New policy could be coming for vacant home demolition in Wilming - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

New policy could be coming for vacant home demolition in Wilmington

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Wilmington's city leaders want vacant, dilapidated homes repaired or done away with at a faster rate. Wilmington's city leaders want vacant, dilapidated homes repaired or done away with at a faster rate.
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -

Wilmington's city leaders want vacant, dilapidated homes repaired or done away with at a faster rate.

At their agenda briefing Monday morning, the Wilmington City Council received an update on the Structures Demolition Process from Williane Carr, the city's Chief Code Enforcement Officer.

At previous meetings this year, the council expressed displeasure that many homes were sitting idle for long periods of time and becoming safety hazards.

Carr explained that in many cases, it can be very difficult to get in touch with the heirs of the homes and that makes any demolition or renovation process complicated.

Council member Laura Padgett said the policy had previously been tweaked because too many people thought the houses were being taken away too quickly.

Carr said that the community had requested more time to repair their homes. Subsequently, an Agreement to Stay was created. Carr explained that the agreement gave the rightful home owners more time to fix the properties.

The council agreed that it is important to give the owners the necessary time needed to repair the properties, but at the same time, no home must be left idle as a disturbance to neighbors and a burden to the community for months on end.

"We've had a backlog of over I think 250 homes that potentially could be coming forward for demolition," said Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo.

The council instructed the City Attorney, Bill Wolak, to continue working with the city staffers and code enforcement agents to find a medium that works for property owners and the City of Wilmington.

"If the city moves forward with a demolition or putting lien on these properties, there is a cost to the citizens of the community so we want those property owners and those heirs to fix the property," the mayor explained.

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