Posted: May 22, 2012 3:36 PM by Tong Gao
Updated: May 22, 2012 7:12 PM
COLUMBIA - A fire last month destroyed a strip mall and numerous businesses along Business Loop in Columbia. On Tuesday much of that destroyed building was still around. Now the building owner is facing a conflict between city and state requirements.
Building owner Mark Stevenson said he needs a demolition permit from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, before he can finish cleaning up. However, the City of Columbia sent him a letter asking him to remove the building within 45 days, or be in violation of city codes. Stevenson said he was only able to start minor cleanup before insurance investigations started. "Over 20 insurance engineering people investigated it, and that took until May 20th," Stevenson said. "So on 23rd of May, Monday, we finally got cleared to re-enter the scene so we could start working on it. But we still don't have the permission from the DNR."
An email from the Department of Natural Resources said that "for a building damaged by fire, you are obligated to have the portions of the building remaining inspected for the presence of asbestos by a Missouri Certified asbestos inspector."
Stevenson failed to meet the city's inspection on Monday. The city sent him a notice of hearing scheduled for June 6th.
Phil Teeple with Columbia's Community Development Department told KOMU he has discussed with Stevenson about the conflict, but he needs more details before extending a deadline.
Stevenson said he is expecting the demolition permit from DNR soon, and has already received a verbal commitment.