Reader writes: Law limits action against crumbling building

January 31, 2014 

Clayton Town Council right to proceed cautiously

Under the law, “public necessity is the limit of the right to destroy property which is a menace to public safety or health, and the property cannot be destroyed if the conditions which make it a menace can be abated in any other recognized way.”

Regardless of the editor’s opinion in “Council cutting building owner too much slack” on Dec. 22, this is exactly how the statute reads. Property values will not stand; they are simply opinions. If you buy a house next to a sewage pump station, do not call the town and complain that it stinks.

I sympathize with the town staff on this one. I think Councilman Bob Satterfield was very thorough with his comments on Monday, Dec. 19. The rudeness expressed by the rest was not necessary. I applaud the staff in their caution on this particular item, because of the wording of this law.

I wonder if any efforts have been made to embrace this building to become a hub of some sorts, where the town helps in the effort. Not calling it the Horne mansion by any means, but that is a good example.

Alsey J. Gilbert


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