Dangerous Buildings Demolition Ordinance Passes

Wednesday, December 2, 2015, 8:12 pm
By: 
Chris Root

Image: Back of vacant, blighted building at Grand River and Evergreen Avenues, just east of the Peoples Church memorial garden.

Last night, East Lansing’s City Council voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 1360, which makes it easier for the City to decide to tear down a dangerous building when “the cost of the repairs would exceed 100 percent of the true cash value of the structure as reflected on the city assessment tax rolls.” The ordinance’s passage could ultimately lead to the City moving to demolish dangerous vacant buildings.

City Attorney Tom Yeadon drafted the ordinance at the request of Mayor Pro Tem Ruth Beier. Yeadon explained that the language about the cost of repairs compared to the property’s cash value before it became unsafe had been upheld by the Michigan Supreme Court.

The Council’s consideration of the issue began with a Public Hearing at this meeting, but no one appeared to speak during the public hearing. Nor was there any controversy among members of Council.

Councilmember Shanna Draheim said she supported the provision, noting that the code needed to be updated. She also said that some discussion that has been occurring about demolishing buildings is premature.

Mayor Mark Meadows said this change makes it easier to move forward with a demolition, noting specifically the buildings at the corner of Grand River Avenue and Abbot Road. He said, however, that the Council has not decided to demolish these buildings and will not do so without substantial discussion within Council and a vigorous debate in the community.

 

To view the part of the meeting where this was passed, and to see the ordinance, click here. Reminder: Citizens can speak at or write to City Council on any issue, including those not on the agenda. Email can be sent to Council by writing to council@cityofeastlansing.com.

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