The Conway City Council approved razing a vacant structure in the 200 block of Davis Street.
The property owner, Robert Fraser, said “the structure itself is sound” and acknowledged that the roof needed repairs among other issues.
However, Code Enforcement Officer Spencer Clawson said he disagreed.
“In my determination, that’s not accurate. The building is in major disrepair, not just from the limb or whatever damaged the roof. It’s been leaked in for, I would assume, years,” he said. “Mold is very prevalent in there; you almost can’t even breathe in there. I don’t think that fixing the roof would make much difference to the structure.”
He showed the council video from a walk-through inspection he did in April, and aldermen agreed with him.
“That looks beyond repair to me,” Alderman Mary Smith said.
The code enforcement officer said he believes the structure is inhabitable.
“There’s been a significant amount of damage done by the weather and from neglect over the years. I don’t believe it could ever be habitable again,” he said. “After the inspection, we determined that [a vacant structure at] 217 Davis [Street] was inhabitable and a danger to public safety. For state law and city ordinance, I ask you to condemn it so that we can have the structure razed.”
The council approved the proposal 7-0. Alderman Shelley Mehl was absent.
The property will be taken down in 30 days and the cost will be assessed by the property owners. The property owner has the right to raze the property himself before the 30-day period runs out.
City Attorney Chuck Clawson said aldermen could tell “the seriousness” of the situation by the fact they were hearing it at all.
“This is not something that comes before the council much at all, if ever,” he said.
The property is one of three on Davis Street that Fraser owns with code violations dating back to 2009. In May, the city cleared debris outside the properties. The estimated cost was more than $5,000.