BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
Change of ownership and, in some cases, foreclosure, prompted the Greene County Debris Committee on Tuesday to renew their requests for several property-owners to correct health or safety problems.
The committee voted in October to authorize County Building Official Tim Tweed to step in and have the property at 170 Ed Shipley Lane cleaned up by the county if Tweed continued to see no effort at cleanup by the owners.
In order for the county to formally request a cleanup, the property must pose a health or safety hazard due to conditions such as a burned-out or badly dilapidated structure, piled debris, overgrowth or other such conditions.
If the property-owner does not respond to requests or make efforts to clean up the property after a period of time, the county may step in and hire someone to do the cleanup at the property owner's'expense.
ED SHIPLEY LANE
The committee met again in November to follow up on the Ed Shipley Lane property, which Tweed felt to be of concern.
Some progress had been made at that time, but Tweed said Tuesday that little, if any, improvement has been made since then.
Co-owned by Gary Wills and Paul Kyger, the property had until very recently been occupied by a family that was renting to own, Tweed said.
He gave the committee recent photographs, which showed piled debris around the home, some of which was being washed on to neighboring properties, Tweed said.
He also noted that the sewer is still not properly set up and is emptying "straight below the trailer onto the ground."
Tweed said that the home does not meet the Building Code.
The committee voted unanimously for Tweed to coordinate a county cleanup of the exterior and authorized him to take what action he deems necessary concerning the structure itself.
An overgrown brick home that shocked Tweed and the committee in October has gone into foreclosure, and notices for cleanup will now need to be sent to the bank that owns the property, Tweed said.
The property features a "nice home in a nice neighborhood," Tweed had previously said. But it was so overgrown that it could barely be seen, causing neighborhood problems with rodents and wildlife, he had reported.
Notices will be sent to the new property-owner, Tweed said.
OLD KNOXVILLE HIGHWAY
Tweed also reported another situation in which ownership has changed, at 2588 Old Knoxville Highway.
The county had previously not heard from the property-owner. Tweed had reported in October that county records had the allegedly uninhabitable and dilapidated property as owned by Herbert Dyer.
Dyer is deceased, and the home is now owned by Carl Setser, Tweed said.
Setser stopped by the Building & Zoning Office on Tuesday morning before the meeting, Tweed said, marking the first response the county had received from an owner of the property.
Based on that discussion, Tweed said that there had been delays in the transition of ownership, further complicated by Setser having recent health issues.
"They just need a little bit of time to take care of it," Tweed said.
The committee agreed to ask that Setser make some progress on the property within 60 days.
A structure the committee described as burned-out at 4460 Asheville Hwy. has also changed ownership as a result of the death of the previous owner, D.J. Cutshall, Tweed noted.
This property has also had delays in the transition of ownership and also has a claim made against it by Medicare, Tweed said.
County Attorney Roger Woolsey recommended that the county delay action on this property until any claims are settled and a clear property-owner is in place.
EAST ALLENS BRIDGE
An overgrown greenhouse along East Allens Bridge Road has also not shown noticeable progress since the last meeting of the Debris Committee, Tweed added.
He said that the owner, William Downs, has the necessary equipment to clear the overgrowth and has expressed interest in restoring the greenhouse.
The committee voted to give Downs a 30-day final notice on cleaning up the overgrowth before the county will do so instead, at his expense.
Finally, Tweed said that a property he had thought to be in foreclosure has not changed ownership.
This property, at 40 Bryant Lane has twice been approved by the county for cleanup due to Tweed's reports of piled debris, trash and insulation blowing onto others' properties.
Tweed said he plans to move forward with the cleanup at this location.
Commissioner Robin Quillen asked whether Tweed had had complaints concerning structures damaged nearly two years ago by tornadoes in the Camp Creek area.
Tweed said he has not had any such reports, but that he is working with Woolsey concerning a couple of abandoned structures in that area that do present a safety hazard.
"[Camp Creek] has done great," he stated, noting the manner in which the community pulled together in response to the April 2011 tornadoes.
The committee will hold their next quarterly meeting at 3 p.m. on May 14.