Q. There are four houses around the Scotchman gas station in Ogden (New Hanover County on U.S. 17) that are abandoned. Why do county officials allow these houses on one of the main gateways to Wilmington? One was the Ogden Inn years ago as a bar and restaurant. The inn should have been torn down years ago.
A. The structures are not located on government-owned lands. In short, as long as they do not threaten public safety, the privately-owned structures can remain.
Chris O’Keefe, planning and inspections director for New Hanover County, said, “The County does not own these properties; and we have not received complaints about the structures. We do not have the authority to tear down houses on private property until the structures are condemned; and due process occurs in order to give the property owner the ability to rectify the situation.”
O’Keefe said the county generally doesn’t initiate the process until a complaint is received about the property.
Residents wishing to report a potential nuisance property may call the New Hanover County Planning and Inspections Department at 798-7165.
“We have not received complaints about the structures. There was a house near this location that the county condemned in 2006 because we received complaints. That house has since been demolished.”
According to O’Keefe, this MyReporter inquiry resulted in an inspection. He said, “A building inspector visited the site to perform a preliminary evaluation on the site. We have not received any development plans for these parcels.
The houses on either side of the Scotchman, along Market Street and Middle Sound Loop Road, are actually one property that wraps around the back of the gas station. Realtor Gerald Evans of Prudential Laney Real Estate has the location listed for sale.
“It’s one property,” Evans said. “The only thing that is keeping it from selling is price.”
The property owners, which Evans declined to name, are asking $2.9 million. The land is zoned for commercial use, although it was obviously a residential property previously.
According to Evans, the property is “in an estate,” and he has been trying to sell it for almost a year. If you are interested in the property, contact Evans at 800-733-1428 or 910-471-0421.
Additional county property ownership data can be acquired via the county Web site: http://wwwdefault.nhcgov.com/website/basemap/viewer.htm.
Date posted: October 2, 2012
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