March 8, 2016
The Bessemer City Council met in Special Session on March 8th at 2:00 PM in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
Mayor Becky Smith, Council Members: Dan Boling, Joe Will, Howard Jones, Alfred Carpenter and Donnie Griffin. Also present were City Manager James Inman and Attorney David Smith.
Call to Order, Prayer, Pledge of Allegiance
Mayor Smith called the meeting to order at 2:45 PM and stated the purpose of the hearing was to hear an appeal of Demolition Order for property located at 1207 Edgewood Road, Bessemer City, NC, owned by Ashray, Inc. Mayor Smith then turned the meeting over to Attorney David Smith.
Attorney Smith reviewed the process leading to the Demolition Order. He advised that City staff and legal counsel had followed procedures outlined in the ordinance and a ruling had been issued and Demolition Order was in place. City Council set the date of March 8th as time to hear the appeal of the order.
Attorney Smith advised that the Mayor, City Manager, Attorney and Code Enforcement Department met with the property owner and a pre-settlement has been proposed. Attorneys Robert McNeill and Greg Shelton, Legal Counsel for the property owner, requested a thirty (30) day postponement of the hearing to allow time to come up with a plan of action for rehabilitation by a proposed new owner. The new owners propose having a “branded” hotel in the location following rehabilitation. Attorney Smith stated that while the City is reluctant to delay the Code Enforcement action, allowing time to come to a better resolution is preferable to the cost of litigation. He advised that staff recommended allowing the thirty day postponement.
Council questioned whether new owners can do what they are proposing and if the proposed new plan would be in writing with a plan of action. Attorney Smith advised that the City would not allow anything other than a viable written plan that would have deadlines to be met and processes to follow. If a plan cannot be agreed upon the Council will continue with condemnation hearing. Council members also asked that the operational issues with the current owner be addressed with the new owner, not allowing extended stay operations.
Following discussion a motion was made by Dan Boling to table the Hearing for 30 days. Motion was unanimously approved.
Council General Discussion
City Manager Inman advised Council that a copy of the audit was provide for their review prior to the next regular meeting.
Being no further business, the meeting was unanimously adjourned at 3:30 PM by motion of Alfred Carpenter.