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Published: Thursday, 9/4/2003

Sylvania voters to decide action on Lathrop House

Sylvania voters will decide in November whether the city should end its efforts to keep the historic Lathrop House right where it is.

City Council last night agreed to put the issue before voters on Nov. 4. They will be asked if the city should discontinue efforts to take the property via eminent domain.

The house and its surrounding 3.7 acres are owned by the Catholic Diocese of Toledo and are intended by the church to be used for the expansion of the St. Joseph Church campus, across Main Street.

After City Council initiated legal action to take the house, opponents collected sufficient signatures on petitions to place the matter on the ballot. Council had no option but to approve putting the issue to a public vote, according to James Moan, city law director.

The church had taken out a demolition permit to raze the house, but that effort ended when a group was formed to save the structure, which reportedly was used as a station on the Underground Railroad.

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