LAKE CITY, S.C. (WBTW) -Tearing down to build up, City Council in Lake City is revising an ordinance regarding tearing down homes unfit to live in.
People in Lake City want abandoned homes and buildings torn down.
Arnest Keyard lives next to a pair of abandoned homes. While Keyard is worried about homeless people in the vacant homes… his biggest fear is the pests that take up residence in the buildings.
“My biggest concern is termites. Termites come out of this house every year,” Keyard explains. “All of these houses are left vacant and nobody cares about them.”
After years of complaining, Keyard feels residents’ complaints have finally been heard.
“They are trying to do as much as they can, and I’m so glad that they are trying to tear down these houses right now.”
City administrator, Shawn Bell said City Council wants to be more aggressive about neglected buildings in the city.
Bell said during his time with the city, they’ve demolished more than 10 properties with the permission of the property owners.
“Now we’re starting to get to the point where these are properties where we don’t know who the owner is or these are abandoned. Now we have to go in and do a condemnation process,” explained Bell.
City Officials are in the early phase of revising a city ordinance to include due process.
Bell said, “There is notice requirements… There is a public hearing and if it gets to the where that property is deemed unfit for habitation then the city can go ahead and demolish it.”
“Usually when property is kept up in your neighborhood– crime is usually down. This is just another way to keep Lake City on the rise,” explained Bell.