HILLSBOROUGH: He grades the historic commission on Duke decision and gives it an F 

To the editor: 
This is a report card reviewing and grading the quality and performance of the Hillsborough Historical Commission hearing regarding the Duke Mansion demolition permit.
First, some background.
The two sides at the hearing were the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, which submitted a request to demolish the mansion, and the Demolition of Residence Is Senseless group, which objected to the permit. To get the permission to demolish, the DDCF was required to meet the seven conditions of the municipal land use ordinance.
The last hearing included a restricted public comment period and concluded with attorney summations by the DORIS objectors and the DDCF. At the end of the hearing, the commission voted, 6-1, to grant the demolition permit to the DDCF.
What was curious was the limited amount of discussion by the commissioners during the hearing and before the vote. Most of their comments were superficial — basically saying, “I trust the DDCF.”
This was said even though the DDCF did not submit evidence regarding an evaluation of adaptive uses, professional reports of the condition of the mansion and a renovation cost analysis.
The commissioners relied exclusively on the DDCF testimony that the mansion was not a historical building. They totally discounted the fact that the mansion is a significant contributing element to the historic district of Duke Farms. Another commissioner shared that Doris Duke’s chef stayed at his house and then in the same breath voted to demolish the Duke mansion.
Essentially, the seven conditions of the ordinance were not addressed by the commissioners. Therefore, their grade is a failure. 
Dale Gordon 
Hillsborough 