Responding to the NC Senate’s passage of SB 1507 Housing Conditions/Inspection, the Henderson City Council voted in special session 5-2 to petition the NC House to retain an October 1, 2007 effective date that was included in an earlier bill.
The session was conducted by Henderson Mayor Pro-Tem Ranger Wilkerson. Henderson Mayor Clem Seifert was not present.
Council members Bernard Alston and Mary Emma Evans cast the dissenting votes.
The version of the bill that was passed by the Senate on Tuesday states that the act will be effective when it becomes law.
At the outset of the meeting, Council member Garry Daeke stated the intention of the council to ask that Henderson be included with certain cities that are exempted in the bill from some of its provisions.
City Attorney John Zollicoffer quickly quashed that plan, informing the council that the cities listed, such as Roanoke Rapids, must wait one year after a house is abandoned or an order to repair is given before those municipalities can issue an order to demolish.
“I recommend you look at it before you pass it,” Zollicoffer said, indicating any possible resolution to petition members of the NC House on that particular point.
Zollicoffer indicated that he did not learn of the provision until the day before the meeting.
Council member Elissa Yount asked Zollicoffer if it does not already take a year after an order of repair to get a house demolished.
Zollicoffer responded that it takes ninety days.
Member Lynn Harper told members that she did not want to stop the “process of the study” of the bill. She asked Zollicoffer for suggestions.
Zollicoffer responded that the City should not ask for an exemption.
Harper then asked Zollicoffer what the City should ask the House to put into the bill to allow the City to continue with [the Minimum Housing Code/Certificate of Occupancy] process.
Zollicoffer responded that the House should be asked to remove the “probable cause” clause currently in the bill or to retain the grandfathering clause.
Daeke stated that perhaps the council wanted to make a proactive statement on Section 6 of the bill (which originally contained the October 1 effective date) “and make it stick”.
At that point, Daeke moved that the Council endorse the grandfather provision in the earlier version of the bill.