Derelict house gets one more reprieve, other sold

Demolition is planned for another White Bear Township home, located at 5305 W. Bald Eagle Avenue. Following a fire at the property in May, the Township building inspector condemned the property and the board of supervisors voted to demolish the home subsequent to a second meeting in August. 

In the meantime, the property has been sold. The new owners plan to demolish it and have applied for a split lot permit so that two lots may be developed on the property.

The house at 2105 Stillwater Blvd. was declared unfit for human habitation in November 2019. So why is it still standing?

The White Bear Township Board told property owner James Lopez July 19 that they’re not happy with the lack of progress at the property, which has been vacant for nearly 10 years.

It was the second public hearing on the proposed demolition of the house, continued from July 7, when board members gave Lopez another opportunity to clean up the property. Mike Johnson, township building inspector, said the building could be easily rehabbed. However, he has not been able to inspect the entire property. When he visited the property on April 4, he was only able to look into the back entry.

Lopez said he had complied with many items on the township’s list of things to be corrected, including removing old tires, snowblowers and a bathtub from the yard. He has started to repair sections of the fence. He said he has materials on site to make other repairs but was waiting for a permit.

Under close questioning from township attorney Chad Lemmon, board members learned that the garage door, soffit and fascia and window trim have not been repaired. Lopez said he had applied and paid for permits for the work, but hasn’t received them yet. Johnson said permits could be issued only after an inspection. 

Lemmon said, “You realize that your to-do list may expand after the inspection.” He attempted to set a deadline of July 22 for an inspection so the township board could settle the matter at its July 23 meeting, but Lopez said he had made an appointment for an inspection on July 31.

“This place has been an eyesore for 10 years,” said Board Chair Ed Prudhon. “We need this resolved.”

The board reluctantly set a date for yet another public hearing on the matter at its Aug. 2 meeting.

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