Halls neighbors upset by eyesore unfinished house

Halls neighbors upset by eyesore unfinished house

Posted:
The unfinished property at 4500 Ventura Drive is at the entrance to Ventura Estates in Halls. The unfinished property at 4500 Ventura Drive is at the entrance to Ventura Estates in Halls.
The front door is boarded up with plywood. Home wrap insulation has become unwrapped. The structure has never been finished. The front door is boarded up with plywood. Home wrap insulation has become unwrapped. The structure has never been finished.
"If you look at the porch, it is unfinished. If a child climbed up on there, they'd fall six or eight feet," said neighbor Susie Warsham. "If you look at the porch, it is unfinished. If a child climbed up on there, they'd fall six or eight feet," said neighbor Susie Warsham.
Knox County Code Administration Director Roy Braden says the house is sound, and the county's thick book on zoning rules is not in the business of tearing down structurally sound houses. Knox County Code Administration Director Roy Braden says the house is sound, and the county's thick book on zoning rules is not in the business of tearing down structurally sound houses.
Roy Braden says if residents disagree with the county's position on this issue, the Board of Zoning Appeal is their choice for further action. Roy Braden says if residents disagree with the county's position on this issue, the Board of Zoning Appeal is their choice for further action.

By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A group of neighbors in the Halls community say they're fed up with an eyesore home in their development that was never finished being constructed. They say it not only looks bad, but it's dangerous.

Neighbor Eddie Worsham says the shape of the home is not exactly home sweet home. The front door is boarded up with plywood. Home wrap insulation has become unwrapped. The structure has never been finished.

"They started building it. They do a little bit, they stop. They come out, put the dormers on, they stop," Worsham explained.

The unfinished property at 4500 Ventura Drive is at the entrance to Ventura Estates in Halls.

There had once been a construction permit posted on the property, but the codes department said it expired years ago after construction stalled.

"The house has been sitting in this condition for about 11 or 12 years," said resident Terry Carr. "we are concerned with possibly people getting into the house. It hasn't always been sealed up."

Names from three dozen families at Ventura Estates fill a petition asking Knox County Codes Enforcement to take action before someone gets hurt.

"Oh, I think it is very dangerous," said another resident, Susie Worsham. "If you look at the porch, it is unfinished. If a child climbed up on there, they'd fall six or eight feet."

The day before 6 News visited, the yard around the house had been mowed. Codes forced the owner to cut the grass.  It's not the only action the codes department has taken.

Codes has forced the home's owner to remove abandoned boats and vehicles. However, under some circumstances, there is only so much codes can accomplish.

Knox County Code Administration Director Roy Braden says he has personally talked with the home's owner several times about the condition of the structure.

"He has told me he is out of money at this time to finish the house," said Braden.

Neighbors say construction of the house has sputtered on and off for years.

"I'd like to see it finished or torn down. If they ain't going to finish it, tear it down," said neighbor Jack Hamley.

However, Roy Braden says the house is sound, and the county's thick book on zoning rules is not in the business of tearing down structurally sound houses.

Braden says if residents disagree with the county's position on this issue, the Board of Zoning Appeal is their choice for further action.

"I think proper notices have to be given to people who have property in this condition," said Braden. "So, what we got to do is figure out, can we tear it down or require him to finish it."

People in Ventura Estates say they may be ready to take that action through the zoning appeals board to remove this eyesore.

The Knox County Board of Zoning Appeals usually meets the fourth Wednesday of every month at the main assembly room of the City County Building.

The board has nine members who are familiar with construction and code issues like the one facing residents in Ventura Estates.

6 On Your Side contacted the owner of the eyesore home on Ventura Drive, but he has not responded to our call.


If you have a consumer issue, call the 6 On Your Side Hotline at 865-633-5974 or email ddare@wate.com.

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