The Manassas City Council has set an agenda item for Monday evening's council meeting to budget and appropriate funds to conduct an asbestos inspection at 9300 Prescott Ave.—the first step in the demolition of the abandoned historic home at one of the city's 'gateway'entrances to Old Town.
The move comes after the property's owner did not comply with a motion passed by the City Council on Feb. 27, 2012, to secure or repair the porch, which was deemed unsafe, in 30 days, and to secure or repair the entire house in 90 days.
City documents show officials have made attempts to contact the owners about the passing deadlines outlined in the motion with no reply. City staff did meet with the owner and an engineer at the property to conduct an assessment in late March, but the city has yet to receive any permit applications for work to be done on the property, documents show. The home's owner also came by city hall on June 6 to receive additional information on the process, but since then no permit applications have been received.
According to city documents, the owner requested access to the home on at least two occasions to "clean" and "paint" but was denied due to the property's "unsafe condition."
City staff also opened the house at the request of Bank of America (BOA) representatives for the purpose of inspection in early May, but there's been no communication from the bank since. BOA has held the mortgage on the building since July. City officials decided to allow the bank to proceed with the foreclosure process and repair it or sell it, but little has been done to secure the building.
Once again, the city said it plans on notifying the property owner's about the next step, which would be to begin the demolition process with an asbestos inspection.
City officials call the decision to demolish the house an "unwanted" one but say the home's owners have left them no choice.
"This was no rush to judgement," Council Member Steve Randolph said. "The city has tried go the extra miles to save the historic property."
Randolph said the first violation issued on the property was Feb. 21 1996. The home meets the state's requirements of blight abatement and therefore the city has the legal right to demolish all or some of the home, according to Manassas City Attorney Martin Crim.
Tentative Demolition Timeline:
July 2012—Asbestos inspection
August 2012—Bidding process for demolition