City Commission Approves Next Steps on Dangerous Structure

City Commission Approves Next Steps on Dangerous Structure
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At Monday's City Commission Meeting, Commissioners considered a resolution declaring that a structure located at 901 N. 7th St. is unsafe and dangerous and must be removed, and establishing a reasonable deadline for removal of the dangerous structure.

BACKGROUND: The Building Services Division is responsible for ensuring that property in the City of Salina meets various building and property maintenance codes and does not pose a risk to the general public. To meet this goal, staff responds to citizen complaints as well as staff initiated inspections regarding structures that appear to present a danger to the public. An inspection of the property is completed using criteria listed in the Chapter 31, Article VI of the Salina Municipal Code entitled Dangerous Structures, Equipment or Premises.

Staff attempts to work with property owners to achieve code compliance. Frequently, owners complete the required improvements or demolition and the structure is removed from the dangerous structure category. In some cases, insufficient or no improvements are made to the property and proceedings must be initiated pursuant to K.S.A. 12-1750 et seq., which provides the authority for cities to require the repair or removal of such structures by complying with the applicable statutory procedures.

In this case, a public hearing was held on October 24, 2022 to discuss the repair or demolition of the structure at 901 N 7th St. The owner, while not able to attend the meeting, relayed through the Building Official an intent to demolish the structure and a desire to salvage materials from the demolition. Commissioners discussed the need for the site to be secure during demolition, the scope of the salvage work the owner wished to undertake, and possible dates for commencement and substantial completion of the work. At the conclusion of the public hearing it was determined that the matter should be brought back to the Commission in two weeks for action on a revised Resolution No. 22-8088.

Shortly after the hearing there was a staff change in the Building Services Division. The change resulted in the Assistant Building Official serving as the Acting Building Official for an extended amount of time. Because the Acting Building Official had not been a part of this process prior to the October 24, 2022 hearing, additional review of the records and process was required in order for staff to verify that status of this matter and proceed. This necessary review resulted in a delay in returning to the Commission for further action.

Since the hearing on October 24, 2022, the owner of 901 N. 7th St. has kept the Acting Building Official apprised of progress in salvage and demolition work. He has (a) kept the work site at 901 N 7th St secured with a gated and locked six foot (6') tall perimeter chain link fence, (b) salvaged desirable construction materials, and (c) begun the work to remove the structure from the property. Siding, most of the windows, plaster and lath strips, and shingles have been removed from the structure. The work carried out thus far did not require a demolition permit. Now that it is time to remove the structural elements of the building, the owner has applied for the necessary permit.

In the course of the owner's communication with the Acting Building Official, he has been notified of the scheduling of this update regarding his securing of the work site, his progress in removing the structure, and the Commission's consideration of revised Resolution No. 22-8088. The owner has provided his written acknowledgement of notification of the Commission's consideration of the matter and waiver of any other forms of notice.

FISCAL NOTE: There are two paths to completion for this dangerous structure. The first is for the owner to be given a reasonable amount of time to secure a demolition permit, commence the work, and complete the work, using a licensed contractor of his choosing. This path includes establishing permit issuance, work commencement, and final completion dates for demolition and removal of the structure. If these benchmarks are not met, the City would intervene and remove the dangerous structure. With the exception of inspection costs that will be incurred, this option brings no cost to the City unless the owner fails to complete the work.

STAFF RECOMMENDATION FOR TIMELINE: Staff recommends allowing until end of business day on June 26, 2023 for permit issuance, until end of business day on July 12, 2023 for commencement of the demolition work, and until end of business day on September 12, 2023 for completion of the work.

The motion was approved 4-0. Commissioner Lenkiewicz was not present.

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