Phenix City planning to demolish 13 ‘unsafe’ properties

Published: Feb. 1, 2022 at 6:32 PM EST
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PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) - Phenix City elected officials took significant steps towards demolishing what they’ve deemed unsafe or dilapidated buildings. Some property owners are happy with this and some are not.

Thirteen properties in Phenix City that are deemed unsafe and not up to code will be torn down, free of charge to the property, all thanks to community development block grants.

For wo gentlemen, it’ll be a smooth process and a good deal. A house in disrepair will be torn down and then they are free to rebuild a new one on the lot in question. Their property sits on 3rd Place South.

“Based on the zoning. Okay. You can rebuild. Okay, that’s all we need to know,” said Howard Gay.

Gay says he wasn’t pleased with this process.

“Why can’t I use that for my business? It’s my building, my property,” said Gay. “So, the next step is me going to get an attorney. That’s where I’m gonna go if I don’t get to do what I need to do to it.”

He says crime is a major part of why his property isn’t up to code.

“Would be nice to put it back together and it be protected,” said Robert Gay.

“We would already be done,” said Howard Gay. “I started on it where I live in Harris County. Sometimes, I can beat the police there.”

Councilman Steve Bailey took exception to the comments about police failing to get the job done.

“A couple of our citizens were a little hard on our police department thinking they’re not out protecting and serving us,” said Councilman Bailey, Phenix City, District 1. “I just want everybody at home to know they are protecting and serving us.”

Gay and his son own property, technically on 16th Place, but it sits directly next to the U.S. 280 Bypass. They intend on fighting back against the city’s efforts.

Property owners could agree to the free demolition or could agree to have the property up to code within 180 days. City officials pointed out that supply chain issues are backlogging construction projects and six months may not be enough time to correct some of these property issues.

And that means they’ll be reduced to rubble in the very near future.

News Leader 9 asked about the process, how these properties got the attention of the city. They failed building code inspections that were more than likely reported by someone to the city. Then, the process began to correct those issues which ultimately led to this point.

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