Tryon to take action on partially torn down house

Published 1:30 pm Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Town of Tryon is planning to tear down a partially demolished house on Markham Road and place a lien on the property. Tryon Town Council voted unanimously to proceed immediately with the demolition. Councilman Roy Miller said the deadline for the property owner to have the house torn down was December 11. The property owner was not responding to letters from the town, he says. Miller urged council to take action, noting that the issue has dragged on for years.

&dquo;It&squo;s been about two to three years on that house for code enforcement procedures,&dquo; he said. &dquo;About six months ago they started tearing down, but every time there&squo;s been a change in a code enforcement officer we get thrown further behind.&dquo;

Miller says such abandoned houses are unsafe and the town should avoid letting them sit for years. He said there about 10 to 15 such houses in the Eastside of Tryon.

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The house on Markham Road is on a hill facing Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, says Miller. Parts of the house have been pitched down the hillside toward the road. Miller says a general laborer was working to demolish the house for the owner, but did not finish the process.

Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples raised concerns that the town pays for demolition, but doesn&squo;t get its money back through the lien. But councilman Dennis Durham said the town needs to take action and put &dquo;teeth&dquo; in its ordinance, &dquo;or we should take it off the books.&dquo;

During citizen comments, resident John Vining suggested that instead of tearing down all of the abandoned houses the town should consider allowing Habitat for Humanity to rehabilitate those structures that are sound and worth saving.&bsp; That way, he said, the houses could be preserved and put to use for those in the community who need them.