Blight Beat: 3 neighboring Ypsilanti Township homes to be demolished or repaired
Tom Perkins | For AnnArbor.com
Three blighted and vacant homes along a one-block stretch of Lamay Avenue in Ypsilanti Township likely soon will be addressed.
The demolition of two homes between East Forest Avenue and Holmes Road are expected in the coming weeks, and a home officials requested be repaired or demolished has been brought up to code.
Plans to demolish a home at 795 Lamay owned by local realtor Nancy Bowerbank have been put in motion after several months of inaction on Bowerbank’s part.
Ypsilanti Township Building Inspector Ron Fulton said the home came to building officials’ attention while they were inspecting the neighboring home at 773 Lamay. A large limb from a tree on 773 Lamay's property had fallen onto the roof of the vacant home at 795 Lamay and damaged it.
Fulton said it was apparent from looking at the home’s exterior that it had to be condemned, and there was never an inspection of the interior. Among other issues, siding is falling off, there are cracks in the foundation, the roof is damaged and the porch is falling apart.
Fulton said the township contacted Bowerbank in September and she agreed the house was in significant disrepair and should be demolished.
Tom Perkins | For AnnArbor.com
A permit for the demolition project was pulled on Sept. 24 and Bowerbank was given 60 days for the job to be completed. The utilities remained on at the home and plans never went forward as of Dec. 1, so the township sent a letter to Bowerbank informing her the case would be brought to the Washtenaw County Circuit Court.
“I think at that point she decided she better get moving, so she called and got the utilities turned off and called a contractor to complete the job,” Fulton said.
He said the home was purchased before the economic downturn and was never occupied.
In June, Ypsilanti Township asked the Washtenaw County Circuit Court for a demolition order on the home at 773 Lamay, where a former tenant complained about a wide variety of plumbing, mechanical, electrical and fire safety concerns that were never repaired.
The house was condemned and the owner initially didn’t respond to the township’s requests to address the situation.
Fulton said the owner has since worked with the township to bring the home up to code and make all the necessary repairs.
“(The owner) agreed to bring the house into compliance and took care of the issues. We’ve signed off on it,” he said.
Another home at 1650 E. Forest Ave., at the southeast corner of Forest and Lamay, also is scheduled for demolition. It is owned by Deutsche Bank, which, after township pressure, agreed to put up $7,500 for the home’s demolition. Fulton said a contractor who originally quoted the job at $8,900 brought the price down to accommodate the bank.
Fulton gave an update on several blighted properties at the Dec. 10 Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees meeting. Township Attorney Doug Winters commented that the township has seen unprecedented success in its blight reduction efforts on Lamay and throughout the township
“I cannot think of any one year where there has been as much action in the court system that has yielded the amount of successes we have seen this year,” he said.
Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter for AnnArbor.com.