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Dangerous wall ordered to be demolished
Dangerous wall3.jpg
This deteriorating wall in Historic Downtown McMinnville will be removed. An emergency order has been issued by the city of McMinnville. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

An emergency order has been issued for the demolition of a brick veneer standing next to the old Dinty Moore building. 

“The issue here is the brick veneer which is attached to what we refer to as the Dinty Moore building,” said McMinnville Community Development Department director David Baird, which is 106 North Spring Street. “At first look, you might think that veneer was originally with the Dinty Moore building, but it’s actually the backside of the building that was previously attached to it.”

Baird relayed the information to members of the city Historic Zoning Commission on Tuesday. 

According to Baird, Chuck Riforgiate, contracted building inspector and master code profession, inspected the building and agreed that the current state of the brick veneer has deteriorated to a point where collapse of the brick veneer is possible, thus creating a situation dangerous to life and health. 

“Currently, there are small portions of the brick that have fallen,” said Baird. “Significant fear exists for a large collapse. Of particular concern is the base of the veneer which is slowly curving away from the building. The veneer is moving. There is a tree that has grown up into it. It is to a point where it’s very unstable. We have had some bricks fall.” 

Per city policy entitled Remedying of Dangerous Conditions, “A city enforcement agency shall order or direct the construction, removal, alteration, or demolition of an improvement in the H-1 District for the purpose of remedying conditions determined to be dangerous to life, health, or property…”

“The situation is such that we should act as soon as possible to ensure community safety,” said Baird. “The Dinty Moore property owner is actually the same person that owns the adjacent lot where the other building was attached to it. What we will be doing next is sending them notification that this has been deemed dangerous and it needs to be removed.”

Historic Zoning Commission chairman Michael Griffith questioned the state of the facade under the veneer.

“We have done an external evaluation of the Dinty Moore building and we haven’t found anything structurally unsafe about the exterior building,” said Baird. “The veneer that’s attached to it, as you can see by the photos, is obviously not going to get any better. It’s to the point where we need to move forward with some type of action to get that removed.” 

Commission member Ben Myers stated, “It’s an eyesore.” 

“You can say that it is very much an eyesore,” said Baird. “However, our primary concern is safety. It’s to the point where it is deteriorating and we need to do something.” 

Commission member Raven Young stated, “If the property owner doesn’t take it down, is the city going to do it?” 

“Whether the city will make a decision on its own to go ahead and do it or whether there would be a filing in court to make the property owner, we are not quite there yet,” said Baird. “We are at the point of notifying the property owner that this is a problem and a requirement, from the city’s prospective, that it be removed.”

Young added, “I think it needs to come off. I think it looks awful.” 

Before an emergency notification can be issued, the city Historic Zoning Commission must be informed. No action was taken, as it is not required.