Clawson City, MI – Despite the city of Clawson’s request to demolish an unfinished home, Oakland County Circuit Court Chief Judge Wendy Potts has decided to give the homeowner 90 days to make building progress.
The home, located on 725 Highland, has been under renovation for more than a year and a half and has attracted the attention of the city and unhappy neighbors.
Dale Schneider, whose last day as city attorney was Monday, said he was pleased with how the case is going. “I think we’re getting some action, which is a lot more than we have gotten,” he said.
The homeowners, Mark and Darlene Tokarski, have said they tore down the previous house on the property when they discovered it was full of stachybotrys, one of the most toxic natural substances to mankind. Then they ran into financing problems, and the renovation stalled.
Schneider said the family still does not have enough financing to finish the home. Last week, the judge gave the Tokarskis 90 days to complete the home’s windows, doors, siding and sewer.
The Clawson City Council originally authorized the house’s destruction in December. In the event the demolition is still necessary, the council voted 3-1 at its Feb. 15 meeting to award the job to Blue Star, Inc., for $11,800. Councilwoman Penny Luebs cast the dissenting vote, and Councilman Joe Schwab was absent.
Luebs said the city should have voted to give the Tokarskis more time to finish the house. “I think there were extenuating circumstances,” she said. “There were circumstances beyond their control with the black mold, and they resolved the problem in a fashion that they thought was right at the time. The information they didn’t have was the expense.” Unfortunately, mold is expensive to abate no matter how its done, but the health risk is devastating.
Schneider said the next step likely will be for the parties to return to court after the 90 days expire for further direction.