House of Fourth Street

Repair work on this house at 507 W. Fourth St. is ongoing. Members of the city’s building standards commission said they are satisfied with the progress on the house.

Members of the Del Rio Building Standards Commission say they are satisfied with the progress of repairs on a house at 507 W. Fourth St.

The commissioners reviewed progress on the house during their April 29 meeting, held via teleconference. Three of the commission’s five members attended: Commission Chair Isidro Valdez Fernandez, Tomas Robles and Jesus Salgado.

City Public Works Director Craig Cook spoke to the building standards commission about notice requirements for each of the properties under discussion, saying notice had been published in the city’s newspaper of record and affixed in prominent locations to each of the buildings under review, as required by statute. Notices also were mailed to each owner via certified mail or hand-delivered, Cook added.

Cook reviewed the specifics for each of the properties on the agenda, beginning with 507 W. Fourth St. He reminded the commissioners they had first reviewed the property in December 2019.

Cook said the building’s owners, Sylvia and Joe Valdez, at the time told the commission they intended to repair the structure.

“It’s a rental property for the actual owner, Sylvia’s mother, and the commission made a two-step ruling: They wanted it secured by the end of the year, Dec. 31, and wanted to see some progress on the repairs by mid-March and then re-assess at the April meeting,” Cook said.

He said no interim review was done in March as the commission had canceled its meeting that month because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Cook said he has met with Joe Valdez on the site several times, beginning in December.

“I’m satisfied that certainly the owners secured the structure prior to the Dec. 31 deadline. I’m satisfied with the progress to date. They clearly intend to continue the repairs to the structure at their schedule and pace. I don’t think there is need for the commission to review this property any further,” he said.

Cook also reviewed a series of photos he had taken of the Valdezes’ progress in repairing the house.

Cook said in addition to securing the house as the commission had directed, the Valdezes have also begun making structural repairs. He said when he returned to look at the building in mid-April, it had been completely wrapped in a waterproof Tyvek vapor barrier and on an even more recent visit, the soffits and fascia had been repaired.

“It also looked like the roof shingles had been removed, and it looked like they were getting ready to either re-deck or paper and shingle the roof,” Cook said.

“As I said, I don’t think there’s any need for further commission review,” he added.

Cook also invited the owners to speak.

“This is something we’ve been working at as much as we can. We feel that with the COVID-19 happening in the middle of all this, it really put us behind a couple of weeks, but we do have a permit currently for the structure, the pier-and-beam foundation, and we do have a permit for the siding. We do have a permit signed, as of today, for the roof. Those are the things that are going to be coming here very soon,” Joe Valdez told the commission.

Valdez said his grandmother was hospitalized again and told the commission he believed “one of the things that really helped her was seeing the progress on the house.”

“We’re going to get this thing to where it is an asset to the community,” he added.

After Valdez’s comments, the commissioners had no questions, with Salgado observing that he believed the Valdezes “should get more time” to complete repairs because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Cook then suggested the commission to vote on the following motion: No further commission action required.

Fernandez then made the motion the commission require no further action on the property at 507 W. Fourth St., with Robles giving the second. All three commissioners voted in favor of the. motion.

Sylvia Valdez thanked the commissioners and Cook and said once the house is completed, she would like to invite them to come and take a look at it.

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