By Conrad Dudderar
The Yukon City Council has declared four properties as public nuisances – but agreed to wait until Sept. 5 to review the matter before deciding whether to authorize demolishing any of the four small houses.
Council members, at their July 6th meeting, gave the property owner 60 more days to make noticeable progress remedying issues with the dilapidated structures.
Two of the houses are in the 200 block of Cedar, one is in the 1000 block of Cedar, and one is in the 1100 block of S 1st.
“The properties have been given multiple nuisance violations for the past 10 years,” Assistant City Manager Mitchell Hort wrote in a memo to the city council.
“Each property has been abated at least once, some of them more.”
Council members reviewed photos and documentation describing the conditions of the vacant frame houses, which have boarded-up windows, deteriorated exterior walls and damaged roofs.
“Really what we want them to do is fix them where they’re livable and presentable,” Hort said at the July 6th council meeting.
Attorney Mike Segler represents Dale Hurst, who owns the four properties.
“They are in disrepair; there’s no question about that,” Segler said. “They are secure at least.
“I don’t see any evidence of any vagrants or people coming in and ‘squatting’ on the property.”
The Yukon City Council, at its May 2nd meeting, postponed for 60 days declaring the properties as public nuisances. Hurst had asked council members for more time to bring the properties into compliance with Yukon city code.
On July 3, Hurst emailed Hort a list of upgrades he plans to make to the properties – such as installing new windows, replacing exterior siding and roofs, painting outside, and making various inside repairs.
“He has engaged the services of some contractors,” said Segler, expressing his desire to “get this thing off of high center.”
Mayor Shelli Selby shared her disappointment that Hurst waited so late before the July 6th city council meeting to contact Hort about what steps he would take to address the situation.
“It was July 3 – day 59 – and nothing has been done,” Selby said.
NEED A TIMELINE
Hort wants to meet with the owner to develop a plan that includes a specific timeline to make the property improvements.
“If you don’t have a plan with a timeline, then it can drag out two or three years,” he pointed out. “I’ve not been in the houses to determine how in-depth it needs to be.
“We’d have to do a physical site visit, go within the structure to see if there’s any structural damage.”
Yukon’s former city attorney, Segler told the council that he will work directly with Hort in coming weeks to develop a “plan of action” to make these four houses habitable.
Although he hasn’t be inside the properties, Segler said he drove around and looked at them.
The attorney asked the city council to give him and his client time to meet with City of Yukon staff to “come up with a plan” before any structure is demolished.
“I don’t see any evidence or rodents or snakes or people tearing it down,” he said. “No vandalism. No graffiti.
“It’s hard for me to imagine it’s that much of a public nuisance. It’s an eyesore, for sure, and it does need to be taken care of. But the imminent nature of it being ‘immediately harmful to the public welfare and safety’ – I have a hard time reaching that far.”
Segler acknowledged nobody has lived in these houses for years, but said he’s now involved in the process and will meet with Hort.
“Within 45 days, we can have a very clear plan and a timeline,” Segler added. “Depending on the schedule of the contractors and sub-contractors, we can have some noticeable work completed. We just need to get with city staff so we’re all on the same page.”
The city council voted unanimously July 6 to give the property owner until Sept. 5 before they review for possible further action.
“I don’t have any problem coming up with a detailed plan on all four of the structures within 60 days,” Segler said. “It depends on the scheduling of the trades on what progress can be made.”