City Hall continues to aggressively target problem properties by utilizing Dover's dangerous buildings ordinance to condemn the neighborhood eyesores. The latest property to undergo scrutiny Monday night was 126 N. Ann Avenue.
THE RUNDOWN Dover City Council condemned the fire-damaged property at 126 N. Ann Ave. for demolition by a 7-0 vote under the city's dangerous building ordinance Monday night.
The city Department of Planning & Inspections had already condemned the one story, wood framed, single family as unfit for human habitation on April 4 due to significant damage that occurred from a fire the night of Oct. 5, 2010, Dover Director of Planning & Community Development Ann Marie Townshend said.
Council's action on Monday night ordered property owner Jesse L. Workmon to repair or demolish the structure within the next 30 to 60 days.
WHAT'S BEING SAID Since 2010, there had been five code enforcement cases against this property, Townshend said. The property was registered as vacant in May 2010.
The fire occurred the following autumn and numerous windows had been broken, causing the owner to board all windows and doors, she said. Neighbors had complained about the property since that time and, moreover, the doors were found to be not secure.
Workmon called Townshend on Monday from California to report that he had been trying to sell the property and was close to obtaining a contract of sale. She confirmed the tentative deal in separate conversations with Workmon's attorney in Dover and the potential buyer. The interested buyer indicated he would renovate the property, Townshend said. If a deal was struck, she would change her initial recommendation to give the buyer until Nov. 10 to fix the property. Her original recommendation was to give Workmon only until Oct. 10 to fix his property or demolish it.
Councilman Sean Lynn asked if a contract had been signed. Townshend there had not.
Councilman David Bonar moved to declare the property dangerous and require the property to be repaired or demolished within 10 days of Nov. 10.
However, Councilman William Hare asked Bonar for a friendly amendment to go with the original recommendation for an Oct. 10 deadline, unless a contract was signed, thereby extending the deadline to Nov. 10. Bonar and Councilman James Hutchison, who had seconded the orginal motion, both accepted that amendment.
WHAT'S NEXT? The city would order the building inspector to repair or demolish the structure if Workmon does not perform repairs or demolition within 10 days of either date set by council. If the latter transpires, the city manager and city solicitor would then recoup the costs of repairs or demolition through a municipal lean on the property or a lawsuit against the property owner, Townshend said.
The cost of demolition is estimated at between $10,000 and $15,000, she said. It would come out the $150,000 budgeted in the 2013 fiscal yea budget for all demolitions.