Demolition on hold

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The resident of the home set to be demolished by the city of Opp has filed an appeal in Covington County Circuit Court.

The Opp City Council last week voted to proceed with tearing down the house, located at 402 Charles St., after the tenant, Jerry McCormick failed to present a plan of action for repairing the home.

A representative from the local organization CHOPP was on hand to present a plan for the home; however, the mayor and council would not allow it due to the fact that the homeowners had not given written consent for the group to speak on their behalf.

For months the property had been a source of controversy for the city council. Last week’s meeting was no different, as councilman T.D. Morgan walked out of the meeting after a motion and a second from councilmen Arlin Davis and Mike Booth to proceed with the demolishment.

McCormick had 10 days to file an appeal to the circuit clerk.

He is requesting injunctive relief pending the court’s review of the city of Opp’s passage of the resolution to demolish his home.

According to the motion, McCormick is:

• challenging the constitutionality of the abatement;

• challenging the manner of notice of the abatement as outline in the Code of Alabama, which states, “Notice from appropriate municipal officer of unsafe condition. Specifically, notice of the order, or a copy thereof, shall, within three days of the date of mailing, also be posted at or within 3 feet of an entrance to the building or structure;

• challenges the manner of notice of the abatement, as outline in the Code of Alabama, which states, “If there is no entrance, the notice may be posted at any location on the building or structure;”

• challenges the right of action by the city of Opp. As outlined in the Code of Alabama, distinction between public and private nuisances; right of action, “a public nuisance is one which damages all persons who come within the sphere of its operation, though it may vary in its effects on individuals. A private nuisance is one limited in its injurious affects to one or a few individuals;”

He is asking for the following consideration:

• He is likely to succeed on the merits of the case;

• The applicant will be irreparably injured absent an injunction;

• the issuance of the injunction will not substantially injure the other parties interested in the proceeding;

• An injunction is in the public interest;

• He meets all four elements needed for injunctive relief.

According to the motion, McCormick will be rendered homeless.

The City of Opp has maintained that McCormick does not live at the residence.

The hearing is set for Feb. 11, at 3 p.m.