Thursday, February 28, 2002

Home addition faces razing




By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        ANDERSON TOWNSHIP — The township is prepared to begin on Monday demolishing a home addition that was built without a building permit.

        But Steve Dapper, who lives on Mount Carmel Road, said Wednesday he is appealing a municipal court judge's contempt order in January to the Ohio First District Court of Appeals.

        “It's something we hate to do,” said Steve Sievers, acting director of the township's department of development services. “We didn't want to go this route, but we've exhausted every other way of doing this.”

        The dispute with Mr. Dapper has taken the better part of a decade. Mr. Dapper began building the addition without a permit in the early 1990s. He was ordered to stop working on it in 1993.

        The ensuing battle over the years has pitted Mr. Dapper with the Hamilton County building department, the township and the county prosecutor's office.

        Last month, Municipal Court Judge Melba Marsh found him in contempt of court for failing to live up to a June 2001 agreement to finally get a building permit.

        Mr. Dapper said he has had an engineer out to his house to check over the addition.

        Officials “keep saying it's substandard, it's going to fall down,” said Mr. Dapper. “(The engineer) has investigated the place and can find nothing structurally wrong with it at all.”

        Mr. Sievers said the township has already lined up a contractor to demolish the addition, which has the home's only bathroom, at a cost of about $40,000. Mr. Dapper will be assessed the cost of the demolition.

        Officials have not worked out all the logistics yet, said Mr. Sievers, but they will have a Hamilton County sheriff's deputy at the site Monday.

        “It would take a court order (to stop the demolition),” said Mr. Sievers. “There are several days involved. You're not only removing what's been deemed unsafe, you have to secure and weather-proof the house. You can't just tear it off and leave a hole there.”

       



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