As Eric Kelly and Justin Huerta stood before the board with their revised proposal, board member Mickey Thompson said, "I have to commend you. You've come a long way with this."
Originally, the plan was to construct a 41'x61' metal roof over the existing patio area at Hey Joe's and the structure would consist of an exposed steel frame with a metal roof and short iron and brick fence along the edges.
Raymond Huerta originally appeared before the heritage commission and explained this design was to be considered a Phase I addition with hopes of enclosing the space at a later date similar to a previously approved design if building codes would allow this without a sprinkler system.
The commission consulted the "Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation" and the "Crosstie Historic District Guidelines,” finding that any new work should be compatible with the historic materials, features, size, scale and proportion and massing to protect the integrity of the property and its environment, additions should remain secondary to the principle building, and new buildings should utilize traditional building materials.
According to these guidelines this design would sacrifice the integrity of the building.
The heritage commission then decided that the proposal was not appropriate for the Crosstie Historic District and denied the request.
Huerta then appeared before Cleveland Planning Commission to appeal the decision made by the heritage commission.
The planning commission, acting as the board of appeals, denied Huerta despite its support of expanding local business on the grounds that the heritage commission's decision was "valid and based on adopted standards originating from the 'Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation" and from the 'Crosstie Historic District Guidelines.'"
Appearing before the Cleveland Board of Aldermen was Huerta’s next step a third appeal.
Brett Moorman, Cleveland Community Development, director, told board members that heritage and planning couldn't approve because it doesn't follow the guidelines.
After hearing about the different appeals, Mayor Billy Nowell said, "There's got to be some sort of compromise."
The next step was to revise the previous design and once again appear before the Cleveland Heritage Commission, which happened Tuesday.
Eric Kelly and Justin Huerta, along with an audience of supporters appeared before the commission with a revised structure that included a two-story patio and an open ceiling with steel beams.
"We went back to what we originally proposed and have come back with brick to tie back into the existing structure and then we're really wanting to do the exposed steel coming out of the second level," said Kelly.
"You know that's totally inappropriate for this district," said Jonette Valentine.
"Is this passable? Can we make this work?" Kelly asked.
Valentine said they would try their very best.
"The building will look like it's connected and been there 100 years and through the steel we want to show growth; new development coming out of the old. We think that might be a really nice feature and it kind of screams 'Hey Joe's," said Kelly.
"We know you want an open look," said Thompson.
"It's classy, it's going to be a nice look. We want people to say 'wow, that's cool.' It's going to say something about what we're trying to do here in Cleveland," said Kelly.
Kelly explained through the design process they have stayed with the city as far as safety codes and the open-air design helps with fire safety and codes as well.
Kelly also assured the commission that the sign would be the exact same just moved forward and the brick pattern will be the same as the rest of the building.
"I think this looks a whole lot better than the shoe polish we used to have on the windows," Mickey Thompson said in reference to when the building was a pawnshop.
The commission then asked for comments from the audience.
Matty Bengloff, owner of Delta Dairy and teacher for the Clarksdale Municipal School District spoke first and said, "I just wanted to speak to what the Huerta's are doing. I'm not from here, I grew up in New York City and I moved to the Delta and I wasn't particularly attached to any town. I moved to Cleveland because I saw it as a place that was thriving and I felt that I could one day send my kids to get a public school education. I think it's really important that we make it easy for local folks to open small businesses and improve those small businesses downtown. Yeah, we're getting a Krystal's out on the highway but does that really improve Cleveland and make it special to anywhere else? When young people or old people want to invest in downtown and get people living downtown and spend time downtown I can tell you that when we bring people to live downtown to live, work, and shop, we make ourselves unique to other places like suburbs like Madison where it's all shopping plazas and everything is identical. We should try to encourage others to do this and make it easy for them to do this.
Mike Carr, an attorney in Cleveland, said, "I want to echo the statements of Mr. Thompson because I remember when that building had shoe polish on the walls and was an old pawnshop. It's really come a long way and I want to publicly thank the Huerta family for their vision and the many many things they've done for downtown Cleveland and the surrounding area. They've really set apart our town from other municipalities in the Delta that are not doing so well. I think not enough credit is given to them for what they have done for us and this is another great step forward and I'm glad they were willing to take their personal resources and their vision and put it continually into our town as they are doing here."
A motion was made to accept the proposal and the motion was approved.
After the meeting several of the board members commended the Huertas on the improved look of the building.