It’s not clear if it will make much difference now, but a state appeals court has upheld administrative warrants used by the City of Oak Ridge for inspections at Applewood Apartments and a city board order that had once called for vacating and demolishing six of the buildings.
The Tennessee Court of Appeals in Knoxville issued its opinion on Tuesday, July 24.
Joe Levitt, the owner of the former 13-building apartment complex on Hillside Road and Hunter Circle, had appealed a September 2016 order of the Anderson County Chancery Court in Clinton. That court, where M. Nichole Cantrell is chancellor, had granted summary judgement to the City of Oak Ridge, the Oak Ridge Board of Building and Housing Code Appeals, and former codes enforcement supervisor Denny Boss. Levitt, who has battled the city for years, had sought to overturn an Oak Ridge order that the six Applewood Apartment buildings be vacated and demolished.
Inspections conducted with the help of Corum Engineering in 2009 had found multiple code violations and structural deficiencies at the six buildings, including cracks in foundations, damaged and rotten floor joists, and evidence of wood-destroying insect activity, as well as dead animals and animal feces in the basement and crawl space, and excessive debris, lack of smoke detectors, plumbing leaks, and damaged roofing materials, among other issues, according to last week’s opinion. Unless the defects were corrected, the 2009 engineering report said, the top floors of the buildings could collapse because of a lack of structural support, according to the opinion. [Read more…]