New law will make it easier to remove dilapidated structures in West Virginia


A new law will make it easier for cities to clean up the run down abandoned properties in neighborhoods across the state. 

Throughout Charleston, WV alone there are 500 to 600 hundred vacant buildings that are creating concerns for people who live nearby. 

Demolishing those structures isn’t as simple as it sounds but the process is now a little easier. 

Charleston building commissioner Tony Harmon helped to fight for a law that allows code enforcement agencies to get search warrants from a municipal judge to see if the structure fits the criteria for demolition. 

“We just get to that point where we can’t find anybody and we are at a dead end,” he said. “We can’t do anything else. At this point it will allow us to proceed and go ahead and take it down after we’ve done everything we can and put it in a file and kept it at the building department for two years we can go ahead and tear it down immediately after we do that.”

In the past the process of tracking down the property owners to get consent to demolish the property could take several years.

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