10/25/06 — Council targets more houses for demolition

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Council targets more houses for demolition

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on October 25, 2006 1:47 PM

Goldsboro City Council members condemned four dilapidated structures Monday at their final meeting of the month.

Chief Building Inspector Ed Cianfarra said the three houses had run through all phases of minimum housing and that the commercial building has been in violation of building and construction codes for years.

While all four were officially condemned, only one was given the OK for immediate demolition -- 112 Slocumb St.

The property, owned by Michael West of Goldsboro, was originally inspected in April 2003. Holes in the walls, ceilings and presence of mold and mildew are the major violations of code cited, Cianfarra said, adding the structure is not feasible for repair.

Repair permits were applied for in March 2004 and September 2005, however, no inspections have since been called for and it appears no work has been done to bring the property up to code, inspectors said.

"The house will be coming down within the next 30 days," Cianfarra said. "Since the owner didn't ask for anything, he wasn't granted anything."

The three other property owners, however, were granted extensions.

Carnell and Lillie Mickens of Walnut Street own the dilapidated building at 211/213 Pine St. The property was originally inspected in 2002 and was found to be in violation of minimum building and construction code, inspectors said.

Mickens obtained a renovation permit in April 2004, and it appeared work was in progress, Cianfarra said. But as time wore on, it became apparent that no additional work had been completed to bring the building up to code.

A conditional extension was granted to Mickens by council members Monday. Within 10 days, a bond must be posted to cover the sum of asbestos removal and demolition costs.

Similar extensions were granted to the owners of 605 Isler St. and 1103 Lemon St.

The Isler Street house, owned by Donald Blue of Virginia, was originally inspected in February 2003 and was cited for roof damage and general dilapidation.

The structure has recently been boarded up and a body was found inside in July 2006, officials said.

But as the case became more clear, it was discovered that it was only the garage that was in dilapidated condition, not the house located on the same property.

Council members therefore determined that the garage was to be condemned and demolished and no action was necessary on the dwelling itself.

Across town on Lemon Street, a home owned by Emma Myles of Wayne Avenue is said to be in "extremely dilapidated condition."

The property was originally inspected in June 2004 and cited for a number of minimum housing violations.

Permits were applied for in October 2004, July 2005 and earlier this year, but no visible work has taken place and no inspections have been called for, Cianfarra said. Back taxes in the sum of close to $2,000 also are owed on the property.

To retain the extension granted Monday by the council, Ms. Myles must post a bond in the sum of asbestos removal and demolition costs and pay all back taxes.

Despite four more condemnations now under their belt, Cianfarra said inspectors continue to watch a box in his office fill with cases -- files on structures that have run through all three phases of minimum housing.

By the end of the year, he expects the number in need of official condemnation and demolition orders to eclipse 60. There just isn't enough money in the budget to get to all of them quickly enough, he said.

"Most of the houses that we deal with, the majority of them run approximately $8,000 in demolition cost," Cianfarra said.

To date, there are 135 dwellings under the watch of city inspectors.