Former meth house being renovated

City allows new roof to be put on after home taken off demolition list

Author: Jim Piggott, General assignment reporter, jpiggott@wjxt.com
Published On: Jan 23 2014 02:28:59 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 23 2014 06:53:35 PM EST
Meth house renovated
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

It's a house where the former owners went to jail for making methamphetamine and one the city was planning to tear down.

Now neighbors are wondering why the Cedar Hills home is being renovated.

A sign outside the house reads, "Condemned. Do not enter." However, city permits say putting a new roof on the home is OK, even though the city said last summer the house was going to be torn down.

Neighbor Frank Pagington said months ago he was fed up with the home.

"I made the statement that I would burn the house down," Pagington said. "Yes, I would totally burn it down."

He said the reason is that since the city raided the house and arrested its residents on meth charges, nothing had happen. The lawn became overgrown and a big mess.

At that time the city said the house was slated for demolition. But instead of seeing bulldozers, Pagington said now he's been seeing hammers as workers have been fixing up the house.

Pagington said he hopes the house doesn't become a problem again.

"I want somebody to come in and buy this building and be good neighbors, but right now I've seen this happen so many times over and over again," he said.

Pagington said when he checked with the city's Code Enforcement Office, it was not aware of what was going on.

According to records with Duval County Property Appraiser's Office, the home is now owned by JWB Real Estate, and a division of that company is doing the renovations on the house, which was sold in November for $7,500.

City records show the house was taken off the demolition list in October, but it's unclear why.

Pagington said he still has his doubts and hopes this time the house will turn around.

"I have seen this happen so many times before and it does not get fixed," he said.

The owner of the company that owns the house said it did put on a new roof and maybe should have waited until it got clearance.

But as for those inside, he said they are people who are certified and that should not be a problem. He said some tests came back earlier that showed contamination but they are cleaning it up now.