Chancery decision is awaited on demolition

By LARRY C. BOWERS
Posted 11/2/17

Cleveland's Adjustments and Appeals Board met in a called session Wednesday, in order to act on an administrative matter.There were no issues on the agenda, but planning and inspection officials …

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Chancery decision is awaited on demolition

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Cleveland's Adjustments and Appeals Board met in a called session Wednesday, in order to act on an administrative matter.

There were no issues on the agenda, but planning and inspection officials wanted to get approval of the minutes from an October meeting where the board upheld a demolition order for property owned by Joe V. Williams at 80 Church St., just south of the Cleveland Municipal Building.

The historic building has been ruled to be in an accelerated state of decay and a hazard to the general public.

Williams spoke for himself at the appeal hearing and asked for an extension to renovate the old building.

Due to the fact  city officials have been working with Williams for more than two years in an attempt to get the building upgraded to acceptable standards, and that the board found inconsistencies in Williams' timeline and estimated cost of repairs, the board upheld the demolition order.

Wednesday's meeting was to approve the minutes from that meeting, and move ahead with the demolition process, but the meeting was eventually canceled due to a lack of quorum.

It proved to be a moot point, since Williams had earlier in the week appealed the city's decision for demolition to Chancery Court.

The court must act on this appeal, before the process can move ahead.

Williams has other properties in the downtown area that are in need of repair, and are being eyed by City Council members, as well as the city's Codes  Enforcement, Inspection and Building departments.

At the October board meeting, the city displayed photographs showing the dilapidated condition of the Church Street structure, inside and out.

Williams had some repair work done on the roof, but water has seeped into the structure to the point there is green organic matter (ferns, moss and mold) growing on the ceilings, walls and floor.

Panes had fallen from the windows, and shattered, causing the city to block off the sidewalk area. The front door had fallen off its hinges onto the sidewalk, but was reattached by a Public Works crew.

Board member Lisa Stanbery questioned Williams concerning the structural integrity and foundation of the building, and he said those repairs were covered in documentation he provided.

As the board reviewed the quotes, that information was not included. Board members then voted unanimously to uphold the order for demolition., action which Williams has now challenged.

The only other appeal at October's meeting, was an order for demolition of property at 1335 Blythe Avenue S.E., owned by Janice Jones Jenkins.

Local contractor Dean Helsdon approached the board, saying he had a tentative agreement to purchase the property and renovate it, asking the board's assistance in additional time.

He said he would secure the property, and bring it up to code in six months.

The board approved a motion giving Helsdon 30 days to obtain the property, and six months to bring it up to city standards.


Inset Text:

Due to the fact  city officials have been working with Williams for more than two years in an attempt to get the building upgraded to acceptable standards, and that the board found inconsistencies in Williams' timeline and estimated cost of repairs, the board upheld the demolition order.

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