Cascades Grandview Apartments
GREENSBORO - Since June, WFMY News 2 has been following the numerous problems that came to light at a Greensboro apartment complex. After being contacted by tenants who were living without air, during one the hottest summers in the Triad, it was discovered that there were more issues than just air conditioning.
The City of Greensboro finally got involved and air was restored after more than a month. In August, Duke Energy confirmed they had turned off the power to the entire building for non-payment. The Greensboro Police and Fire Dept were called out late that night to help and the fire dept condemned the building. Tenants were moved to a shelter.
After a bigger investigation, the city learned that the apartment complex was zoned for "student housing only" in 1993 and other tenants were asked to leave.
These are just few of the problems reported by WFMY News that are outlined in the report. The report was requested by council members Nancy Vaughn and Trudy Wade.
In the Office of the City Attorney's report to City Manager, Denise Turner Roth and the report outlined the building's violation history, limits of the former Rental Unit Certificate of Occupancy and the minimum housing condemnation procedure.
Full Report Here
The current Cascades Grandview location (830 West Market Street), which has 230 units, has a list 11 of complaints and inspections on record that date back to 2002. Four of the complaints were about the air conditioning this past summer.
Other complaints since 2002 include "leaking sink," "unclean/unsanitary conditions," "heating problem" and "no emergency lighting in hallways."
The city reports all the complaints were resolved within 30 to 45 days, except for one case from May 2011, which did not get resolved until December 2011 because of delays in conducting the first inspection.
The Rental Unit Certificate of Occupancy (RUCO) has come up with the city when discussing Cascades Grandview. RUCO is a program the city used to have in place where all rental units had to be inspected to prove they were up to code before renters moved in. In 2011, the state legislature declared RUCO against state law. Now, city inspectors can only show up if someone sends them a complaint. If no one told the city inspectors the city code was being violated, there is no way inspectors could know.
The city's condemnation process is described in the city's report.
The city also offers the following suggests to shorten current inspection/condemnation process:
- Allow staff to post a copy of the notice and complaint at the property and send it certified mail at the same time.
- Remove the discretionary element of the hearing notice and require that all hearing take place 10 days after the notice and complaint are issued.
- Shorten the time for repairs from a minimum of 30 days.
- Amend the city code to permit demolition 30 days after issuance of an order from the inspector.
- Remove the ability of the inspector to grant extensions after 30 notice to repair or demolish is issued.
- Limit the number of times the Minimum Standards Housing Commission can grant extension after it is referred to that body.
Cascades Grandview Owner History
According to the city, the apartment building operated as an inn or hotel between 1964 and 1993. It changed to student housing in late 1993. University Square, LLC purchased it in 1995.
The current owner purchased the building on April 27, 2010. It is listed with the city as: Cascades Grandview LLC, PO Box 43204, Henrico VA 23242.
WFMY News 2/City of Greensboro