Council to consider 4 demolitions
JOE SEELIGSEBRING - The Sebring City Council will hear requests Tuesday from the City Building Department for approval of demolition jobs on four properties with condemned structures in the Washington Heights subdivision.
Published: September 1, 2012
Published: September 1, 2012
At the request of City Building and Zoning Officer Lee Tolar, the Community Redevelopment Agency unanimously approved Monday the department's request for a total contribution of $10,022 to pay for the demolitions, assuming they meet with the council's approval.
CRA Commissioners Lorrie Smith and Angela Hill-Nash were absent from the meeting.
The structures are located at 715 Harris St.; 829 Lemon St.; 709 E.O. Douglas Ave. and 714 E.O. Douglas Ave., and are on the city council's consent agenda this Tuesday.
Tolar said Friday the length of the demolition process varies. For example the structure at 714 E.O. Douglas Ave., burned down in the morning on New Years Day, he said. But that was more the exception than the rule.
Generally it begins when a property is abandoned or the owner allows grass to get too long, or for debris to build up along with fines. Sometimes its vandalism; windows or doors being broken out, when it is left unoccupied and unsecured.
"People start hanging out," he said. "Winter is the worst time to have it unsecured."
Nobody likes to be out of the cold, including the homeless, he said.
"(The demolitions) could be due to a bad roof with water intrusion," he said. "Sometimes it's referred to us; sometimes we catch it."
Once it is condemned for occupancy the owner has 45 days to come into compliance. If the building is condemned for demolition, the owners have another 45 days.
"They get ample time to come in and get it right," Tolar said. "Next it goes before the Code Enforcement Board and once they approve it, it goes to the city council for funding the demolition."
Some cities use a special magistrate to review code enforcement violations.
The Washington Heights demolitions were located within the CRA district, but still require council's approval and choice of a bidder.
"You wouldn't want to go inside, let alone sleep in there," said City Building Official Ed White when he's deemed a place unfit for human habitation.
Just because structures are condemned for demolition they don't always get demolished, he said Friday, depending on the owner's ability to fix it.
"Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't," he said, for example a house in the Indian Streets that was unfit to live in and condemned because of cat urine and fecal odor complaints.
That owner was able to restore it with the help of a group of concerned people.
"We went out and looked at two houses on Wednesday," he said; one is at 1418 Palm Blvd.; the second is at 4707 First St.; both in the Highlands Homes subdivision.
Inside 1418 Palm St., the roof is leaking and the ceiling has fallen in, Tolar said. At 4707 First St., a tree fell on it, damaging the electric service mast, the roof and wall.
Also a house at 705 Washington St., has been condemned for occupancy, Tolar said.
Abandoned and unsecured, the house at 829 Lemon St. was condemned for demolition by White on February 10. There is water intrusion due to rotted wood which has affected the structural integrity of the structure, the agenda item stated.
The Code Enforcement Board approved the demolition on April 24. Elizabeth Construction Inc. was the low bidder at $2,950.
White condemned a house located at 715 Harris St. for demolition on May 11, due to rotted wood, water intrusion and it is in an unsafe and abandoned condition.
The Code Enforcement Board approved the demolition on July 24. Elizabeth Construction Inc. was the low bidder at $2,598.
A carport, two sheds, and fencing at 709 E.O. Douglas Ave., were condemned by White for demolition on Aug. 19, 2011, due to rotted wood, and were in an unsafe and abandoned condition. He also lot clearing to take place.
A house on the property will remain untouched.
The Code Enforcement Board approved the demolition and lot clean up on April 24. The low bid was given by American Outback Holdings for $1,500.
The structure at 714 E.O. Douglas Ave. was condemned for demolition on March 6, 2012 due to a fire and is in an unsafe condition.
The Code Enforcement Board approved the demolition on April 24. Staff received a low bid by Elizabeth Construction Inc., at $2,600.
Staff will ask the council to accept the low bids and instruct the city attorney's office to place a special assessment and/or lien on the properties for demolition costs.
email@example.com (863) 386-5834