The court action was filed Jan. 27 against Joe V. Williams, who owns the house at 470 14th St. which continues as a topic of discussion at City Council meetings.
According to the complaint, the house was neither demolished nor repaired, but left standing in a dangerous and dilapidated condition with little work performed on the 88 year-old structure that stands in the Cleveland Historic Preservation District.
No action was taken by the city until several months later, on April 18, 2011, when Williams was sent a letter informing him of ongoing code violations and requesting the situation be remedied.
Williams applied for a building permit on June 20, 2011. The estimated cost of the repairs is listed at $50,000.
Because the parcel where the structure is located is in the Historic District, Williams was sent a letter from the City’s Community Development Department dated July 19, 2011.
On Aug. 9, 2011, Mitchell Cobb, of M.T. Construction in Chattanooga filled out another building permit for repairs costing an estimated $45,000.
Williams applied to the City’s Historic Preservation Commission for a Certificate of Appropriateness, but at the Aug. 16, 2011, meeting of the commission, Cobb stated he was unprepared and would like to move the item to the Sept. 6, 2011 agenda. However, neither Williams nor Cobb appeared.
On Sept. 20, 2011, Cobb advised the city he would secure the house with a new roof and a rebuilt porch and return in October with detailed plans for the remainder of the repairs.
Williams appeared before the commission on Oct. 18, 2011 and was granted a Certificate of Appropriateness after he indicated all repairs on the structure would be completed within 60 days.
A city representative met with Cobb on Dec. 9, 2011. The building was still not secured and very little work had been done, according to the suit. Cobb allegedly advised the building inspector he would immediately speak with Williams about the failure to comply with the city’s requirements and timeline. He also advised the building official he would get back in touch with the building official that day.
According to the complaint, neither Cobb nor Williams contacted the city prior to Jan. 9, when the Cleveland City Council authorized the city attorney to pursue litigation.
More recent inspections show the vast majority of needed repairs have not been performed. City building officials have attempted to contact Williams for an update. He has not responded to the inquiries.
According to updates on other nuisance properties, the city sent a letter to Maxie M. Woods, who is listed as the owner of property at 890 Inman St. According to a report from Development and Engineering Services Department Director Jonathan Jobe, Woods was sent a certified letter and she signed for it on Oct. 3, 2011. She had 60 days to notify the building official whether she would demolish the house at 890 Inman St. or repair the building to 2006 International Residential Codes. The building inspector spoke with Woods on Nov. 1 at her residence, and she stated that she would have a decision and would notify the inspector of her decision before the time was up. The building inspector spoke with Woods Dec. 31. On Jan. 31, Woods said the house now belongs to her daughter and “the bank.” If that’s the case, then the legal process will have to start over with the new owner.
- Concerning a structure setting across Mouse Creek at 144 Brook Drive, Jobe said they have tried on several occasions to contact the owner. The owner is listed as Gayle Garner at the Tax Assessor’s Office. The listed phone numbers are not in service and two attempts have been made to contact her in person on two occasions. The residence is currently for sale and is listed with Marty Dabbs with Bender Reality. Jobe said officials have contacted Dabbs and communicated to her the structure needed to be removed or relocated out of the FEMA floodway. The structure also violates the city floodplain ordinance. Dabbs said the owner lives in Alabama and she would contact that person to have it removed. City attorney John Kimball researched the ownership information which showed Garner as the legal owner. She has a mortgage with GMAC and they also were sent a violation letter.
- Jobe said the property at 220 Dooley St. is currently in probate court because the owner died and the surviving daughter is still unsure whether she will demolish the house or rebuild. Nothing can be done until the property clears probate court.
- In an attempt to find a solution to flooding problems on Pineview Drive, Jobe said he met with Keith Street Ministries staff and board members on Jan. 11 to discuss flooding issues and ask if they would be willing to partner with the city to remove a portion of the parking lot. The church expressed several concerns about not leaving an entrance in the rear of the building. However, the church would be open to the city purchasing a portion of the parking area for a detention pond. Also, the church wants preapproval of any project plan.