Price Florist won’t be demolished yet.
On Thursday, the Oak Ridge Board of Building and Housing Code Appeals declared the longtime business on Oak Ridge Turnpike to be a nuisance and unfit for human occupation or use. It’s already been vacated, and the property owner is cleaning it up.
But the six board members at Thursday’s meeting stopped short of issuing a demolition order.
Instead, they gave property owner Patricia Warren of Crossville 30 days to present a repair plan or demolition order.
Warren said she wants to sell the property as soon as possible, and it’s listed with a real estate agent. There is some interest in a sale, possibly to demolish the existing building and replace it with a new business, Warren said.
She told board members she wasn’t aware of the poor property conditions. The business itself is owned by Linda Moore of Oak Ridge, and Warren said the tenants, who have been there four to five years, won’t return her phone calls or text messages. They were supposed to maintain the property and mow the yard, Warren said.
Board members and the city staff said they don’t want the building to remain in its current condition for long, especially since it’s now been declared unfit.
“It’s been there for a while, and it’s looked bad for a while,” Oak Ridge Community Development Director Kathryn Baldwin said.
“I don’t want to look at this building for the next year or two waiting for a buyer,” board member Joe Lee said.
The original complaint against Price Florist came from a resident concerned about the yard. Then, an employee complained to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which contacted the city.
The city required an “emergency vacate” on May 1. A notice posted on the building’s front door said the building is deemed unfit for human occupation or use.
The city staff said there are fire code violations at the building, a leaking roof, electrical hazards, plumbing issues, a toilet that doesn’t work, and broken concrete floors, among other things.
Note: This story was updated at 4:26 p.m.