Commission to grant property owner time to make repairs on damaged North Washington building
During a special meeting of the Ardmore City Commission on Wednesday afternoon, commissioners voted against the demolition of the building at 119 N. Washington St. which was struck by a car in the early hours of Saturday morning. Instead, they are giving the property owner time to make the necessary repairs. Because the commission did vote to declare the building an imminent safety hazard, the extra time for repairs comes with a series of milestones that must be met within a specific timeframe or else face demolition in the future.
The stipulation are as follows. Within 10 days all debris must be removed, the structure secured, and confirmed safe by a structural engineer. Within 30 days the property must be completely weatherproofed. Within 60 days a building permit with architectural plans must be obtained, and the building must be at a complete and habitable state within six months of obtaining the permit. Finally, if any milestones are not met, the city can proceed with demolition.
Community Development Director explained how the city will define “habitable state” which was a recommendation of City Attorney Dave Davis.
“Habitable state depends on the use of what the building code is going to require,” Scott said. “The building permit will come first, and in this case there is so much damage that we're going to require architectural plans. So he's going to have to tell his architect what he wants the building to be. Then the architect will define the habitable state based on building codes and what he wants to do with the building.”
Property owner Nick Thigpin was at the meeting and he said he has been meeting with engineers, contractors and repairmen to get everything set in time to make the first deadline in 10 days. Much of the debris has already been cleared away and jacks have been placed inside the building to keep it standing. He will determine with an engineer if any parts of the facade that have not already fallen need to be taken down and how to go about that safely.
At the end of the meeting Vice Mayor Sheryl Ellis spoke and emphasized how seriously the city plans on taking various milestones outlined.
“I want everyone to know that we actually mean this,” she said. “I actually mean six months, and I actually mean action. I appreciate you (Mr. Thigpin) being here and all the interested neighbors because it does affect the whole neighborhood – and in some cases other peoples buildings. I appreciate everyone coming together, and lets give it our best.”