Four new properties have been added to Jefferson City's list of dangerous buildings, including the second tornado-damaged property since the list was posted on the city's website last month.
In November, the list included nine properties. Now it has 11, with a few removed and four added.
The new properties are 510 Holiday Drive, 112 E. Ashley St., 202 Marshall St. and 528 E. Capitol Ave. The last two addresses share one corner parcel.
The Holiday Drive property is only the second property to be added following tornado damage.
"We were alerted to it that nothing was being done there, and we received some complaints on it," said Dave Helmick, housing and property inspector for Jefferson City.
With nothing being done to clean up or repair the property, the city sent an initial letter to the property owners Dec. 4 but received no response and saw no change at the property, Helmick said. The city declared it a dangerous building.
The first tornado-damaged property to be declared dangerous, 1716 Four Seasons Drive, was added to the list in November but was recently removed after the owner cleaned up and secured the property, Helmick said.
In September and again in November, the News Tribune reported on the ongoing city code violations at the 1716 Four Seasons Drive property, which was previously the home of the Missouri Career Center until the May 22 tornado severely damaged the building.
When the city resumed full code enforcement about two months after the tornado, the property looked the same as it had since the day of the damage. Now, the property is clean, and the windows are boarded up.
"It looks really good over there. It's a heck of a before-and-after look to the property," Helmick said last week.
After the building was cleaned up and secured against unauthorized access, it was taken off of the dangerous buildings list.
Other buildings currently on the list are 1001 Washington St., 827 E. High St., 1421 St. Mary's Blvd., 310 E. Ashley St., 1324 E. Miller St., 108 Jackson St., 519 E. Capitol Ave. and 422 E. High St.
Helmick said the safety of the neighborhood and any occupants of buildings is the most important aspect of working on dangerous buildings.
For example, he said, 1716 Four Seasons Drive, before it was cleaned up, had a lot of sharp metal pieces inside and outside the building, and because it was unsecured, it posed a safety threat to the area.
Once properties are removed from the dangerous buildings list, they still typically need to be repaired or demolished, depending on what the city recommends and what the owners want to do.
Residential properties are slightly different.
Some of the residential properties on the list — 1001 Washington St., 827 E. High St., 310 E. Ashley St., 1324 E. Miller St. and 202 Marshall St. — were occupied when they were placed on the dangerous buildings list.
If an occupied property is declared dangerous by the city, the occupants are notified and asked to vacate the property, Helmick said.
Buildings can also be declared dangerous if they contain substantial accumulations of trash or other materials susceptible to fire or harboring vermin or insects, which could threaten the health of the occupants, according to city code.
For some structures, Helmick said, the recommended corrective action is demolition, due to the amount of damage or unsanitary conditions. Others can be repaired or cleaned.
If a residential property is able to be salvaged and corrective action is taken, residents can then move back in. Helmick said, for example, 310 Ashley St. could be reoccupied if action is taken.
Dangerous buildings go through a process once they are declared. If no action is taken by the owner, a hearing is held to determine what should be done with the property.
Two of the properties on the list — 1001 Washington St. and 827 E. High St. — have already gone through the hearing process, and it was determined they should be demolished due to unsanitary conditions and structural issues.
"Our first choice is always to have them repaired, unless it's one of the properties that can't be repaired," Helmick said. "Unfortunately, some houses and structures are deteriorated so far or damaged so far it's not financially possible to repair them."
He said they typically recommend demolition if the cost to repair the property would be more than 50 percent of the property value. The property at 1001 Washington St. has a value of about $26,000, and its estimated costs to repair were more than $46,000.
"It wouldn't be financially reasonable to repair that property," Helmick said.
If a hearing officer orders a property to be demolished, the property owner must comply. If they don't by a certain deadline, the city will intervene.
Right now, Helmick said the city is waiting for funds to demolish 1001 Washington St., and the owner of 827 E. High St. plans to do the demolition privately. If the city takes care of a demolition or nuisance repair, the cost of the work is placed as a tax lien on the property.
If property owners receive a dangerous building notice, cooperation with the city is key, Helmick said.
"The most important thing, if you receive a notice from us or a certified packet on a dangerous building, is to call and work with us and let us know what's going on," he said.
By working together, the city and property owners can come to a resolution. He said the properties that have been taken off of the dangerous buildings list were able to do so because the owners worked with the city.
"We want a resolution for the neighborhoods and the people that live in those areas," Helmick said.