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Residents want more done over vacant houses

Vacant buildings
Posted at 10:15 PM, Oct 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-01 01:42:05-04

After a building on Waco St. partially burnt down Monday morning, a 2021 ordinance could allow the city the right to come in to demolish it.

In August 2021, Corpus Christi City Council passed an ordinance stating that if a building presents imminent danger due to a sudden act like fire, vandalism, flood damage, and more, the city can demolish it.

“I think it’s the way it should be and I compliment the city manager for pushing that through," Ronald Graban said, a North Beach resident.

After a portion of the Knights Inn Motel on North Beach was damaged by a fire, in March of last year, city council took action to pass the ordinance.

Owners of the property in question would have three business days to request a hearing on the demolition. If they can come up with a plan to fix the property to make it safe, they have one business day to make the fix after its approval.

“It makes the neighborhood safer," Graban said. "We are able to protect the value of property values and it encourages development.”

Graban, a North Beach resident, thinks long-standing vacant buildings are a problem, as well, citing the area on the west side of the Harbor Bridge. The process to secure and demolish a vacant building is much longer.

“The property owners are absentee," said Graban. "And, they just let the property sit there they don’t mow the grass, they don’t trim the trees and it really is an eye sore. So, all of those things, if they could get cleaned up, would make this just a much better neighborhood.”

Nonetheless, Graban is a fan that the city is taking action and decided to build a new home on North Beach.

“I've been dragging my feet on whether to build and put the investment into North Beach," he said. "And, the recent decisions by the city that have encouraged the development of North Beach finally made me realize it’s a good investment.”

On the opposite side, people may not demolish structures because of the cost. According to Home Advisor, the average cost to demolish a 1,500-square-foot-home is between $3,000 and $18,000.

Click here for the Ordinance as amended.

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