MINT HILL, N.C. – “The hardest part was looking at it, and looking at it, and looking at it, and it was still there,” said neighbor Pat Heffernan, staring at the house next door that burned three years ago.
Three years and 22 days to be exact.
Neighbors on Pine Lake Lane in Mint Hill watched the home burn on January 1, 2010. Since then, it just sat there, stinking up the area with its piles and piles of moldy debris inside and out.
“This is just not that type of neighborhood” added Heffernan.
Mint Hill Code Enforcement said the owner of the house told them that he would eventually deal with it, but for the time being was bogged down in the permitting process.
But then, days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and months turned into years. Finally, neighbors said, enough is enough.
After many complaints to the town, Code Enforcement petitioned for the Town Council to rework an ordinance that deals with vacant properties in disrepair. Last June 14 the town of Mint Hill amended their ordinance to say if a structure is beyond repair, the owner has 90 days to do it or the town will hire someone to tear it down and the owner will foot the bill.
The house came down before those new rules could be applied. Regardless of how and when, neighbors say they are just thrilled it’s gone.
NBC Charlotte did get in touch with the owner of the home who said the process took longer than he thought it would. He also said he plans to rebuild on the property.