Bay County holds first code enforcement hearing for property owners

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Bay County Code Enforcement officials say they've been giving property owners chance after chance.

There are still dozens of property owners that will be called to present their case. (WJHG/WECP)

"In October, a year after the storm, no progress had been made on these properties," said Bay County Code Enforcement Manager Kathi Ashman.

They've been giving property owners the chance to communicate with officials about the status of their property. These properties have been found unfit and unsafe, sitting with no purpose.

"The number of structures we have in this condition is more we've had in the five years I've been here," Ashman said.

The condition is no roof, no walls, and in some cases no bathroom. The goal of the Code Enforcement hearings is to get the ball rolling, but whether it's a wrecking ball is up to owner and magistrate.

"We always encourage the property owners to come to these hearings," Ashman said.

Those who show are able to plead their case, but those who don't have 30 days before the county demolishes the structure at the expense of the homeowner.

Wednesday's hearing is the first of many. There are still dozens of property owners that will be called to present their case.

"We'll have two more in February, and two more in March. And the problem is there's only so many we can do at a time," Ashman said.

Code Enforcement officials say if you cannot physically appear at a hearing, you may call in over the phone.

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