MOREHEAD CITY — The city will proceed with demolishing a condemned structure on Bay Street that the property owner did not tear down by a deadline set by the Morehead City Council.
The city council issued a demolition order for 1004 Bay St., allowing the city to seek out contractors and place a lien on the property. The action came during the council’s regular monthly meeting held Tuesday evening in the council chambers of the municipal building and online via Zoom.
In September, the city council held a series of condemnation appeal hearings for the Bay Street property and several others the city’s chief building inspector had condemned and ordered be removed. In the case of 1004 Bay St., the city council gave owner Jesse Moore until Dec. 8 to comply with the building inspector’s order and tear down the dilapidated structure.
As of Tuesday, the building was still standing.
“That deadline has come and gone, the structure is still in place, so the next phase is to adopt this ordinance allowing us to go in and seek a contractor and have the structure demolished, and then we place a lien on the property,” Morehead City chief building inspector Robert Davis said Tuesday during the council meeting. “We can’t do that without council blessing.”
Mr. Davis added he had recently spoken to the property owner, Mr. Moore, who said he was in the process of selecting a contractor to carry out demolition. If Mr. Moore removes the structure himself before the city can proceed, the order will be dropped.
“According to our conversation today, (Mr. Moore) has two demo contractors lined up and he’s hoping to have it demolished before we can even get our hands on the property,” Mr. Davis said.
Mr. Moore did not immediately respond to the News-Times’ request for comment.
A demolition order for another condemned property, 4004 Arendell St., was also on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting, but the property owners removed the two offending buildings — a dwelling and a shed — earlier in the week, so the order was no longer necessary by the time council took action. The council held an appeal hearing for that property during the same September meeting as the Bay Street one and gave the owners the same Dec. 8 deadline to demolish the structures.
Meanwhile, the owner of a condemned property at 1008 Bay St. is moving forward with getting funding through a state disaster recovery program, ReBuildNC, to repair the home. The city council also heard that case in September and gave the owner until Dec. 8 to either secure the funds or proceed with demolition.
The council held a final condemnation appeal hearing in September that was continued to November to allow the property owner of 1308 Arendell St., a commercial structure, time to obtain an engineer’s opinion on the structural integrity of the dilapidated building. Owner Stephen Freeman did that and he reappeared before the council in November, at which time the council gave him 60 days to tear down the rear of the building and six months to bring the structure fully up to code.
Contact Elise Clouser at firstname.lastname@example.org; by phone at 252-726-7081 ext. 229; or follow on Twitter @eliseccnt.