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Saluda Inn condemned

City approves ordinance declaring the inn uninhabitable

SALUDA—The Saluda Inn is officially uninhabitable.

The Saluda Board of Commissioners met Monday and approved an ordinance that gives the city the power to make any occupants vacate the property and to board it up.

City officials also said Polk County is currently in the process of foreclosing on the property because city or county taxes have not been paid in 2 years.

The inn is located at 229 Greenville Street and the city’s ordinance is for minimum housing standards.

Saluda Code Enforcer Steven Orr said the ordinance will allow the city to secure the property so there is no more damage and declaring that no one can be there.

City attorney Jana Berg explained that the city is enforcing its minimum ordinance for public safety reasons, including boarding it up to prevent someone from getting hurt. If people do not exit the structure, Berg said the ordinance also gives the city authority to have law enforcement remove them from the structure.

Berg also explained that the county has a lean on the property and is in the process of a foreclosure proceeding. The property will be foreclosed and sold on the courthouse steps if the owners do not pay the taxes prior to the proceeding. Once the property is sold, the new owners will still be under the city’s ordinance and will have to bring the structure up to code.

Saluda City Manager Jonathan Cannon said the city can stabilize the property if need be as well as bring any nuisance issues, such as tall grass, up to city code.

“The grass is really tall and is creating a nuisance,” Cannon said. “We can at least get it cleaned up and stable.”

The city previously issued an order giving the owners 90 days to come up with a plan to get the structure up to code. Cannon said the owners did not contact the city with a plan and on June 5 they will be past that 90-day window.

Berg said if the property is sold on the courthouse steps through the county’s foreclosure process as long as the new owners demonstrate a good faith effort on repairs to bring the structure into compliance the city can work with them on the timeframe.