Commissioners give Norwood business 30 days before demolition

Published 4:17 pm Sunday, February 13, 2022

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A property on U.S. Highway 52 South which has seen many calls to the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office is scheduled for demolition.

At Monday’s meeting of the Stanly County Board of Commissioners, the board approved a minimum housing violation ordinance for a property at 20713 U.S. 52 South.

Tim Swaringen, who works for the county in code enforcement, presented the ordinance to the board.

The property, which was the Marbry Motel and later Marbry apartments, was determined by the housing inspector to be unfit for human habitation.

A hearing for facts on July 13, 2021 found cause for the property to be vacated by October and either demolished or brought up to code.

Swaringen said the owners, AMKO Holdings, LLC, had not contacted him about the property until the day of the commissioners’ meeting.

“In the early stages of the case, they did resolve some of the zoning violations on the property. As far as the housing code, nothing has been done.”

Should the property not be brought to code by March 7, the ordinance allows the county to demolish the structure as well as remove and clear the debris.

The first complaint on the property, Swaringen said, was on May 10, 2021.

Sheriff Jeff Crisco told commissioners the property has had 134 calls for service in the last 18 to 24 months, including three criminal warrants for either stolen property or the sale and maintaining of illegal controlled substances. Swaringen said he had served five administrative warrants as well.

“We were very eager to work together to get this problem resolved,” Crisco said.

A licensed contractor spoke in a public hearing regarding the property. He said he had been hired by the owners to plead for an extension in the case and said the owner believed the a contractor had done more work on the property than had been completed.

Ellen Steele Mabry, a resident in the neighborhood whose family has had land near the property for more than 100 years, spoke for the building’s demoltion.

“We have put up with this nuisance for years,” Mabry said. “Nothing has been done. It is an eyesore. It is a crime wave.”

Chairman Tommy Jordan asked the sheriff if crime had stopped on the property back in July when people were evicted or has it continued. Crisco said it had not.

Resident Curtis Swaringen mentioned seeing people in the building with lights on last month.

“If the owner is that concerned about fixing the place, why hasn’t he followed through between now and July,” Curtis said.


About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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