The Dunn City Council agreed to give one home buyer extra time to bring his new investment — that was facing demolition — up to code at Tuesday’s council meeting inside city hall.
Tom Hamilton often drove by the 911 Fairground Road home, with its broken windows, overgrown lawn and caving roof, and in its decay, he saw an opportunity.
“I kept thinking, the town’s going to condemn this house if somebody doesn’t fix it,” he said.
So Hamilton bought it. In January. Mere weeks away from a pending demolition order and went to work.
“It’s a nice property. It’s a shame to let it go in disrepair like that,” said Hamilton, who owns Carolina Foam Insulation Inc., a commercial roofing, insulation and fireproofing business in Dunn. “We’ve only owned it for about three weeks and we’ve already cleaned up all the brush that was around and we’ve cleaned up the grounds. There was a piece of metal roof that had blown off. We’ve removed that. We’ve tarped it until we can replace it and we repaired some other issues with the roof.”
He has more work to do and estimates it may take him up to six months to complete it all.
“I feel like it would be a nice property for the community. We feel like it would be a compliment to it and we’d like to have the opportunity to do that,” Hamilton told the board. The renovation would also give his guys a project to work on when the weather is bad, he added.
“I’ve tried to look for properties for years where we can rehab them and let them make a full work week.”
But Hamilton needed more time and the council had an order to demolish the home up for approval before them Tuesday night.
Councilman David Bradham made a motion to table the matter for six months, giving Hamilton time to bring it up to code before the board decides on the property’s future. He later amended his motion to table the matter for 60 days to allow the council to have a progress report on the renovations, making sure the home doesn’t fall, once again, into neglect.
The motion to table the decision for two months passed unanimously.
“I campaigned and promised my supporters to be diligent and supportive of cleaning up delinquent properties, dilapidated properties and properties not in code. However, in this situation, since the current owner was not responsible for the state of the property and, according to the building inspector, is making a good faith effort to clean it up, I felt it necessary to give him a little more time,” Councilman J. Wesley Sills said after the vote. “Then, we’ll come back to it again and if he’s still progressing, we’ll give him a little bit more time, but if he drops the ball then I’ll easily support the demolition ordinance.”
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