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Sapulpa tearing down dilapidated buildings

Posted at 5:59 PM, Aug 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-14 18:59:25-04

SAPULPA, Okla. -- The city of Sapulpa is tearing down buildings on six properties that they said are in bad shape.

The properties have overgrown grass and have not been maintained. 

Mark Stephens has worked as code enforcement officer for Sapulpa for three months. He said in that time he has worked about 600 complaints for various code violations in the city. 

His goal is to make Sapulpa a place people want to live and drive through. He said part of that is getting rid of abandoned, overgrown structures. 

Stephens said the six properties that are set to be demolished now pose safety risks, fire concerns and may be home to wild animals. 

"The biggest one is property values," Stephens said. "If you're trying to sell a house that is right next to a piece of property that has not been maintained in years, your property value is going to be lower."

He said some of the owners of the properties have died and they do not have any heirs. 

In other cases, the homes on the property were already determined to be eyesores and torn down but sheds still sit on the lot. 

After sending numerous notifications to the owners, Stephens said for these six properties it is the end of the road. 

"When the city does maintain the property, they put a lien against the property if the invoice is not paid for maintaining it. so it's not free," Stephens said. 

Mark Mortazavi lives a few homes away from one that was being torn down Tuesday. He said he has lived there for 20 years and said no one has lived in or maintained te home for about the last 10 years. 

"Great. God bless whoever has anything to do with any part of it to be able to help the property owners to tear it down," Mortazavi said. 

Stephens said he is going to have six more blighted properties up for public hearing coming up at the end of the month. 

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