The city of Gladstone has hired a company to demolish a small basement structure on Northeast 56th Terrace but the owner has fought through the courts since 2007 to prevent this from happening.
Cindy Pinnick, the owner of two basement structures at 3707 N.E. 56th Terrace, said in the 1950s her grandfather built these structures she refers to as a footprints to a home.
A basement structure has concrete walls in the ground and is covered on top.
Pinnick said her mother, Avalon Thompson, who lived in Texas, owned the property until she passed away in 2013. Pinnick she inherited the structures.
She said the property was rented out for about 20 years until 2003, when a tenant complained to the city about its condition.
Gladstone city attorney Randall Thompson said no one has lived in the structure since then.
“I’ve asked the city to let me fix it up and build on it,” she said. “I’d like to make it into a home.”
Pinnick said she would like to give the structure to her son who, when he is ready, would build on it.
She said she contacted an engineering firm that told her the structure is sound and can be built on.
In 2007, the Gladstone City Council held a hearing and found one of her structures to be dangerous and ordered it to be demolished, Thompson said.
He said the owner, represented by counsel, appealed the decision to the Clay County Circuit Court.
“It was discovered in the course of the hearing that the testimony of the building official was not under oath, so the judge struck it,” he said, noting only a single witness appeared at the hearing.
Sometime afterward, the city formed a building commission, he said.
In May 2011, the city again had the structure inspected by a building official, who found “several deficiencies” and concluded it should be demolished, he said.
The city building commission heard the case and Pinnick appeared before the commission represented by counsel, he said. The building commission concluded the structure was a “dangerous building and should be demolished.”
Pinnick said it is roughly 24 feet wide by 32 feet long. The lot is 157 feet wide at the street front and about 300 feet deep. The front part of the property is zoned residential to 125 feet and from that point to the rear is zoned light industrial.
She said about 10 acres of land on her side of the street is zoned light industrial with the exception of two residential properties.
In July 2012, Pinnick appealed the decision to the Circuit Court of Clay County, he said. In April 2014, that court affirmed the decision by the building commission.
Pinnick appealed this decision to the Western District Court of Appeals, he said. In February 2015, that court dismissed the case for failure to prosecute.
Pinnick said she missed a deadline.
Recently, the city brought the case before its building commission to advise it of the court decisions, he said. The city then decided to proceed with demolition and hired a company to do the work.
“It is a perfectly sound building,” Pinnick said, adding it will cost her about $25,000 to build another structure because, in part, she will have to pay to hook it back up to the water and sewer lines.