Residents want to do more for vacant homes

After a building on Waco Street was partially burned Monday morning, a 2021 ordinance could allow the city to step in to demolish it.

In August 2021, Corpus Christi City Council passed an ordinance stating that if a building is in imminent danger due to a sudden act such as fire, vandalism, flood damage, etc., the city may demolish.

“I think that’s how it should be and I commend the city manager for pushing this through,” North Beach resident Ronald Graban said.

After part of the Knights Inn Motel in North Beach was damaged by fire in March last year, the city council moved to pass the ordinance.

The owners of the property in question would have three working days to request a demolition hearing. If they can come up with a plan to repair the property to make it safe, they have one working day to complete the repair after it is approved.

“It makes the neighborhood safer,” Graban said. “We are able to protect the value of land values ​​and that encourages development.”

Graban, a North Beach resident, thinks long-standing vacant buildings are also a problem, citing the area on the west side of the Harbor Bridge. The process of securing and demolishing a vacant building is much longer.

“The owners are away,” Graban said. “And, they just let the property sit there, they don’t mow the grass, they don’t trim the trees and it’s really an eye candy. So all of those things, if they could be cleaned up, would make this neighborhood a much better neighborhood.

Nonetheless, Graban is a fan of the city taking action and has decided to build a new home in North Beach.

“I dragged my feet on whether to build and invest in North Beach,” he said. “And recent city decisions that encouraged the development of North Beach finally made me realize that it was a good investment.”

On the other side, people cannot demolish the structures due to the cost. According to Home Advisor, the average demolition cost for a 1,500 square foot home is between $3,000 and $18,000.

Click here for the order as amended.

For the latest local news updates, click here, or download KRIS 6 News