More Nuisance Properties Eyed

SNOW HILL – The Worcester County Commissioners agreed to move forward with efforts to address nuisance properties in Stockton and Bishopville this week.

The commissioners voted unanimously to move forward with addressing both properties, one of which is a former church. Ed Tudor, the county’s director of development review and permitting, said he’d contacted the pastor and his wife, who live in Delaware, and said they couldn’t afford to do anything to address the former Grace Tabernacle of Deliverance Church on Stockton Road.

“They have indicated they have no funds to do anything with this,” Tudor said. “There’s no congregation or anything else.”

Tudor reported that the property, which included a parsonage and church, was in poor condition. Vegetation is overgrown and both buildings have damaged roofs.

When asked if the damaged buildings could be addressed by a controlled burn, Tudor said he would look into that possibility.

In addition to approving plans to address the ramshackle church property, the commissioners on Wednesday also voted to move forward with addressing a residential property at 10720 Saint Martins Neck Rd.

Tudor said the property consisted of a very old two-story dwelling and a more recent single-story addition.

“The single-story side of the structure was and continues to be occupied,” Tudor wrote in his report to the commissioners. “Given the amount of time the two-story section has sat without any follow-up work it appears rehabilitation of this section is highly unlikely. At this point in time it is difficult to ascertain without a detailed inspection of the two-story section could be removed without damage to the occupied portion of the structure.”

Tudor advised giving the property owner longer than the usual 30 days for nuisance abatement because the house was occupied.

“I suggest we give them longer than the typical 30 days because obviously we have folks in the house that would have to be relocated whether it was fixed or whether it was razed,” he said.

The commissioners agreed to give the property owner 60 days to address the issue.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.