York: City plans to demolish vacant blight homes

Credit: NBC Charlotte

York: City plans to demolish vacant blight homes

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by AMY COWMAN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @amywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on August 2, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 2 at 6:00 PM

YORK, S.C. -- The City of York is looking to rid their neighborhoods of blight, so they've applied for a grant to demolish more than a dozen derelict homes.

“This shows a little of the gang activity we have in the neighborhood," said York Police Chief Andy Robinson.
 
Several graffiti-covered vacant homes in the Pinkney area of York are perfect examples of blight the city wants gone.
 
"Derelict houses are kinda like magnets; they attract crime and they attract clutter and litter," said Mayor Eddie Lee.
 
So the city is applying for a grant from the Catawba Regional Council of Governments to demolish up to 15 of these homes in the same area.
 
"Every neighborhood needs to be safe and it needs to be clean, that's one of the most important things to us here in the city," said Mayor Lee.
 
Chief Robinson showed NBC Charlotte several of the homes that police get called to for attracting crime to the area.
 
"We have minor issues from people just going over there and drinking, sitting on porches on properties drinking alcohol, people will break in and try to steal any copper that might be in the residences," said Robinson.
 
And he says they pose a hazard, not just to neighbors and children who venture there to play, but also to police who have to respond to the calls.
 
"We've actually had officers on scene on some calls before and the porch has collapsed," said Robinson.
 
Each home will cost about $10,000 to demolish. The grant says they have to be in a certain perimeter of each other, so while they would like to get rid of many others across town, they say at least 15 in this area will be a start.
 
They're hoping to be approved for the grant by January and then begin demolition next year.

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