For folks that are not local, trying to work with a non-business friendly town like Cape Charles can be frustrating. Owners have told the Mirror that if you can’t physically walk into the Plum Street offices, it is nearly impossible to get things done, despite a brutal and capricious business tax structure. Business owners have complained about the town’s reluctance or inability to get derelict shops to clean up their act. A case in point, 207 Mason has been in a state of disrepair for 7 years, and continues to spiral downward.
Code Enforcement has been contacted by adjacent owners concerned about 207 several times, but was told that the town could do nothing about it. These folks had to obtain an engineer at their expense. It wasn’t until the report was given to the town that the owners of 207 were required to take down a cracked wall that joined the adjacent property. The report exposed a wall that was in danger of falling and causing bodily harm.
The town also never inspected the 2-3 inch cracks in the common wall that was causing it to bow and increase damage to the adjacent building.
Even after having the special use permit revoked, the back of 207 still has cinder blocks piled up on town property. Rodents continue to call the building home.
“The building remains a danger and eyesore. How long and how many times will the town allow permits that result in no improvement. A two story building on that site will take a long time, should never have been approved because of the future water runoff on a common wall will cause damage to both buildings on each side,” said a business owner. “It leaves other businesses who work hard to stay compliant, to do the right thing, feeling like they are treated unfairly for trying to correct a situation that should have had more attention and has decreased their ability to market and sell a property because of the building next door and its poor perception and noncompliance to correct the faults. Not to mention what it does to curb appeal and its street view.”