Eastside chair expresses disappointment over Tryon’s progress on dilapidated housing

Published 6:42 pm Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tryon Eastside Citizen Advisory Committee Chair Warren Carson said he’s disappointed in the progress the town has made ridding the community of dilapidated housing.
“I’m disappointed because what I’m hearing is the same song, different verse that I’ve had to listen to for more than 20 years,” said Carson.
Tryon Town Council met Tuesday, Oct. 18 and heard an update on four dilapidated structures in the Eastside community. Tryon Fire Chief and code enforcer Joey Davis said the town held a hearing earlier this month for property owners of the structures, and no property owners attended.
The town sent notices to the property owners stating the structures must be in compliance within 90 days (Jan. 13, 2012). If the structures are not in compliance by Jan. 13, 2012, the town can approve ordinances to demolish.
Davis said the town heard from one property owner, who told the town to tear the structure down.
Miller asked why the town has to wait 90 days before demolishing that structure since the property owner said to tear it down.
Town attorney Bailey Nager said the town still has to go through the procedure in order to go on private property unless the property owner deeds the property over to the town. If that were the case, the town could proceed immediately.
Town officials say they are going through the appropriate channels with the structures, but Carson and councilman Roy Miller said they don’t feel the Eastside structures have been given the most expedited attention.
“If they were anywhere else in town they would have been gone by now,” Miller said.
Carson, a former Tryon councilman, used to make frequent presentations to fellow council members showing photographs of dilapidated structures in the neighborhood.
“I understand all the process, but what I have not heard a word about is the cost to the residents who have to endure living next to those houses day after day,” Carson said. “On behalf of the citizens of the Eastside I urge you to take another look at this matter and move with as much expedition as you can to give the residents of the Eastside, and frankly of Tryon, some relief on the number of dilapidated structures. Trust me, it takes away from the quality of life of all Tryonites.”
Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples said he and Miller have had discussions regarding possibilities for the properties following demolition. Peoples said he and Miller have discussed acquiring the properties and donating them to Habitat for Humanity or someone to build houses to get the properties back on the town’s tax rolls.
The town has in the past few years made some progress on demolishing dilapidated structures in the town and its extra territorial jurisdiction (ETJ), but many more remain, particularly in the Eastside community.
Davis has said recently the town has also identified six more structures that do not meet the town’s minimum housing code.
Carson and Miller for years have urged the town to get rid of the structures for many reasons, including decreased property values for neighbors and the dangers of insects, pests and snakes from the overgrowth. In addition, the structures are often taken over by persons using drugs.
A few years ago council decided to create a budget specifically for demolition and has allowed the fire department to burn structures that qualify for training. Approximately four structures have been demolished over the past couple of years, including some in the Eastside neighborhood and a mobile home on Rippy Road in the town’s ETJ.

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