CEDAR POINT — Cedar Point is starting to crack down on some dilapidated properties town manager David Rief believes need to be condemned and torn down and others that need to be cleaned up.
During his manager’s report at the end of the town board of commissioners’ work session Thursday in town hall, Mr. Rief told commissioners he’s ready to start imposing fines against at least one property owner and is preparing to work with the Carteret County inspections office on several others.
The board took no official action on the matter.
The closest to fines is the owner of the old Cedar Point Tavern building on Highway 24. Mr. Rief told the board he has sent letters to the owner, Drew Lutheran, about that property and another parcel he owns beside it.
“There is construction material and debris from the Swansboro Yacht Club (which Mr. Lutheran also owns),” Mr. Rief said. “And the adjacent property is even worse.”
He said there are numerous abandoned vehicles, plus lots of debris.
“We may have to seek a court injunction,” Mr. Rief said, “and require him to clean it all up or we will clean it up and bill him.”
Mr. Lutheran has also run into trouble in Swansboro, where his efforts to rebuild the Yacht Club, severely damaged by Hurricane Florence in September 2018, have stalled.
Cedar Point commissioners voted 4-0 in December to approve a special-use permit for Mr. Lutheran to operate a private bar in the Cedar Point Tavern building.
The permit is good for one year. But regardless of cleanup progress – town officials said Thursday they’ve seen some, but not much – Cedar Point wants the two properties cleaned up.
During the December meeting, Mr. Lutheran said he and his wife have had extreme financial problems. The office of Mike Lincoln, an Emerald Isle attorney who represents Mr. Lutheran, was closed Friday.
Other anticipated cleanup efforts include properties at 119 Cedar Point Blvd. and one on Hazel Willis Lane, Mr. Rief said. Some of the structures were flooded in past storms and have roofs with holes in them, no electricity and are basically falling apart, he added. Plus, taxes aren’t being paid.
In some cases, Mr. Rief told commissioners, they might simply get the county, which handles inspections for the town, to take action to condemn the structures.
“They (the county) have said they are willing to work with us,” Mr. Rief said.
There are other so-called problematic properties within the town limits, but Mr. Rief said he doesn’t want to “bite off more than we can chew” right away.
The town has a full-time code enforcement officer, Kaitlin DeGrasse, who is training to take over building inspection duties from the county.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email email@example.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.