City of Oak Hill to Demolish 20 Dilapidated Properties

OAK HILL W, Va (WOAY) – A house at the corner of 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street in Oak Hill fell victim to a house fire. Now, it is on the list of 20 dilapidated properties that the city is looking to tear down. Because each property is unique, Oak Hill City Manager Bill Hannabass said this could take some time. 

“If one goes very quickly, it’s in the six-month range,” Hannabass said. “But depending upon the situation and the owners of the property, it can take a couple of years.”

Several of the properties that are in the process are in Minden which was annexed by the city. This includes Annetta Coffman’s childhood home. 

“I know the home needs torn down. It doesn’t look anything like it did when I was a kid, but there are a lot memories there,” Coffman said. “You know, my mom and dad raised four kids there. They brought my twin sister and myself home from the hospital there. My grandmother owned it before my parents did.” 

Coffman’s dad passed away last year leaving her the house. At the beginning of this year, she received a notice that the property had been tagged for demolition. Although the land will still belong to her, the house met the criteria to be considered dilapidated. 

“The walls have to be listing to a certain degree,” Hannabass said. “The roof is not supported, those kinds of things and it’s pretty well-defined in our city code. 

The city has a point system in place where the house is surveyed and is given a score from 1-100. Right now, they are focused on the houses that are in the 75-100 point range. The score plus other factors like asbestos is what determines demolition cost 

“The average house is gonna be somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000 to demolish,” Hannabass said.

This can be expensive for some.  

“I think my dad’s property was around $4,800 for the demolition, the testing, you know, all of that thing, so it is expensive,” Coffman said. “It’s costly and you know, this is a poorer area so when you put a price tag on something like that, it is expensive. And to me, I look at it like it’s worth more than that and it’s not even worth half that, but it does put me in a financial bind, but if it helps me to keep his property then that’s what I have to do.” 

There will be more recommendations for demolition and those will be brought forward at the next city council meeting on August 12th. 

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Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.