Home Local News Commission condemns Avalon Cove apartment building

Commission condemns Avalon Cove apartment building

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Commission condemns Avalon Cove apartment building

Caleb A. Gallegos/News-Sun

Monday night, city leaders banded together to condemn a portion of a dilapidated apartment building in Hobbs that left a man and infant injured on Christmas Day.

Hobbs City Attorney Valerie Chacon, asked commissioners to approve resolution 7442, which would determine 1200 East Broadway, apartments 613, 614, 615, and 616 ruined and dilapidated, and in need of demolition.

On Dec. 25, officers with the Hobbs Police Department and firefighters with the Fire Department were dispatched to Avalon Cove Apartments because the man and infant fell from a second floor of a collapsed landing leading to an apartment.

Chacon told commissioners the landing collapsed due to degrading of the steel and cement stairway.

City building officials informed police and fire personnel the building is unsafe, and the public and residents were not allowed back in until safe.

Chacon said building and fire inspectors met to inspect the property further on Dec. 26 and upon inspection, inspectors saw the caution tape placed by the city was removed, and apartment maintenance was making repairs without permits or inspections.

It was the opinion of the building and HFD inspectors, the four apartments needed to be evacuated until repairs could be properly made by an engineer, Chacon said during the meeting.

On Dec. 28 City inspectors went back to Avalon Cove Apartments and noticed the landing of the second floor was completely removed, and Avalon Cove employees were making unsanctioned repairs without a contractor, she said.

Avalon Cove Apartment employees placed metal rods on the landing between the two apartments were not properly reinforced.

Repairs were not authorized by engineers or the City of Hobbs, so a stop-work order was given, Chacon said.

Avalon Cove workers told city inspectors families were still inside the apartments while they were working.

The families were informed the property was identified as a hazard to health, life and safety of the welfare of the public, Chacon said.

Chacon said all four families were safely removed and placed in a hotel pending Avalon Cove’s permanent placement.

Avalon Cove was able to relocate all four families, she said.

On Jan. 3 Hobbs Community Services issued a letter to the owner of the building stating it is a health, life, safety issue and is in violation of city ordnance.

The building’s owners were informed if proper actions were not taken the building would be up for condemnation in front of the city commission.

On, Jan. 4 HFD Fire Marshals sent a letter to the building owners with a notice to evacuate tenants.

Avalon Cove was given fire code violations and a 30-day remediation notice.

On Jan. 5, city staff informed the building owners a structural engineer would be needed to fix all violations, and encouraged them to seek one before repairs were made.

And on Jan. 8, Avalon Cove was cited for eight counts of building code violations by community services officers.

“The biggest concern for city staff is, despite all the letters we’ve sent, city staff has seen residences of the second floor still occupying the residence despite there being no landing,” Chacon said. “Even after letters of caution and caution tape these residences are still occupying the apartment.”

“Due to lack of remediation that was required through all the letters sent, the city now comes before the commission and request this property be deemed condemned,” Chacon said. “Once condemned the owner will have 30 days to remediate and bring the building and stairwells into compliance.”

Commissioners unanimously approved the resolution.

 

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