919 Grace Ave.

THE ONCE-STATELY HOUSE at 919 Grace Ave. in West Plains, built in 1888, is now owned by Ozark Action. Not much is known of the 4,500-square-foot home’s early years until 1951, when Doc and Nellie Heinrich and their nine children took ownership. The Heinrichs turned the house into West Plains first licensed elder care facility. During Wednesday’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, Terry Sanders, interim executive director of Ozark Action, said it is hoped the house will be demolished by the end of November.

During the Planning and Zoning Commission’s regular meeting Thursday evening, Commission Chairman Terry Sanders recused himself from the commission and Vice Chairman Wes Parks ran the meeting.

Sanders, currently interim director of Ozark Action, asked the commission to table Ozark Action’s conditional use application for a new parking lot at 919 Grace Ave. until January. Sanders said Ozark Action currently has no official plans for the property except for the demolition of the house, which they hope to have gone by the end of November.

“Last thing we want to do is be a bad neighbor to anyone,” Sanders said. He hopes to have more input from the neighborhood on what to do with the property.

State Rep. David Evans, who lives in a house across the street and owns an adjacent lot,  spoke to the commission and said he does not oppose the demolition of the house and expects that Ozark Action’s future plans can be a benefit for the neighborhood.

“It’s sad to say, but homes, like all of us — all things — have their time,” Evans said.

It was also announced during the meeting that Vice Chairman Wes Parks would eventually be stepping down from the commission in order to enjoy his retirement.

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