City Council to consider allowing demolition of four houses in Salisbury

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 18, 2013

SALISBURY — Four houses in Salisbury are in such bad shape that they should be torn down unless they are repaired, according to the city’s Code Services Division manager.
Manager Chris Branham will ask City Council at 4 p.m. Tuesday to pass ordinances allowing the city to demolish four houses — including at least one occupied home — unless the owners bring them up to code. City Council meets in City Hall, 217 S. Main St.
Branham said all the owners have been notified about the problems with their property but have not brought them into compliance with minimum living standards.
“These dwellings present a safety concern for their occupants,” Branham wrote in a memo. “They contribute to their surroundings in a negative way and do not promote a quality of life that meets city code requirements.
“In some cases where the dwellings are still occupied, they will have to be removed by eviction and then we will demolish the dwelling if they remain unrepaired, per the ordinance from City Council that is required before moving forward with addressing these nuisances to the community.”
The houses include:
• An occupied house at 507 N. Long St. owned by Nathan King Sr. and his wife.
Branham listed more than a dozen code violations at this address, including raw sewage, blocked exits, no smoke detectors and electrical problems.
The primary escape and exit from the house is blocked, Branham said. Multiple bedrooms have so much garbage that the trash is causing a health concern and blocking exits, he said.
The house is not structurally sound. The first floor hallway has several soft spots that do not appear to have adequate support, Branham said.
Raw sewage is present behind the house, and a drain pipe is open and pouring liquid into the back yard from the rear wall, he said. A bathroom in the home has a water leak at the toilet area and is inoperable, and an unknown liquid is stored in the first floor hallway bathroom under the stairs, according to Branham.
The house has bedrooms without any windows and others where the windows do not open, Branham said. Someone keeps a mo-ped parked inside the house, and there are no operable smoke detectors in bedrooms or hallways, he said.
• 422 E. Cemetery St., owned by Advisors Trust of Scottsdale, Ariz. This house is abandoned, missing parts of the roof and exterior walls, Branham said.
• 502 Milford Hills Road, owned by Maurice Little of Roxboro. This house is abandoned, and the foundation does not meet city code, according to Branham.
• 508 Milford Hills Road, owned by James Cecil Simpson Jr. of New York. This house is also abandoned, and the foundation does not meet code, Branham said.
For each house, the city would spend about $350 to inspect for asbestos and about $5,000 for demolition. Because the city would demolish several structures at once, Branham said he would bid the demolitions together in hopes of getting a lower overall cost.
Also on Tuesday’s agenda:
• City Council will consider rezoning about 24.49 acres and establishing a new Conditional District Overlay to permit a 9,000-square-foot exhibit building addition at the Rowan County Fairgrounds, 1560 Julian Road.
The council will hold a public hearing and consider rezoning to bring fairgrounds from Rural Residential to Highway Business. The Salisbury Planning Board voted 8-1 to recommend approval to City Council.
• City Council will recognize two state championship teams from Salisbury High School — the Lady Hornets tennis team, which took the 2A state title, and the Lady Hornets golf team, which took the 1A/2A state title.
• Mayor Paul Woodson will proclaim the following observances: Geographic Information Systems Day, NAACP Harvest Banquet Day, Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month, Bayada Home Health Day.
• The city’s Community Appearance Commission will give highlights of the 2013 BlockWork Neighborhood Improvement Project.
• City Council will consider a request for a sidewalk encroachment in the 100 block of East Bank Street. The steps at the new Integro headquarters would extend about two feet into the public right-of-way.
• City Council will consider a request to install telecommunication fiber in the public right-of-way.
• City Council will consider awarding a $21,993.02 Storm Drainage Incentive Grant to Wellington Hills.
• City staff will make a presentation on 311GIS, a new way for residents to report problems online.
• City Council will appoint a chairman and vice chairman to the Salisbury Tourism and Cultural Development Commission and consider appointments to various boards and commissions.
• City Council will receive public comments.
• City Manager Doug Paris will make comments.
• City Council will go into closed session to consult with an attorney as allowed by state law.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.