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Council considers building permit drafts

KINGWOOD — Building permits and dilapidated buildings were discussed by Kingwood Council recently.

On Tuesday, City Clerk Michelle Whetsell presented drafts of two building permits to council. 

One is simple for basic remodeling projects. A more detailed version would be for projects that include a general contractor, site plan and  zoning and planning implications.

Whetsell worked on them with Recorder Bill Robertson as possible replacements for current building permits.

“I think 90% of the applications are going to be on the simplified version,” Councilman Mike Lipscomb said.

The key, Robertson said, is to request information and documentation on what the applicant plans to do.   

“I think we ought to look at expiration dates on these so we don’t run into situations like we have with some of these properties that sit idle for months and months and months,” Councilman Josh Fields suggested.

 Robertson agreed that if nothing else, the permit should be reviewed annually to see if the scope of the project has changed. He was not suggesting any additional fees.

Building permits never expire now unless there is no activity on the project for six months.

Fields, Robertson and Whetsell will prepare final copies of the proposed new building permits, as well as any necessary changes to the city building permit ordinance, for council’s next meeting.

Council also discussed the list of vacant and dilapidated buildings it is working to address.

Fields said some residents asked him about a Springhill Drive property that is in poor repair. He will verify the property address so the city can send the owners a letter requesting repairs.

 The Johns building beside the dilapidated Sweet Annie’s building on South Price Street  has been vacant for a year and should be added to the vacant buildings list, Robertson said.

The city’s vacant building ordinance requires property owners to secure the structures, so they are safe and to pay a fee.

The former Schwab drug store building at the corner of W.Va. 7 and Price also needs additional repairs, several council members said. The owner has not responded to letters, Whetsell said.

Last year the owner hired a firm to fix falling stone on the Price Street side, but the sides were not fixed.

Councilwoman Karen Kurilko suggested having the city attorney write the owner, who lives in Charleston, about needed repairs. Council agreed.

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