Alabaster demolishing trio of dilapidated houses
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
Alabaster officials will move forward with demolishing three dilapidated houses on Sixth Avenue Southeast after the City Council voted unanimously to move forward with tearing the structures down.
The City Council agreed during its March 17 meeting to proceed with demolishing houses at 434 Sixth Ave. S.E., 440 Sixth Ave. S.E. and 454 Sixth Ave. S.E. The houses are slightly east of the Shelby County Instructional Services Center off U.S. 31.
During public hearings on the houses before the City Council’s vote, Stevie Hawkins, who said he lives at 434 Sixth Ave. S.E., said he opposed the city demolishing the houses, and asked council members to delay action on the trio of residences.
“I’m trying to get out of the house. I don’t have anywhere to go,” Hawkins told council members, claiming he had no luck reaching out to local charities for assistance. “I just need someone to help me.”
Hawkins, who said he was related to the owner of the three houses, said the house at 454 Sixth Ave. S.E. could be repaired, and asked for “a little time to get it fixed.”
City Council President Scott Brakefield and Alabaster City Attorney Jeff Brumlow said the March 17 vote marked the end of a more than yearlong process, during which the city contacted the property owner and gave them opportunities to repair the properties before they were demolished.
“This has been going on for a year. If it can be fixed, why wait until now,” Brakefield said. “We’ve got to look out for your safety. I’d hate for something to happen to you in there.”
Councilman Russell Bedsole echoed Brakefield’s comments.
“I feel for you,” Bedsole told Hawkins. “But it does concern me that we had a recommendation come to us from the Housing Abatement Board that this structure is unsafe.
“I would feel a little bit of guilt if we didn’t heed the warning and something happened to you or your family,” Bedsole said.
Brumlow said Hawkins had a 30-day period from March 17 to appeal the council’s decision to the Shelby County Circuit Court before demolition work begins.