Condemned houses are an unsightly and sometimes dangerous blight to Ardmore’s neighborhoods. Soon, many of these abandoned homes will be coming down.
“We’re having a demolition hearing on December 4, and then we’ll have another one probably the first week in January,” said Director of Development Services Jessica Scott. “We’ve already started posting the properties and people will be getting notices in the mail.”
Scott said there are 25 properties on the list for December and another 25 on the list for January. While not all 50 properties may end up getting demolished this year, Scott said they will be tearing down as many as the budget allows.
“When people come into the hearing, we pull up all the info from their case from the very beginning,” Scott said. “We talk about what’s been done and what’s not been done and if there were any building permits issued in the past that were never fixed.”
Finally they discuss if the owner or the city will be the one paying for the demolition.
“Sometimes people don’t have the means and it will fall on us,” Scott said. “Sometimes people are deceased and there will be several heirs who just don’t want to deal with it, and about half the time people don’t show up at all.”
In any of these cases, the city will pay for the demolition then place a lien on the property taxes. If these taxes are not paid, the county will eventually sell the location to cover the cost.
This can lead to opportunities for property developers to build new homes.
“It’s not worth it to them to have to tear down the house,” Scott said. “But if they buy it from the county it can be easily reused.”