At first glance, 14109 Park Avenue appears to be like any other house on the quiet suburban street. A casual passerby would think nothing of the freshly mowed lawn and unremarkable gray facade, but city officials say the house is a hazard to public health.
Though damages are not visible from the street, the house has been uninhabitable since fire destroyed portions of the roof and interior on July 29, 2010. An large, charred-black hole in the back corner of the house has been parrtially covered over with plywood and a tarp, leaving the home open to the elements and animal infestation. Inspectors also found mold growing rampant in the lower reaches of the split level.
The city has issued a citation to the homeowners to no avail. The owners have stopped paying on the mortgage, which is held by JP Morgan Chase Bank, and the house will soon go through a sheriff's sale. In a memo to the council, building code officials asked the council to approve a court order to raze the house, which they say could be in danger of collapse.
The council approved the action on Tuesday. The other parties involved will have 20 days to remedy the situation after the court order is served. Otherwise, the city will raze the home, remove the foundation, and fill the basement in. The cost of the work will be assessed to the property.