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Joplin Building Board of Appeals Demolition Process

Joplin's historic district is getting extra attention in the hopes of restoring the past, but some of those buildings might be too far gone.
JOPLIN, MO.--- Joplin's historic district is getting extra attention in the hopes of restoring the past, but some of those buildings might be too far gone. It can start with a series of complaints, then the Joplin Building Board of Appeals will order an inspection of the property, but even that doesn't mean it will come down. 

"As a property owner, they always have the option of making repairs, needed repairs. Sometimes it's not economically feasible for them to do that," said Bryan Wicklund, Building Official for City of Joplin.

Once city officials have inspected the home and found serious issues, property owners still have the option of making repairs. 

"If they choose to spend the money and show progress in doing that, we're willing to work with them," said Wicklund. 

A home must qualify as dangerous by the legal definition to require demolition. City workers say vacancy alone doesn't make it dangerous. 

"It is an eye sore and it needs to be addressed, but that in itself does not allow the city to step in and the building board to order it demolished," he said. 

The process requires notifying the property owner, but even that can be tough. 

"We have a lot of out of town owners. They change hands, they change ownership right in the middle of our process," he said.

The final decision is made by seven volunteers serving on the Demolition Board. 

"The city inspector is there as a witness and to give his opinion as far as his inspections, and it is up to them to make the determination how long to work with the property owner," said Wicklund. 

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