efforts for endangered historic structures.