Dunes Action is
alleging that state law governing historic structures was violated in
connection with the Pavilion project at Indiana Dune State Park.
The group has
outlined the alleged violation in a letter sent on Tuesday to Department of
Natural Resources Director Cameron Clark, the Indiana Attorney General’s
Office, the Governor’s Office, and several state legislators.
“Our research shows
that in early 2015 the DNR did not follow state-mandated procedures
regarding historic structures,” said Dunes Action member Norman Hellmers.
“We are asking the Attorney General’s Office to immediately investigate this
“At issue is
whether alterations to the Pavilion were made without applying for a
certificate of approval from the Indiana Historic Preservation Review Board,
which would have triggered a public hearing,” Dunes Action said. “Indiana
Code states that a ‘historic structure owned by the state . . . may not be
altered, demolished, or removed by a project funded, in whole or in part, by
the state unless the review board has granted a certificate of approval.’”
In response to
inquiries from Dunes Action, the DNR has confirmed that Indiana Dunes State
Park staff was involved in a portion of the interior demolition work at the
Pavilion, Dunes Action said.
believes that the DNR and Pavilion Partners should have applied for a
certificate of approval from the Historic Preservation Review Board, since
state employees and resources were used to alter a historic structure owned
by the state,” said Hellmers. “Indiana Code 14-21-1-18 requires this, and as
far as we know, it was never done.”
In its letter Dunes
Action advises the DNR to immediately notify Pavilion Partners about the
requirement for a valid certificate of approval, and states that work cannot
proceed without one.
“It seems that
Pavilion Partners and the DNR were in a big hurry to start demolishing the
Pavilion,” Dunes Action Co-founder Jim Sweeney said. “Not only did they fail
to comply with the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, but in their haste,
we think they skipped a few other steps too,” he said.
Dunes ACTION! is a
grassroots, all-volunteer, non-partisan coalition. It can be found on
Facebook and at www.dunesaction.org