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Charlotte City Council votes to raze Kennon Street home over owner’s protests

The Charlotte City Council voted unanimously to demolish a home at 1306/1308 Kennon St. during its meeting Monday.

Owner Francis Proctor Jr. told the council that he was not able to get the financing to repair the “affordable, historical” 67-year-old home, which he said is unsecured, without flooring and rotted in one section.

The council voted in January to grant Procter a 90-day deferment to repair the home. But neighbor Jessie Ledbetter told the council that the home is a haven for squatters, drug dealers and crack addicts. It’s also infested with rats and has kudzu that is 4 feet tall, Ledbetter said.

Ledbetter said he purchased his home in the neighborhood because he saw the “vision” for the area, which he described as transitioning. He said at one end of the half-mile street, a home sold for $500,000. But at the other end, police recently raided a drug house, he said.

Ledbetter said that despite the economy, some of the neighborhood’s homes are being renovated. But Proctor cited the economy as the reason he was unable to get financing.

“I could have sold this house three years ago for $100,000,” Proctor said, adding that the county’s tax value for the home is $96,700. “The best answer is to wait until the economy recovers and the Belmont community resumes its upward momentum. Please allow this house to remain as it is until the economy recovers.”

But Councilman Andy Dulin had apparently heard enough.

“Mr. Proctor, I can save you time,” he said. “I’d like to make a motion that we knock this house down.”

It will cost the city $6,250 to tear down the home.

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