LYNCHBURG, Va. – Condemned houses are raising concern in several Lynchburg neighborhoods.
There are about 300 in the Hill City.
Many are run-down and have been empty for years, but a new city ordinance could soon change that.
“Every property owner that we have contact with, they all have a story behind why the property got to this state,” Keith Wright, who works in property maintenance for the City of Lynchburg, says.
No matter what the story is, Wright says these buildings can’t just sit and rot.
Besides being a bit of an eyesore, he says they pose a threat to people living in and around the neighborhood.
“It’s a wide variety of issues that we get complaints on and people are concerned about. Generally speaking, it’s safety. We’re just trying to find different angles and approaches to address these types of properties.”
There are four options city leaders are considering for these condemned houses. Property owners can fix it, sell it, donate it or tear it down.
Owners will have 90 days to get back to the city with a plan. If they don’t, they’ll be fined $500 monthly for demolition costs.
“Every property is different,” Wright says. “We try to be creative to help the property owner bring it back to life.”
With another 200 empty homes on the verge of being condemned, the city hopes to approve the ordinance later this month and start work right away.