NoDa problem houses torn down; neighbors and police are happy - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

NoDa problem houses torn down; neighbors and police are happy

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

At the corner of Yadkin Avenue and E. 35th Street in Charlotte's NoDa neighborhood, two houses became known as "those houses." Now they're about to be no more.

Demolition crews have started tearing them down.

"This is a good solution" said Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Officer Marchelle Hoffman.

The houses at 3217 Yadkin Avenue and 513 E. 35th Street are on the same land, and have the same owner.

No one lives in the houses. Neighbors say the houses became eyesores and deteriorated to become a health hazard.

The owner finally decided to demolish the houses - after some prodding and complaining by people in the area.

The property sits very close to the NoDa business district. Visitors coming to the area park on Yadkin and E. 35th alongside the property.

Neighbors say each house had different issues.

Neighbor Anita Suggs said the house at 3217 Yadkin Avenue was an eyesore to NoDa. "It did not scream welcome to NoDa at all. It became junkier and junkier. It was just sketchy."

Officer Hoffman says "there's always been a lot of people going in and out, vagrants, a lot of complaints in reference to prostitution and drug activity going on at the house."

Hoffman says the property became a health hazard because it "always had a bunch of garbage scattered around the area."

Dogs were chained in the yard. CMPD Animal Control had to respond several times.

The city's Code Enforcement Office says since 2008 officers have responded to the Yadkin Avenue house 12 times. Code Enforcement sent the owner notices of violations in 2011 for a sanitation issue of tall weeds and grass. In 2012  the owner was notified of a "dilapidated condition." And in March 2013, the city took issue with a junk car with no cover in front of the yard. There were bulky items at the curb too soon in June 2013.

City officials say each time the owner was notified, he corrected the violations within the required 10 days. There wasn't anything Code Enforcement officers could do.

But the house, neighbors and police say, was still a blight.

Police say they were getting complaints about criminal activity.

"It's kinda been an ongoing issue - talking with code enforcement, trying to speak with owners and trying to figure out what exactly we can do with trying to solve the problem," said Hoffman.

Neighbor Anita Suggs says, "it and then the blue house are really what I would consider two of the worst houses."

The blue house is 513 E. 35th Street. Code Enforcement has been there also.

City officials say Notices of Violation for tall weeds and grass were sent to the owner in May 2005, September 2008, and May 2011. Code Enforcement says the owner at all times corrected the problem. In August of 2012 there were dilapidated conditions that the owner addressed. And, in October of 2013 he had bulky items at the curb and dilapidated conditions.

The house on the E. 35th Street side of the property is a duplex. Neighbors say it became a home for the homeless - who kept the door to the house propped open.

The combined problems on the property drove neighbors crazy.

"It was a high priority as far as houses go, as far as residence goes, the commercial area goes" says Officer Hoffman. "So we worked here trying to get the complaints from the community, worked with code enforcement and try to get something like this taken care of."

Then on Thursday, neighbors heard a sound.

"It was very exciting" says Suggs.

Demolition crews starting tearing down.

Suggs, who has the property in her line of sight while looking out the window said she's just glad it's gone.

Hoffman says "no more place for vagrants to hang out, drug activity to be conducted, prostitution to be conducted. This is a good thing for this to happen."

Now the buzz about the property is what's coming.

Neighbors say they don't know.

The owner filed a rezoning petition.

It's possible townhouses might be coming to the corner to Yadkin and E. 35th Street.

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