Video by Randall Yow from You Tube on East Sanford decay.
- Condemned house on 7th Street in 2007
- Same house as of August 21st, 2008
Corner of Ray Ave. & Seventh Street
Randall Yow has produced a five minute video on You Tube that shows several unsightly areas in East Sanford. He makes a point to show how nice areas like Depot Park, the old city hall, and the Kelly MarCom building on Charlotte are today. He then shows three properties that are in need of demolition or repair. He ask people to call the city manager and county manager.
Some important question or information has been left out of this video.
What is the history of each property?
Who is responsible for these properties?
Who will pay for the cleanup of these properties?
Why hasn’t Randall Yow called the governing bodies to discuss this issue?
There are several houses in our city that have been condemned by Code Enforcement. This doesn’t mean the building will be destroyed. This means that currently minimum housing requirements have not been met and/or the property is unsafe. Most condemned buildings are refurbished. Buildings that cannot be refurbished begin the demolition process.
There is a lengthy, legal process the city must go through to demolish a property owners building. A hearing is held through Code Enforcement. Hopefully, the property owner will take care of the problem through voluntary demolition. The city has been very successful with this approach. If voluntary demolition is not an option, the City Council must vote to demolish and award the bid for demolition. The property owner is informed of the Council’s decision. The building is demolished and the property is cleared of debris. Keep in mind, from the very beginning, after each decision is made during the process, the property owner has a set period of time to respond. That is what makes demolition a very lengthy process.
It is important to note that the house in the video was demolished on August 18th, 2008. This house had been scheduled for demolition for some time. Equipment problems suffered by the contractor delayed demolition.
There are two collection processes that city uses for demolition. During voluntary demolition the city assist the owner in obtaining a contractor to demolish the building. The property owner pays all fees for the demolition. Forced demolition is paid for by the city. A tax lien is placed on the property at the courthouse. This helps assure the city will be reimbursed for the cost of demolition.
The McIver School building is privately owned by Sandra Wilson. She is currently working with a group to restore portions of the building. This group has an active soup kitchen that serves citizens on the weekends at that location. It will take time to restore this old building. Remember W.B. Wicker took years. It also had grants, public-private partnerships, etc. to transform that property into a nice facility. McIver School will be a very slow process, and be very costly. The good news is that the process has begun. The building is secure and is fenced in the front for safety.
In the case of the API building (old Roberts Company) on Market Street, the building collapsed into the street. The city pushed the debris out of the street, back onto the property. The owners were then contacted and advised of the situation. The company is bankrupt. The final cleanup, and cost associated with the cleanup, may fall on the city and county. The legalities of this issue are complicated. The city is working very hard to resolve the issue with this property.
I am very glad Mr. Yow is concerned about our city. His heart is in the right place. He is just not aware of all that has been done, and is being done. In 1995 Depot Park was an old parking lot with a junk pile, a rusty train, and a building in disrepair. The old city hall and Kelly MarCom buildings were in disrepair before renovation.
Progress is being made. This progress is taking place faster than you think. If you compared 2006 to 2008, you would see a great deal of improvement in our city on many fronts. We still have a good ways to go. I can assure you….we are headed in the right direction.
If you have any questions about these issues, please call City Manager Hal Hegwer at 919-775-8201, or Steve Brewer at 919-770-9587
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