Housing Board of Appeals Minutes 07-09-2014

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                             CITY OF MUSKEGON
                              MEETING MINUTES
                                 July 9, 2014
                                   5:30 PM

Chairman G. Borgman called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.

ATTENDANCE:          G. Borgman, B. Turnquist, W. Krick, B. Arthur, E. Simmons

ABSENT:              R. Mackie, K. Kolberg

STAFF:               H. Mitchell; D. Renkenberger; Chief J. Lewis; K. Briggs, SAFEbuilt,
                     B. Dodge, SAFEbuilt

OTHERS:              P. Spoelman, 1348 Lakeshore Dr.


A motion to approve the regular meeting minutes of June 5, 2014 was made by B.
Turnquist, supported by E. Simmons and unanimously approved.

Old Business:

EN110191 – 1357 7th Street – Julie Spencer, 1085 1st Apt 2, Muskegon, MI 49440. Ms.
Spencer was asked to return to give the members an update on the repairs and
structure insurance. However, she did not attend the meeting. K. Briggs stated that the
building’s condition was not deteriorating, and the taxes were up-to-date. There were
other homes in worse shape that needed urgent attention. K. Briggs listed the work that
had been done on the house to date. He stated that Ms. Spencer was trying to get
insurance coverage on the building, the last he knew. J. Lewis stated that the City
needed to use its resources for places that truly posed a hazard, but it was important
that communication be kept open with Ms. Spencer. G. Borgman and K. Briggs asked
H. Mitchell to keep in contact with Ms. Spencer and keep the board apprised of her

A motion to table this case until staff notifies the board that she has been in contact with
Ms. Spencer, was made by W. Krick, supported by B. Arthur and unanimously

Dangerous Building – New Cases:

EN140179 – 84 Hartford Avenue – Paul & Judith Spoelman, 1348 Lakeshore Dr.,
Muskegon, MI 49441. A Notice & Order was issued May 15, 2014. Mr. Spoelman did
come in and ask if he could be given more time. He has the building up for sale and is
hoping that it will sell before the end of the year. He stated that if it didn’t sell, he would

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like to demolish it before the next tax year when the County assesses the property
again. The taxes for 2015 would be based on what is on the property as of 12/31/2014.
The 2013 taxes are delinquent to the County Treasurer.

G. Borgman asked P. Spoelman what his plans were for the property. P. Spoelman
stated that he didn’t deny that the house was in poor condition, but he needed additional
time to remove the belongings from the house and save up money for demolition costs.
K. Briggs stated that the structure met the criteria for a dangerous building, and they
needed to work out a time frame to get it torn down. He asked Mr. Spoelman if he
would be doing the work himself, or hiring someone. P. Spoelman stated that he was
having it torn down and had gotten an estimate from Press’s. He wanted to have it
down before the first of the year.

A motion that the property owner work with SAFEbuilt on a time frame to have the
building torn down by the end of the year was made by W. Krick, with discussion
continuing. K. Briggs stated that the owner or contractor could obtain a demolition
permit now because the permit would be good for 180 days (6 months) which would be
good thru the end of the year. G. Borgman agreed that the owner should take out a
demolition permit and have the work done by the end of the year. P. Spoelman stated
that he could do that.

A motion that the property owner obtain a demolition permit for the demolition of the
structure with the condition that it is demolished by December 31, 2014, was made by
B. Arthur, supported by W. Krick and unanimously approved.

EN140831 – 287 East Laketon Avenue – Muskegon County, 173 E Apple Ave., Suite
104, Muskegon, MI 49442. A Notice & Order was sent on May 15, 2014. The County
Treasurer has signed a release to allow demolition of this structure. It must still be
declared and go through the dangerous building process to the City Commission for

A motion to declare the structure substandard, dangerous and a public nuisance was
made by E. Simmons, supported by B. Arthur and unanimously approved.

Other Business

VanSlooten property at 1713 & 1747 7th Street – K. Briggs stated that the property
owner had recently passed away, and he had been working with the son, Mark
VanSlooten. K. Briggs and M. Metcalf (Fire Marshall) toured the property, and K. Briggs
pointed out the work that needed to be done on the buildings. M. VanSlooten stated
that he wanted to be involved in the demolition process so he could salvage what was
possible. He also wanted to be able to save a portion of one building to use for storage.
H. Mitchell stated that the case was up for City Commission approval for demolition at
their July 22 meeting. K. Briggs stated that the owner would have 21 days from then,
and that M. VanSlooten was aware of the time frame. H. Mitchell stated that a ticket
could be issued if the owner did not complete the demolition as required. K. Briggs

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stated that SAFEbuilt had been issuing tickets to property owners in an attempt to make
them responsible for their own properties, rather than the City assuming responsibility.

159 W. Larch Ave. – W. Krick asked about the status of this house. H. Mitchell stated
that she had spoken with the insurance company recently, and they were to issue a
check to the property owner and the demolition company. W. Krick was unhappy that
the process had taken this long, considering that the property posed a danger to the
community. He asked what emergency procedures the City could employ to get faster
results in these types of situations. Board members and staff discussed different
possibilities and the process the City has to abide by in the ordinance.

Municipal Infraction Tickets - J. Lewis explained the municipal infraction procedures.
He also stated that the City was working on getting approval through the City Attorney’s
office to require that landlords carry homeowners insurance on their properties. He
stated that he had spoken to State legislators to see what can be done to make this a
requirement as there seems to be more and more people not having insurance on their
structures. K. Briggs explained how SAFEbuilt had been handling the new municipal
infraction procedure and as word gets out that these tickets are being issued there
should be more compliance. SAFEbuilt and the other City departments are using the
Municipal Infraction Tickets to get compliance and to get the property owners to take
care of their buildings rather than waiting until the property reverted to County Treasurer
for taxes.

Staff and board members continued discussing problem properties and possible

The meeting was adjourned at 6:10 p.m.

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