Friday, April 12, 2024

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Graham, NC 27253
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City council sets in motion condemnation and demo of vacant, dilapidated house at 608 Giles Street

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Mebane city government officials have grown tired of waiting for the owners of a dilapidated house on Giles Street in the West End community to make even a modest attempt to clean up the property.

The city’s efforts date back to at least July 2020 when the city attempted to hold the first hearing on the property. But no one showed up.

City officials told Mebane city council members earlier this month that one of the owners subsequently said he was hiring a structural engineer, but in the three years since, the city has received no evidence of any effort to improve the deteriorating status of the house.

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The house at 608 Giles Street is vacant, with some exterior walls knocked out, and city building code inspectors have deemed it “unfit for human habitation and “inimical to the health, safety, morals and welfare of the city.” It has also been determined to be a fire and safety hazard.

Further, its continued existence “would attract persons intent on criminal activities, would cause or contribute to blight and deterioration of property values in the area and would render unavailable the property and the dwelling which would otherwise have been available to the public for housing.”

At the city staff’s request, the council voted unanimously, 5-0, at its August 7 meeting to direct the city’s building inspector to demolish the building with the city’s expenses for demolition and cleanup to be assessed as a lien against the property.

In one last attempt to secure the property owners’ cooperation, city attorney Lawson Brown urged the council to include an allowance of up to 30 days for the owner to make a last-ditch effort to repair or demolish the structure on his own, which members agreed to include.

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