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Dover Post
  • City order for House of Pride to vacate 110 S. New Street stands

  • The city of Dover’s order for the House of Pride to vacate the dilapidated property at 110 S. New Street remains intact and the nonprofit must conduct substantial repairs in order to use the property again.


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  • The city of Dover’s order for the House of Pride to vacate the dilapidated property at 110 S. New Street remains intact and the nonprofit must conduct substantial repairs in order to use the property again.
    The House of Pride had appealed the order to vacate and Dover City Council held a public hearing on the matter at its meeting Monday night. But that order stood due to a parliamentary procedure later in the meeting.
    A new certificate of occupancy would involve repairing the dilapidated property to remedy current code violations and bringing it up to more stringent fire codes that have been established for new structures, Dover Department of Planning & Inspections Director Ann Marie Townshend said. The property was littered with clutter that created a fire hazard, fire extinguishers were not charged and fire detectors were found to be without batteries even after city planners announced that the city fire marshal would inspect the property, Townshend said.
    In addition, the telephone lines were inoperable and there was no fire safety plan in place, she said.
    “It’s unfit for habitation,” Townshend said. “It’s unsafe. Staff is recommending that council uphold the recommendation of the Department of Planning and Inspections to order that the property be vacated and closed.”
    A new certificate of occupancy would include $10,000 to $20,000 worth of sprinklers in order to bring the building up to current standards for new structures, Dover Fire Marshal David Truax said.
    During the public hearing, House of Pride Board of Directors member Bishop Marion Lott told council that the nonprofit organization had seen a number of people volunteer to help fix the property.
    “We do agree that when the inspectors came in the building was dangerous,” Lott said. “At the same time, the violations were such that we could repair them. I feel we are now more prepared to meet the code.”
    Council voted 4-2 to uphold Townshend’s recommendation. But that vote was actually not good enough from a parliamentary perspective because the vote required a true majority of council, namely five votes. Council members Sophia Russell, Beverly Williams and William Hare were absent from Monday’s meeting.
    Council President Tom Leary, Councilmen Adam Perza, David Bonar and James Hutchison voted yes, while Councilman David Anderson and Sean Lynn voted no.
    Given that council was unable to take action, the previous action by the Department of Planning & Inspections was upheld, Assistant City Solicitor William Pepper said.
    “The usual rule is when the appellate panel fails to reach a definitive conclusion, the judgment below is upheld,” said Pepper, an attorney with Schmittinger & Rodriguez.

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