Grant from Robertson Foundation will assist with West End demolitions

Published 6:13 pm Thursday, December 16, 2021

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The city will use a $15,000 grant from the Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation to continue demolitions in the West End neighborhood.

The funds will help the city demolish 418 S. Craige St., the former site of Mitchell and Fair Funeral Service, along with the building next door at 420 S. Craige St. A request to demolish those structures is expected to go before Salisbury City Council in January.

The process leading to demolition is a long one and involves investigation from the city’s code enforcement officers. A structure must first be deemed “dilapidated,” or beyond the scope of repair. Dilapidated also means more than 50% of the property’s tax value is needed to bring the structure up to code. Demolition, however, is cited as a way to help improve public safety, beautification and property tax values.

For the 2021-22 fiscal year, 25 homes are on the list, with 10 of those located within the West End. For years, residents of the West End have expressed concerns related to vagrants and rodents in abandoned homes in their neighborhood, and these demolitions could provide a solution.

Structures at 713 Grace St. 1024 Locke St., both in the West End, have been demolished by the owners, while 1002 W. Monroe St. in the West End has been sold.

Remaining properties on the list for potential demolition in the West End includes 409 and 801 Grace St.; 318 Vanderford St.; 1027 W. Horah St.; 425 Messner St.; 623 Forney St. and 1436 Old Wilkesboro St.

The city’s code enforcement officers use county records and an extensive title search to issue orders of compliance to the owner and all heirs. The owner is then required to attend a hearing to discuss plans for the structure moving forward. Owners have a period of 90 days to either bring the structure up to code or it will be demolished. Extensions are offered if significant progress is being made to the property. Properties located within the city’s historic districts often receive additional delays.

Owners will sometimes opt to demolish the structures themselves. But if they don’t, code enforcement officers obtain permission to move forward with the demolition, which can range from $3,000 for smaller structures to as much as $10,000 for larger ones.

All demolitions the department handles must first be approved by City Council members. Following the demolition, owners are invoiced and have 10 days to resolve the cost of the demolition or a lien is placed on the property, which prevents the owner from selling or transferring a title until the demolition fee is paid.

The remaining structures on the city’s 2021-22 demolition list include:

• 918 N. Main St., which has been approved for demolition.

• 120 E. Monroe St.

• 1300 N. Main St.

• 1716 N. Lee St.

• 405 Bringle Ferry Road

• 610 Park Avenue

• 907 Newsome Road

• 714 S. Church St.

• 509 E. Fisher St.

The structure at 209 W. Marsh St. has been sold, while renovations are ongoing at 201 Elm St. and 305 E. Fisher St. Cases have been closed this year at 420 and 804 S. Jackson St. The owners opted to demolish the structure located at 418 N. Shaver St.

Some of the structures on the list for 2021-22 are “rollovers” from the prior fiscal year. Five of the 21 structures from 2020-21 were sold, six were demolished and others are undergoing renovations.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.