The Missoula City Council's Land Use and Planning Committee dealt a blow to the Historic Preservation Commission by voting 10 to one on Wednesday that it was in error when it denied a permit to demolish the historic Missoula Mercantile building.

City Councilor Emily Bentley summed up the nearly unanimous vote.

"I find that there is a preponderance of evidence that there are mistakes in the finding of facts, and I can't support it," Bentley said. :"I look forward to continuing the process and probably to develop our own findings of fact, and we really need to do that. No matter which way the final outcome goes, this is going to be litigated in district court."

The developer, HomeBase Montana, will appear before the Land Use and Planning Committee next week to offer further options on how to continue the process. The original plan presented by HomeBase Montana was to demolish the Missoula Mercantile building to make way for a new Residence Inn by Marriott on the site.

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