Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Jessie Burchette
Salisbury Post
CHINA GROVE ó The town will contract for the removal of two burned homes and a vacant mobile home in violation of town codes.
Aldermen voted unanimously to carry out enforcement against four property owners, while getting some good news on another enforcement matter.
A three-year battle between the town and Jim Whitley, who operates an auto repair and sales business at 514 N. Main St., is apparently over.
The town has concluded his auto sales business on the north and south side of Church Street is legal. The areas are remnants of his former business, which gave way to the realignment of Church Street.
Codes Enforcement Officer Tony Cline told the board Tuesday evening that selling cars is a legal and permitted use.
Whitley said he appreciated the town working it out.
On Cline’s recommendation, the board voted unanimously for demolition and cleanup on the following properties:
– A burned house at 655 Harry St., at an estimated cost of $500;
– A fire-damaged house at 582 Short St., estimated cost, $2,500;
– An unoccupied, substandard mobile home on property adjacent to 574 Westside Circle, estimated cost, $1,200.
The town will place liens against the properties to recoup the costs.
Cline said the three properties are in the Westside area. He indicated there are signs of drug use at all the locations.
In another case, the board voted to order demolition and cleanup of property at 203 S. Chapel St., but delayed enforcement for 30 days.
Cline said the owner has found someone who is tearing down the two-story wood frame house to salvage the materials. He is expected to be finished within 30 days.
Cline said efforts are continuing to contact owners of a mobile home at 250 Yost Town Road that is out of compliance.