Council takes action on run-down homes
OLNEY— A few lots may soon become vacant following a vote by the Olney City Council.
The council approved demolishing homes at 611 North Avenue C, 603 W. Oak while sparing a home at 809 North Avenue E at the owner’s request.
“The roof line is gone. The water heater used to be outside ... This house is actually leaning to the south,” Olney Building Inspector Ron Cowart said of the property on Avenue C.
In regards to the property at 603 W. Oak, Cowart said he did not obtain a warrant to search the property out of fear of his own safety due to severe structural damage. He added the home was occupied until three or four months ago.
“I did not figure it was too safe to go inside,” Cowart said.
With none of the owners of the homes at 603 W. Oak and 611 North Avenue C attending a public hearing regarding the properties, the city moved to demolish buildings. The owner of the home at 809 North Avenue E attended his public hearing and requested the city hold off until he can contact his brother, who he claims lives in New Jersey but intends to own the home once the repairs are complete.
“That whole [deck] is going to have to come off” Cowart said. “In my opinion, the whole house is going to have to be rebuilt. I don’t know if it’s worth it ... The whole roof is going to have to come off.“
The council approved giving the homeowner 90 days to bring it up to code. Should the owner fail to bring it up to code, then building would then transfer into the city’s possession no matter how much money the homeowner puts into the building.