DAVIS — For the city of Davis, dilapidated homes haven’t been an issue — until Monday’s council meeting.
Monday, Davis council members were faced with a dilemma. How do you declare a home dilapidated if there aren’t any city codes to back up the council’s decision?
Homes located at 905 E. Davis, and 208 9th Street, were both on the agenda to be declared dilapidated. Since the city doesn’t have an official code to address the issue, the council members unanimously approved a motion to allow the property owners 60 days to repair the homes or they would be declared dilapidated and torn down by the city at the owner’s expense.
“We need to set a procedure for homes in need of repair,” City Manager Tom Graham said after the meeting. “We have no codes for that. We’re going to have to look towards other cities in regards to these buildings. It’s just not an issue we have faced much.”
Graham said that other homes the council have declared dilapidated were entirely gutted and not fit to live in. However he described the two properties up for review by the council as “question marks.”
“We’ve never come across homes like this that may or may not be livable,” Graham said.
Davis’ building inspector and city attorney will meet soon to discuss how to enact a code that sets the standard for what will be considered by the city as a condemned or dilapidated home. The new code is expected to also set the standard for how long homeowners will have to bring the  property up to code.
Currently, the city also has ordinances for mowing and trash related issues. They also follow the building codes set forth by the International Code Council, which have been adopted by the state of Oklahoma. These codes require homes to have electricity, plumbing and be structurally sound. The issue, Graham said, is that these codes apply only to new construction.
Homes have to be in compliance with the code standards at the time they were built unless a major remodel has been done. If a major remodel has been done or will need to be done, the home must be brought up to the most recent code standards.
Council members said that they have not been able to go into the homes to assess the repairs needed because they are private property, something adopting a city code may be able to address.
The council plans to review the homeowners progress on the buildings during the September meeting before deciding whether to demolish the buildings down.
“I hope the new code has a definitive time frame for repairing homes,” Graham said. “That way the council will have a uniform standard when telling people to repair their buildings.”