Just how tough is Riverside’s recently amended subdivision law? Pretty darn tough, it turns out.

Eventually, we predict, this is going to end up in a court of law, when the owner of one of Riverside’s large residential lots insists on breaking off a piece and selling it. 

On the other hand, Riverside officials owe it to the village’s status on the National Register of Historic Places – assuming that’s still important and desirable – to preserve what remains of Riverside’s original plan.

Through the years, many of the large residential lots were subdivided, sold and developed. Think of the Babson Estate in the middle of Riverside or the Coonley Estate in the First Division.

The property that was the subject of last week’s Preservation Commission hearing, 247 Shenstone Road, is another example. Once a single lot, it was subdivided in 1962 or 1963 into what appear to be three buildable lots. Why would someone have done that unless the ultimate goal was to parcel them out and develop them?

What made this case interesting was that it sought to reconsolidate the lots and reduce the number of buildable lots. The decision was to keep the parcel as is, since the lots aren’t considered buildable, according to staff, in the property’s current configuration.

But what if the landmark house burns down? Then what do you have? Looks like three saleable and buildable lots, to us.