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Published: Thursday, 4/18/2002

Ujvagi miffed city can't find inspector notes for Brenda's

Peter Ujvagi yesterday raised questions about missing notes behind the inspection that declared the former Brenda's Body Shop a public hazard and a candidate for demolition.

Mr. Ujvagi, president of Toledo City Council, raised the issue of the inspection in a last-ditch effort to save the 115-year-old Monroe Street building next to the new baseball stadium.

Council's zoning and planning committee held a two-hour hearing on the Toledo Plan Commission's approval of a demolition permit for 523 Monroe St. yesterday. Council is expected to vote on the issue Tuesday. However, the municipal code only allows council to delay the demolition until June 20, which is six months from the time when the county applied for the permit.

Mr. Ujvagi said he repeatedly asked for a copy of the inspector's original notes to shed light on how much of the building was inspected, but has been rebuffed.

“As of today, the department is still looking for the inspection report. Nobody seems to be able to find it,” Mr. Ujvagi said. If it can't be found, Mr. Ujvagi said, a new inspection should be done. He noted that recent photos show the roof of the former strip club in decent shape, contrary to indications in the inspection letter that the roof is in disrepair.

Mike Stanford, the city building inspector, said the notes have been misplaced in his office.

“There has been no concealment, no attempt at concealment,” Mr. Stanford said. He said that the inspector, Curtis Hong, saw enough of the building to issue an order requiring the building to be fixed or demolished.

Brenda's supporters have complained about the quality of the Dec. 6 inspection since the county began its effort to obtain a demolition permit.

The letter signed by Mr. Stanford said that a parapet wall has separated from the roof and could fall on pedestrians. It said floor joists have deteriorated to the point that they will be unable to carry the loads they were designed for. It ordered repair or demolition within 10 days.

The City Plan Commission staff criticized the inspection as inadequate because the inspector did not visit all parts of the building.

On Tuesday, the county commissioners voted to sell the property for $15,000 to Myron Stewart, the editor of the Toledo Journal newspaper. He plans to tear it down and use the space as a patio for a restaurant he plans at 519 Monroe St.

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