Clean-ups -- Enforced

Codes Enforcement takes steady, legal approach for land clean-ups.

 

The unsightly mess that is some land in Laurens County is falling victim to “persistence” - the relentless pursuit by the Laurens County Codes Enforcement Office.

The office director, Chuck Bobo, took the Laurens County Council through successes, and continued challenges, in a Feb. 9 report. “Remember us at budget time,” Bobo asked. “We need another codes enforcement officer.”

In some cases, “before and after” photos showed by Bobo spanned several months, a slow timeline that would challenge the patience of a lesser person. But Bobo and his officers are relentless, constantly contacting property owners for negotiations on getting unsightly messes cleaned up.

In the Ora Community, the Fire Department negotiated with Bobo’s office to clear away a structure, and install a new playground. Bobo said it turned out to be a great partnership among his office, the fire department, and county recreation (Andy Howard, department director).

In the cases involving private property, Bobo said there is a very structured, court-backed process for enforcing clean-up codes.

“I am glad to know there is something I can tell people in my area,” about forcing clean-ups, said Council Member Kemp Younts.

Bobo said Laurens County Codes Enforcement can offer people living in or owning manufactured housing that no longer meets codes or is abandoned a way to have the trash hauled off. The office sets a Dumpster at the site, the property owner tears down the house and throws everything away, and Laurens County hauls it off. Bobo said this arrangement is a partnership with Laurens County Public Works (Dale Satterfield, director).

“Hauling it off is the biggest expense for these folks,” Bobo said.

He showed the county council results from these areas:

-- Lucas Avenue, Hwy 49, Laurens; P&T Hardware and the Old Watts Mill;

-- Hwy 76 across from the entrance to Laurens County Hospital;

-- Torrington Road;

-- Ora, Hwy 221 North;

-- Hwy 14, Gray Court;

-- Pleasantview Drive;

-- Liberty Church Road, more than 100 abandoned manufactured houses (mobile homes);

-- Mordeci Mountain, Gray Court;

-- Main Street, Fountain Inn;

-- Happy Valley Road;

-- Shady Grove Church Road, Clinton;

-- the Joanna Mill, and Milton Road clubhouse, Hampton Ave. and Tillman St. houses;

-- Locomotive Road, Cross Hill; and the old Saluda Truck Stop;

-- Relax Street, Waterloo, and Sulphur Springs Road. 

Bobo said citizens’ groups in Joanna have been instrumental in getting work done there. But, he said, too much of it is just tearing down structures and letting nature “reclaim” the land.

He said, “We need something to revitalize Joanna.”

 

(Laurens County Building Codes, 100 Hillcrest Sq., Suite C, Laurens, SC 29360; mailing: PO Box 815, Laurens; phone: 864-984-6659; fax: 864-984-1502; e-mail: Chuck Bobo, cbobo@co.laurens.sc.us)

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