The owner of a dilapidated home was given three weeks to show progress in making the residence habitable by the East Ridge Housing Commission in a special called meeting on Monday afternoon.
Officials from codes enforcement discovered “dangerous” electrical code violations at the home of Lori Ezell at 3416 Land Street after police responded to a drug overdose at the address last Thursday.
Charlie Ritchey told the board that he found numerous electrical issues, plumbing issues and “lots of debris” inside the house packed against open wall outlets. In addition, there was “stuff” and debris in the backyard, a non-functioning automobile in the yard as well as a hot tub in the middle of the driveway. Ritchey said the kitchen was “grotesque.”
Officials condemned the house on October 18 citing it as a “safety hazard” and an “immediate and present danger.” They cut the power to the house and ordered Ezell out.
Ezell, who struggled to retain her composure throughout the meeting, told the housing commission members that her mother signed the house over to her some years ago when her mother was dying from cancer. Ezell, who is in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, immediately began taking on roommates in an effort to pay the mortgage. She said that her roommates throughout the years seldom if ever paid rent and when they departed left their possessions in the house. Ezell said much of the clutter in the house was the abandoned property of a succession of roommates.
“I made some very poor choices in roommates,” Ezell said.
Housing Commission Chairman Jim Winters gave Ezell until November 12 to hire an electrical contractor to pull a permit to make repairs to the electrical system of the house. He also wanted a contractor to inspect the house’s plumbing.
“I want to see significant improvement and come back to the next (housing commission) meeting,” Winters said.
Update of Oct. 8 housing commission meeting.
_ 3707 Connolly Lane: The sewer has been disconnected and capped. The house is awaiting demolition.
_ 1310 East End Ave.: Sewer capped and awaiting demolition.
_ 513 Donaldson Rd.: Permits obtained for a new roof on the apartment building at the address.
_ 605 S. St. Marks Ave.: New owner did not realize that the property had been condemned by the city when he purchased it in September. The owner was given 60 days to “show cause.” Otherwise the house will be ordered razed.
_ 606 S. St. Marks Ave.: The house has been condemned. The housing commission ordered the city to move forward with demolition by the end of October.
_ 1312 Pleasant St.: The condemned house is the object of some legal action by outside interests. Attorney Mark Litchford will update the housing commission in its November meeting.
_ 3402 Shadowlawn Dr.: The city is asking the owner of the property to clean it up and bring it up to codes. The owner of the boarded-up house has attempted to obtain permits to begin renovations. The housing commission gave the owner 60 days in which to “show cause” on his efforts to bring the house up to code.
_ 5715 Ringgold Rd.: The city is asking that storage buildings on the back of the property be demolished. The owner of the property asked for the hearing to be postponed until November. City officials said the buildings which are in the floodway present no current danger. Officials ordered the demolition of the buildings to proceed.