Several weeks ago an article appeared in our local newspaper about the back of a building falling off. No, that is not a misspelling at all.
The back of an old building in the Fredericksburg Historic District literally fell off. Honest!
Not as tragic as is sounds but worth some investigation. The "damage" was easily repaired but brought to light a problem we face with old buildings. Some buildings in Historic Fredericksburg Virginia date back to the 18th Century. The home I live in was constructed in 1816 (hopefully, the back is still solid).
Recently, several buildings have been razed because it was determined that they were hazardous as they stood. One such building was between an historic church and a funeral parlor. It was very obvious that parts of the building were already falling off and, in my opinion, it was only a matter of time before one whole side would be tumbling down. Coincidentally, the funeral parlor has recently been sold (not yet gone to settlement).
The City government faces many decisions when incidents like this occur. What do you do when landlords/owners refuse to make any repairs to old buildings for economical reasons? Do you treat buildings in historic districts differently than you would those outside those areas? If you demolish a building who is responsible for paying for that destruction? If landowner benefits from the demolition (can now build a new building on the property) should additonal levies be applied? Should public money be used to demolish? Should it (the government) be reimbursed from the landowner? Is plain old condemnation the answer? What if it is an historic building? Who makes the decision whether or not it is economically feasible to repair rather than demolish?
Glad I am not the one responsible for coming up with that decision. Guess that is why some people get into urban developement while others of us try to make a living selling real estate.