Dover City Council voted to condemn the property of 416 W. Division Street because it was in violation of the city's dangerous building ordinance after a brief discussion at its Monday night meeting in City Hall.
The owner now has until March 25 to repair or demolish the dilapidated property.
City inspectors had condemned the two-story, wood framed, single family as unfit for human habitation on July 20 due to the lack of utilities and the amount of broken windows and unsecured doors, Dover Director of Planning & Community Development Ann Marie Townshend said.
"Since 2010, there have been six code enforcement violations," Townshend said.
The house had been vacant since August 2010, she said. It had been boarded up by city crews and condemned in December 2010, Townshend said. However, the boards had been removed in the past and windows had been broken, she said. City staff then re-secured the home.
Townshend said the property was owned by the estate of Evelyn Watson, but the property owner had been unresponsive to the city and had not paid the vacant building fee. In the meantime, neighbors had complained numerous times about the property.
No one present at City Hall came forward when Council President Tom Leary asked if anyone wished to speak in favor or against the building condemnation.
Councilman James Hutchison, seconded by Councilman David Bonar, then moved to accept the Department of Planning & Inspections recommendation. Council voted unanimously for the condemnation.
The city would order the building inspector to repair or demolish the structure if the owner did not perform repairs or demolition within 10 days of March 25, Townshend said. If the city went through with demolition or repairs, the city manager and city solicitor would then recoup the costs of such work through a municipal lien on the property or a lawsuit against the property owner, she said.
The cost of demolition was estimated at between $10,000 and $15,000. That money would come out the $150,000 budgeted in the 2013 fiscal year budget for all demolitions.