Demolition Program

Unsafe, Dilapidated Buildings & Structures


The Building Inspections Department may receive a complaint regarding an unsafe, dilapidated buildings and structures. These building and structures are often a magnet for illegal activity and can pose a hazard for the surrounding community. Examples of these hazard/nuisances are drug activity, vandalism, harboring of undocumented immigrants and infestation of rodents and vermin, among others. By identifying these substandard or unsafe structures, the City can work with the property owner to bring the buildings and structures into code compliance.

Once an unsafe, dilapidated building or structure has been reported to or identified by the Building Inspections Department, an inspector will create a case on the property where the unsafe structure is located. The following are the steps taken to abate substandard buildings and structures:
  1. An inspection of the structure is conducted based on the International Property Maintenance Code. If in compliance, then case is closed. If not, then proceed with the case.
  2. Identify Owner and address using the Cameron County Appraisal District website.
  3. A certified letter is sent to owner to contact the Building Inspections Department within 10 days to discuss options to abate the unsafe condition of the structure. If the owner contacts the department and abates the condition(s) satisfactorily, then the case is closed.
  4. If owner does not abate the conditions, a petition is sent to the owner to appear before the Building and Standards Commission to hear and decide to the case.
  5. The Commission will hear the case and issue an order to either demolish or to abate the unsafe structure within a certain time frame.
  6. If owner does not comply with the order, then the City will execute the order using either with City resources or will bid out services.

Abatement Steps


Step to abate by demolition of unsafe, dilapidated buildings and structures:
  1. Properties identified by Ordinance Enforcement Officers or report by public that are unsafe, dilapidated buildings and structures.
  2. Ordinance Enforcement Officers Inspect building and structures and prepares inspection report to document that building and structures are unsafe and dilapidated.
  3. Ordinance Enforcement Officer identify who owner of property based on Cameron County Appraisal District Data. Send 10 day Notice for owner to contact office to take appropriate steps to abate unsafe, dilapidated buildings and structures.
  4. If no response by owner to the 10 day notice, then Petition For a Hearing is sent to owner that a petition to seek relief will be heard by the Building and Standards Commission and next scheduled meeting.
  5. The Building and Standards commission after hearing will order the structure to be demolish 30 days after order is sent to owner.
  6. 6. If not demolished by owner by the 30th day the City will go out for bids or quotes to contract with private contractor to demolish structure.
  7. Once demolish lien will be place on the property for cost of demolition.