New Law Would Target Dangerous Buildings In Sherman - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

New Law Would Target Dangerous Buildings In Sherman

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SHERMAN, TX -- City officials could soon have new ammunition in the fight to get rid of hazardous and dilapidated buildings.

City council members will soon review an updated 14-page law on buildings. They are trying to set up an easier and still legal process, with specific time steps to address dangers all over town.

City officials hope a new law will help get rid of dangerous buildings. A new ordinance and commission would set up new rules for dealing with "substandard structures."

"It's another layer of legal capabilities for the city, by passing this ordinance which has some specific provisions that weren't necessarily included in the zoning ordinance," says Substandard Structures Commission member Jared Tredway.

Mayor Cary Wacker says she expects a focus on commercial buildings, especially those with problems that go beneath the surface.

"We can't go and tell someone exactly what they can do, paint it a certain color, or make it look a certain way, but this is if the building poses a danger to its occupants or to the public," says Wacker. "We want to be sure that we can bring that building into compliance."

Officials say the new commission would give the law more teeth and make it easier for the city to do something about buildings that have become an eyesore. It would meet on an as-needed basis to review specific cases.

"If there's any disagreement, I think that's where the commission comes into play, to help give some level of oversight," says Tredway, who works as a building designer in an architecture office.

 "This review commission just ensures that we are protecting the property rights of the property owner," says Wacker.  "To appeal the decision of a code enforcement officer on either a timeline for repairing a building, or if they disagree with what needs to be done to bring a building into compliance."

If an owner doesn't get things shaped up, he or she can be fined, and the building demolished. The first member of the new commission, wants one area in particular to improve.

"Within the downtown, I think it has a great potential as a mixed-use neighborhood and I hope to see Sherman capitalize on that," says Tredway.

Besides Tredway, three people have applied to be on that board, which is set to have three members and two alternates. Council members plan to discuss it at their meeting on Monday evening at City Hall.