(Feb. 8, 2019) A nuisance property in Bishopville got a second chance during a public hearing Tuesday at a Worcester County Commissioners meeting.
A nuisance abatement order was issued to the property owners on Nov. 13, 2018, stating “the unattended and uninhabitable dilapidated portion of the structure” was deemed “beyond reasonable hope of rehabilitation or restoration.”
The owners were given until Jan. 15 to comply.
Vincent and Denise Lynch, of Selbyville, requested the public hearing with the Worcester County Commissioners. They’ve owned the property on 10720 St. Martins Neck Road for 15 years. Before that, Vincent said it’d been in Denise’s family for many years.
Over the years, Vincent said he’d taken steps to improve the home, including installing a new sewage system, a new roof and new floors.
“This house was bought with the intention, I don’t play golf. I don’t go hunting, fishing, this is my relaxing thing that I do,” Vincent said. “But that’s still no excuse for the way it looks today.”
Commissioner Jim Bunting, who represents the Bishopville area asked what the couple has done to improve the property.
“You’ve had 60 days, and it doesn’t appear that there’s been anything done in the 60 days that make[s] me feel that you’re attempting to try to avoid this issue other than coming here today,” Bunting said.
The owners offered three options in a memorandum: repair it, tear it down or sell it.
A tenant also is living in part of the building, but Vincent was unclear of the parameters of nuisance abatement, and didn’t realize it covered whole structure.
Vincent asked if he’d need to give his tenant a 30-day notice to evict, and several commissioners said yes.
Director Ed Tudor clarified the nuisance abatement covered the “property in general.”
Tudor also cited well, septic and critical area concerns with the property.
Vincent then suggested a deadline of one year, but Commissioner Joseph Mitrecic didn’t think that was realistic.
“For us to give you that, I don’t have a problem … because … I don’t think that you can do it in a year to be honest with you,” Mitrecic said. “If you went there every day and worked sunup to sundown, I think it’s gonna take [longer].”
Mitrecic also implored the couple to obtain architectural engineered drawings.
There haven’t been any interior inspections to the property.
Vincent also asked the commissioners if it’d be possible to demolish the structure and rebuild within the same footprint, but Mitrecic said that question would need to be directed to the county’s Board of Zoning Appeals.
Tudor introduced a possible timeline: 14 days to get a hearing with the Board of Zoning Appeals, 30 days to file for a permit to demolish the home and 60 days to obtain the sealed architectural drawings.
“At least that way you keep things progressing as you go through [the process],” Tudor said.
Several commissioners questioned the timeline to start construction.
“Six months total from today before they actually drill the first nail, Mitrecic said.
Mitrecic made a motion to grant the extra time: 14 days to make application to zoning appeals, 30 days to get a demolition permit and start demolition, 60 days for architectural stamped drawings, and starting construction six months from Tuesday. Commissioner Joshua Nordstrom seconded the motion.