Cabell County Commission creates Unsafe Structure and Property Enforcement Agency

Reporting abandoned properties in Cabell County, West Virginia
Published: Dec. 28, 2022 at 7:15 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Commissioners are prone to having problems brought to them, but sometimes there’s not always a solution.

For years, the Cabell County Commission has been unable to address complaints about unsafe structures.

During the last commission meeting, an ordinance was passed creating the Unsafe Structure and Property Enforcement Agency.

The agency will consist of the county engineer, a county health officer, a fire chief from a county volunteer fire department, the county litter control officer, and two members of the public who will serve two terms. The county sheriff will be in charge of enforcing orders.

“I believe in limited government, and there’s a role for us to play and people to have the right to constitutionally do what they want in their property. This is by no means an infringement on that, but at the same time it gives us the ability to process where we can if it’s brought to our attention that we could do so,” said Commissioner Kelli Sobonya.

The enforcement agency will investigate any complaints or identify structures or properties within 30 days of receiving a written complaint or after identifying such a structure or property.

The commission approved a complaint form where community members can file complaints about structures in their neighborhood.

Complaints will then be brought before the County Commission.

The commission approved a complaint form where community members can alert the agency of issues.

“This isn’t to nitpick against your neighbors like somebody who didn’t cut their grass in 30 days,” Sobonya said. “This is for truly egregious properties that pose a severe health situation or is unsafe.”

Sobonya said the process will likely take between six months to a year.

The ordinance goes into effect March 1, 2023, only after the members of the Building Enforcement Agency board are appointed.