HARKER HEIGHTS — The fate of 19 vacant Lynn Drive houses still hangs in the balance months after the city called for their demolition due to substandard health and safety issues.
Fred Morris, planning and development director, said Friday that the city did not receive sufficient rehabilitation plans for the properties from owner David Buttross before the latest deadline passed Monday.
The city agreed Feb. 1 to give Buttross an additional 30 days to submit the rehabilitation plan. The agreement was made just minutes before a court hearing began on the temporary restraining order and injunction application Buttross filed against the city in January to stop the demolitions.
“The deadline has passed. We have not received documents to demonstrate compliance with international building codes with restoration or rehabilitation of property,” Morris said. “Our city attorney is contacting the court and requesting a new hearing date, and we’ll move forward.”
Some new documents were submitted to the city for review in the past 30 days, but building official Steve Philen found no significant changes from earlier plans his office considered insufficient, Morris said.
However, Buttross claimed his engineer, Steve Oliver of Kastel Consulting, had worked on the plans for four months with no cooperation from Heights officials.
“The city has not been friendly to him,” Buttross stated in an email, referring other questions about the case to his attorney, Jeremy Brewer of Ted Smith Law Group in Harker Heights, who did not respond to requests for comment Friday.
Morris said the fate of the Lynn Drive properties now sits in the hands of the 164th District Court judge.
“I imagine he’ll either set a trial date, or he could say we can go ahead with demolition, or he could go in (Buttross’) favor.”
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