The City Council issued a resounding mandate to the owners of an Isaac Weeks Road property at the beginning of this month: Make substantial repairs to the dilapidated home over the next two weeks, or it will be deemed unsafe and torn down. This week, Council members looked at photos of a brand new home.
At a special meeting Tuesday night, City of Clinton Planning director Mary M. Rose said the house was no longer unsafe.
“Substantial work, as per your prior direction, has been completed,” Rose stated. “There is no more action needed. We have deemed it not unsafe and there is no further action needed.”
James White’s property, located at 1172 Isaac Weeks Road, Clinton, was deemed unsafe by city officials, who put the structure through its Unsafe Buildings Condemned process earlier this year. That process was initiated due to complaints from adjoining property owners, who voiced concerns about the condition of the structure as well as animals in and out of the property.
Neighbors David and Shirley Williams said the home was an eyesore for years, calling it “very unsightly, hazardous and unsanitary.” She said they presented several proposals to the White family over the years in attempt to alleviate the issue, to no avail.
The City Council said in May that substantial progress had to occur prior to the Council’s June 5 meeting to avoid condemnation and demolition. While that didn’t happen, Council members gave James White a two-week extension, due to weather and permitting issues, setting a hard deadline of Tuesday to have significant repairs made. That had to include a new roof, new windows and the lot cleared, they said.
Owners whose properties have been deemed unsafe are given time to repair the unsafe aspects of the building or demolish it all together. The declaration was made in January, with 60 days given. Rose said no repairs were made in the 60 days that followed, leading to the request to have the house demolished. The matter came to the Council in May, at which a month was given to make substantial repairs before the extension granted.
White grew up at the house, which belonged to his grandfather. He said earlier this month that it would look like his grandfather’s old house when he gets through with it. White said the home, which he said was once used as a barn, has sentimental value, and he was willing to do what needed to be done to keep it.
“I’m going to get it back up to par,” he remarked. “I wouldn’t have invested (money) if it wasn’t my intention to fix it.”
Council members implored White to make the necessary repairs to avoid losing the home.
“I want it to look like a different house,” said Councilman Neal Strickland.
On Tuesday, that’s exactly what he and other Council members saw, as they passed around photos of the newly-renovated structure.
“We thank you for your work,” said Clinton Mayor Lew Starling, who noted that city staff would continue to keep an eye on the property.
Managing Editor Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 2587.