SIDNEY — The Building Board of Appeals held its first meeting Tuesday to hear a resident’s appeal of a dangerous structure determination. However, the meeting was continued because the resident did not show up.
The meeting was for the request of Chris Cavinder to appeal the residential building official’s decision to deem the property at 714-716 E. Court St. a dangerous structure. The building official’s determination was declared in November 2018.
Because the board had not met in a number of years, as Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth noted, the board’s first order of business was to elect a board chairman and vice chair.
Among board members Kent Craver, Michael Goubeaux, Mike Heintz, Tom Martin and David Durbin, Durbin was elected as chairman and Goubeaux as vice chair.
Then after waiting a number of minutes on Cavinder to arrive, the board decided to reschedule the meeting. Dulworth told the board city staff had been unsuccessful to contact Cavinder and did not know why he was absent. Board members agreed to wait to reschedule the next meeting until city staff could speak with Cavinder.
After the vote to continue the hearing passed, several board members then had questions about the building in question.
Durbin asked about the building being a fire hazard, but Dulworth confirmed that the electricity was shut off. It was noted the roof is in such bad shape that rain comes straight through. A big issue Durbin pointed out was fear that the building could collapse; the inspection revealed there are faulty rafters and trusses.
Vacant Property Inspector Kyle Havenar said, when asked, the building has been unoccupied since at least 2017. Dulworth said she believes it has been unoccupied longer than that.
When asked about zoning being an issue, since the building had been unoccupied for a period of time and contains multiple units, Dulworth said city staff would look in to it for the next meeting.
She told the board it could be arranged for members to see the structure themselves, if they would like, so they would know what the exact issues were for themselves. Heintz said that would be unnecessary, unless Cavinder disagrees with the building inspector’s specific assessments.
Durbin asked Dulworth if Cavender refused to repair the building and the board denied his appeal, does the city of Sidney have the option to tear the building down? Dulworth said yes, and told him in those situations, the costs would be billed to the owner, and if the property owner does not pay, it would then be assessed to the property’s taxes.
According to the community development office, apparently there was a misunderstanding about the meeting’s date and time. The next Building Board of Appeals meeting is yet to be announced, but will be scheduled for as soon as possible.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.