Accomack Board hears presentation on a pilot project to remove dangerous abandoned buildings in Whitesville and other communities

October 20, 2022

The Accomack County Board of Supervisors heard a presentation by Rich Morrison  to begin a program designed to tear down and remove dangerous abandoned structures in several locations.  The Board in its 2022 budget included $150,000 for the demolition and removal of dangerous buildings in Whitesville.  The action was recommended in the recently released Eastern Shore Housing Study.

The program will be administered by the Davis Center group which has been working to revitalize the Whitesville community.   If proven successful, the program could continue in other locations as well.  The priority  list so far includes in addition to Whitesville,  East Horntown, Wishart’s Point, Graysville of Church Road,  Linhaven Circle in Painter, Bayside and Sanford.  These areas have been identified as having the highest concentration of dangerous buildings, based on Staff site visits to each community.

The pilot program participation is voluntary. The County has not taken any enforcement action on any of the properties.  County enforcement is not part of the pilot program.

The Davis Center has identified 11 buildings for possible demolition.

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Supervisor Robert Crockett added that he would like to make this program a budget item for the upcoming budget for FY23-24.  

Supervisor Ron Wolfe called the project a “novel idea to help solve an existing problem that has been around for a long time.” 

Supervisor Paul Muhly commented that having the Davis Center involved is a great asset to the program and bodes well for the continuation of the program in other communities. 

Supervisors Johnson and Major both offered their full support for the project. 

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Morrison expects a memorandum of understanding to the Board at the November meeting. 

In another action, the Board voted to authorize staff to begin work with the ANPDC on another DHCD Planning Grant for housing improvements at Wishart’s Point.  A planning grant has already been submitted for work in the East Horntown area and is currently awaiting approval from the Department of Housing and Community Development.

In the past, the County has completed projects of this nature one at a time.  The Director of the ANPDC said she is confident that the agency is sufficiently staffed to permit work on two of the planning grants simultaneously.

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