Tavern Building cited as an unsafe building/serious hazard


TROY — The Tavern Building, located at 112 – 118 W. Main St., Troy, has been cited as an unsafe building/serious hazard by Miami County Department of Development Building Official Rob England.

The sidewalks and parking spaces in front of the Tavern Building have been closed since a tornado damaged the building in 2020.

According to a press release from the Miami County Department of Development, on March 27, 2023, the Miami County, Ohio, Building Official Rob England, who is also the building official for the city of Troy, issued adjudication order No. 0034, citing unsafe building/serious hazard at 112 – 118 W. Main St., Troy, Ohio, and naming Randy Kimmel as the owner.

“Issues of non-compliance refer to section 109.4 and 109.4.1 of the Ohio Building Code per current pictures and engineering report dated March 17, 2023, attached to the order. Action requires the serious hazard to be abated by Mr. Kimmel as soon as possible, but no more than 14 days from certified receipt of the order,” the release said.

“Mr. England received the engineer’s report on March 23, 2023, completed by Mark Stemmer, P.E., S.E., Tri-Tech Engineering, identifying the scope as ‘a re-evaluation of the building structures at 112 through 118 W. Main St., in Troy, Ohio.’ Conclusions drawn from the field inspection include Mr. Stemmer’s professional opinion that ‘if an event occurs where prescribed loads are approached, the building will suffer a partial or full collapse and people and property near the building would be in imminent danger,’” said the release.

“Mr. England has a statutory obligation to issue adjudication orders whenever and wherever a serious hazard exists. Mr. England also has a professional commitment to protect human life and safety of all who live, work, and visit Miami County and the city of Troy,” the release said.

“The last thing I want is for anyone to get hurt, or worse,” England said in the release. “Based on this latest engineer’s report and related pictures included with the adjudication order, a serious hazard exists and must be eliminated as soon as possible.”

Heavy winds are a frequent occurrence this time of year; any one of which could serve as an event to exceed the ability for the building to maintain structural integrity, said the release.

The options provided in the engineer’s report prescribe remedies that include all or partial removal of hazards associated with existing degraded structures. England and Department of Development Director Richard Osgood met with Chris Englert, Miami County chief civil assistant prosecutor, to discuss this action. Englert has briefed Miami County Prosecutor Anthony Kendell on the situation. Questions regarding the Ohio Building Code can be addressed to England. Questions related to the adjudication process should be addressed to Englert, the release said.

“Section 104.2.1 of the Ohio Building Code (OBC) states, “’the building official is responsible for the enforcement of the rules of the board (Ohio Board of Building Standards) and of chapter 3781 and 3791 of the Revised Code,’” to include the issuance of adjudication orders in accordance with section 109 of the OBC. Section 109.4, unsafe buildings, states, ‘where a building is found to be a serious hazard, such hazard shall be eliminated,” the release stated.

On Friday, March 24, the city of Troy issued a press release stating the city’s property maintenance orders and municipal court complaints remain pending, and the city will continue to pursue compliance and enforcement. The Ohio Second District Court of Appeals recently affirmed the Miami County Common Pleas Court decision related to the 116-118 W. Main St. building in Troy’s historic downtown.

“The court has upheld that the building owner was not entitled to a certificate of appropriateness, and that is a requisite that you need to obtain a demolition permit,” Troy Law Director Grant Kerber said when asked for comment on the Ohio Second District Court of Appeals ruling. “On this application, he doesn’t have legal authority to demolish it.”

Derek Muncy, the attorney representing Randy Kimmel, owner of the Tavern Building on West Main Street, expressed disappointment with the Ohio Second District Court of Appeals decision.

“We disagree with the decision,” Muncy said. “We believe we complied with the zoning code, the requests of the city, the Planning Commission, and the BZA throughout the application process. The Planning Commission and the BZA agreed. At this point in time, we are most concerned with the safety of the structure as a whole. We are exploring all of our legal options to proceed with the demolition of the building.”

In response to the Ohio Second District Court of Appeals decision, Ben Sutherly, president of the Troy Historic Preservation Alliance, issued the following statement on Friday, March 24:

“We are thrilled for this much-anticipated ruling from the Second District Court of Appeals — a landmark victory for historic preservation in downtown Troy. The city of Troy needs to commence immediately in making repairs to the building and sending the bill to the property owner if there is unwillingness to comply. The sidewalk in front of the building needs to reopen after three long years, and the West Main Street construction in front of the building needs to begin without delay. We look forward to a shift in the conversation to restoring and bringing this important building back into active use alongside the rest of our beautiful downtown, and we stand ready to contribute to that work in any way possible.”

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