Clarksburg Family Home Condemned; City Explains Why - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Clarksburg Family Home Condemned; City Explains Why

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Buildings throughout Harrison County are boarded up and clearly vacant. It's a clear sign that the home was condemned. But not everyone realizes that a home can be condemned while it's still lived in.

"You think you live some place and you have a right for this and a right for that. You find out you don't have nothing. They can come in and do whatever they want. On their say so, I have to move," said Tina Lymer, who's home was condemned and will soon be torn down.

The home, located at 420 Stealey Avenue, was home to the Lymers for more than 30 years. They painted their Chevy Celebrity claiming the city of Clarksburg made them homeless, after the city deemed their home unsafe to live in a few months back.  The family said their plans to move aren't completely figured out yet, but husband and wife Tina and William said the do not think they'll be moving together.

The Lymers admit that their home is falling apart but they can't afford to pay a contractor to fix it and the city won't allow them to fix it on their own.

"Our code enforcement will require a plan from a licensed contractor to how they are going to take the corrective action," said Martin Howe, Clarksburg City Manager.

The property owner has a timeline on when either that plan or an appeal needs to be filed.

The Lymer family did none of those things, which is why the home is now on the demolition list.

"I was too upset. It's been too much of a roller coaster deal for me. I didn't bother to read it, I wish I had, but I didn't," Lymer said.

Lymer said she and her husband are on a fixed social-security income after he was injured at work. They also can't afford the demolition.

"Why should I have to pay them back for demolishing the house? They say because it's my property, I own it, so I have to pay them. But in the next, they're telling you, you don't have the money to fix it up. But where am I supposed to come up with the money to demolish it?" Lymer asked.

City Manager Martin Howe said the city works with property owners on a payment agreement plan.

He also said homes aren't condemned or demolished just for the sake of doing so.

"There's nothing illegal about ugly," Howe said.

He said it's a tough responsibility, but it's necessary to make sure the community is living in and next to structurally-sound buildings.

"We try to work with the property owners as much as possible. Obviously, we don't like to take down structures. That's the last resort," Howe said.

The Lymers need to be out of their home by May 1.