You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Blight Beat: Church's vacant Monroe Street home has to go, Ypsilanti officials say

By Tom Perkins

Ypsilanti building officials are asking the City Council to order a church-owned home demolished.

The home, at 910 Monroe St., has been abandoned since 2001, when it was purchased by Saint James Church of God-Christ, which occupies the lot to the west.

Ypsilanti Fire Chief Jon Ichesco said the church's leaders told him they wanted the home torn down so they could build a parking lot, but they never moved forward with the project.

The church also has not responded to the city’s notices to appear at a hearing or to the city's citations.

The home made the city’s dangerous building list because it’s infested with mold, its windows are missing, its entryways are missing and there are concerns over its structural integrity.

Ichesco said he doesn't believe church leaders will resist the demolition, but there has been no discussion about who will pay for the project.

“They haven’t shown up for any hearings, but I don’t expect resistance to them for us taking it down. How it’s paid for, that might be another thing,” Ichesco said.

Church officials did not return calls from

The city is beginning to target blighted buildings through several measures, including a process that addresses structures that fit the definition of a dangerous building per state law and city ordinance.

Once a home is identified as dangerous, Ichesco sets a hearing with a city-appointed dangerous building officer who tries to work out a solution through demolition or repairs.

If the building’s owner fails to appear at the hearing or no if agreement is reached, the issue goes to the City Council, which can approve a building's demolition. If the property owner still doesn't agree with the order, the city can bring the issue before a Washtenaw County Trial Court judge.

If the City Council orders the Monroe Street home demolished, it could be torn down within 60 days of the hearing.

If the church fails to pay for the demolition, the city could put a lien on the property.

The house is one of three on Monroe Street and four on Ypsilanti’s south side that city building officials say are dangerous buildings and need to be demolished or brought up to code.

Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter for


Ronald White

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 1:46 a.m.

How's about getting the right name for the church? It's St John Missionary Baptist Church NOT St James COGIC!

Ann English

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 11:28 p.m.

You've been saying that liens are going to be put on other blighted properties. From the information in THIS article, I take it that the Ragg brothers will not pay for the demolition of 818 Monroe Street.


Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 1:48 p.m.

That lien paperwork should be prepped and ready to file once demolition is complete. It sounds as if the church has no plans to pay for it.

Elaine F. Owsley

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

How about a picture.


Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 5:31 p.m.

Yes, where are the 8x10 glossies for our enjoyment?

dading dont delete me bro

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 11:36 a.m.

it can be $ettled before any parking lot permits are approved.

dading dont delete me bro

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 11:35 a.m.

so the city demolishes it...since it's on the record the church wanted it torn down, guess who gets the bill? not us tax payers.