Duplex to be scrapped or repaired

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Fairway Drive residents’ petition gets action from Council

By Jennifer Garcia

Tired of what many are calling an eyesore, residents of Fairway Drive presented council with a petition on June 30.

During Tuesday night’s council meeting, councilors took action on the petition and voted 5-1 (Councilor Nona Bowman was absent) to ask the Community Development and county legal departments to continue working with the property owner to either demolish or repair the structure at 4333 Fairway Drive.

Community Development Director Rick Bohn gave a brief presentation to council during which he said an abandoned car that had been on the property for at least two years had been removed.

Councilor Ralph Phelps asked Bohn whether his department had received any complaints about the property prior to receiving the petition. Bohn said that he had searched the county’s database and could not find any complaints.

Councilor Robert Gibson then asked Bohn if there was a violation of the county code associated with the property.

“There’s no easily identifiable violation,” Bohn said. He added that a “do not enter” sign had been posted on the abandoned duplex to discourage people from entering the dwelling.

“The building is not in danger of collapse or catching fire,” Bohn explained. “There’s no danger unless you’re going in. Unless it deteriorated beyond the original state, we wouldn’t have done anything,” Bohn said in response to Councilor Sharon Stover’s question on whether a follow-up had been done after the sign was posted.

Bohn said that he had spoken to both the fire chief and the fire marshal about potential hazards associated with the building.

“Unless you go into the building, it’s not a hazard,” Bohn said.

Following Bohn’s presentation, Councilor Michael Wheeler shared his thoughts on the petition and the property.

“I’m reminded of three to four houses that sat abandoned for more than two years, that were owned by the county and I didn’t see the CDD or the county attorney jumping up ... If it’s a county structure, it’s OK, but if it’s a privately owned structure, we must take action,” he said, pointing out that he disagreed with that way of thinking.

The petition was signed by 37 residents of Fairway Drive, however no one spoke out during the public comment period.