Anderson County began demolition on abandoned/substandard properties this morning, Monday, October 8 at 8 am. The first property to be demolished was located at 112 Jackson Street in Anderson. Council Chairman Tom Allen, Vice Chairman Tommy
Dunn (District 5) and Councilman Francis Crowder watched as the first of five properties slated for demolition was torn down.
"This is the beginning of a more aggressive program to remove blight from our neighborhoods and get them on the path to revitalization," said Council Chairman Tom Allen. "We had the opportunity to speak with several homeowners in the neighborhood and they are thrilled that this property is being removed. One neighbor worried about neighborhood kids who were seen playing around and going inside the property since it was a hazard. Tearing down these dilapidated houses also removes the threat of drugs and crime in our neighborhoods. We are pleased to see this project really get underway and make a difference."
News Release Below:
COUNTY BEGINS DEMOLITION OF ABANDONED AND SUBSTANDARD HOUSING
In an effort to address the on-going issue of vacated, substandard housing throughout Anderson County, Council recently allocated $150,000 to the Building and Codes Department for demolition. Plans are underway for the first phase, which begins on Monday, October 8. The first property scheduled for demolition is located at 112 Jackson Street.
Of the 8 homes that were targeted for demolition in the first phase, two were demolished by the owners of the property after they received a final notice from the Building and Codes Department, one will be razed by the Homeland Park Fire Department as part of a training exercise and the remaining five have been contracted out through Anderson County's bid process. The 5 homes to be scheduled for demolition are:
Location Council District
1. 112 Jackson Street, Anderson 5
2. 210 Willow Drive, Piedmont 6
3. 10 Hardeman Street, Piedmont 6
4. 1518 White Street, Anderson 2
5. 111 Cake Extraordinaire, Pendleton 4
"Eliminating abandoned/substandard housing increases our communities' safety and long-term stability, improves property standards, and encourages revitalization and economic development," said Anderson County Vice Chairman Tommy Dunn. "Leveling these abandoned/substandard structures that are often hot spots for criminal activity, such as theft, drug use, prostitution or arson, gives rise to positive change and results in the revitalization of neighborhoods. Council's goal is to support Building & Codes efforts and thereby, promote an environment that encourages redevelopment of these areas, fosters home ownership and improves housing opportunities for residents."
"This gives us an opportunity to clean-up these vacated dilapidated homes that are not only unfit for human habitation, but are also a danger to the community," said Anderson County Building and Codes Manager Barry Holcombe. "County Council recognizes this problem and they have provided the means to address it."
Anderson County has a Substandard Housing Program to address dilapidated, vacated homes. Due to the legal steps that are required, it may take six months to a year to have a property approved for demolition. Mobile homes can be even more difficult since the mobile home owner is not always the land owner. In these cases, there is a law in place that specifically deals with derelict mobile homes and the Building and Codes Department is prepared to guide the land owner through this process. At this time, Building & Codes has approximately 130 plus cases pending.
Holcombe reiterated, "It is ultimately the property owner's responsibility and if an owner fails to comply with an order to demolish a vacant substandard property, all costs associated with the demolition will be placed on the property as a lien and will be collectable in the same manner as county taxes."
Phase II of the program is anticipated to begin in early 2013. Preparations are currently being made to assemble packets that will be released for bid in the near future. Once Building and Codes has taken the required legal steps, per County Ordinance, the number of homes suitable for demolition can be determined.
*Potential vendors may visit www.andersoncountysc.org/CONTRACTS to register as a vendor and to view current contracts released for bid.
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For more information:
Public Works Division Director/Assistant County Administrator