City orders demolition of rundown house

Jan. 17, 2013 @ 05:33 PM

The house at 1603 Rushing Street in Monroe has been deemed unfit for human habitation and will be demolished. 

The house has been vacant since 2008 as a result of a fire. The owner, James Stafford, was notified in February of last year that his house had several violations and a hearing would be held. The residence was deemed unfit and ordered to be repaired or demolished by May of 2012. The home was neither repaired nor demolished after inspection, according to public documents. 

Stafford did not appeal the order to demolish the structure and the time for an appeal has expired. City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to demolish the home. 

Stafford spoke at the meeting, asking to be given 30 days to clear a few belongings and a shed from the property. Council allowed that condition in their vote. 

The tax value of the home is $6,640. The cost of the repairs needed would total more than 50 percent of the tax value. The tax value of the parcel, including the land, is $24,610. 

Code enforcement officers cited nine violations. They stated in a report that all the sheetrock throughout the house needed to be replaced, the rafters and ceiling joists were damaged by the fire, the interior doors throughout the house needed to be replaced, windows throughout the house were broken, posts on the front porch needed repair, wall studs in the living room needed to be replaced, siding on the front of the house needed to be replaced, the fascia board needed to be replaced on the front and back of the home and foundation vents were needed. 

Stafford agreed to allow the city to demolish the home, only requesting at the Tuesday meeting that he be allowed to retrieve a few belongings. He noted at the meeting that he "bought and paid for the property." 

The consent order stated that all parties acknowledged that due process and procedures were followed and carried out. It also stated that the cost of demolition will be taxed as a lien against the parcel, which will be paid as a tax. 

City staff will hire a contractor to demolish the home after the requested 30 days.