Reacting to concern from the NAACP and Dover citizens, Dover City Council Monday night agreed to give the owner of four dilapidated buildings time to start renovations and make them livable again.
Director of Planning and Community Development Ann Marie Townshend presented council with evidence the buildings – one on South Kirkwood Street and three on South Queen Street – were unsafe and unfit for human habitation. All have been the subject of neighborhood and police complaints and are violating numerous city building code ordinances, she said.
However, Bishop Gregory Gordon of My Brethren Ministries and state NAACP President Richard Smith said they and others wanted to take on management of the properties and investigate how to bring them up to standards.
Owner Joe W. Burden told the council he would agree to such an arrangement.
By a 5-2 vote on each property, council agreed to extend an Aug. 8 demolition or repair deadline to Aug. 26.
IN OTHER ACTIONS, council held the first reading of an ordinance change that would allow city employees allowed benefits under a civil union to retain those benefits as a civil marriage. This is in keeping with Delaware's law recognizing same-sex marriages, said Councilman Sean Lynn, who chairs the Legislative, Finance and Administration Committee, which brought the ordinance to council.