Victoria officials suspect the awning on an old vacant theater at 206 E. Constitution St. is a safety hazard in a high foot-traffic downtown area.
On Nov. 15, the city's code enforcement office posted a public hearing notice on the building that states, "Inspection of the above referenced property has revealed suspected violations of the standards ... of the Victoria City Code."
A hearing is pending for Jan. 25 before the Victoria Building and Standards Commission.
"It's the structural integrity of it," said Julie Fulgham, director of city development services. "It's deteriorating. It's a public safety concern. What we're concerned about is trafficked areas in the downtown area."
The state of the awning was brought to the attention of city officials by the Victoria Fire Marshal's Office before Hurricane Harvey, Fulgham said.
At a hearing, officials would present why the awning doesn't meet codes and recommend the commission order the owner to repair it, Fulgham said. The commission would then determine whether the awning should be demolished or repaired.
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"There will be a chance for the owner to say what he wants to do with the awning," she said.
Attorney Bernard Klimist would represent the owner, Brad Richards, if there is a hearing. Klimist said the issue will probably be resolved long before the hearing date.
Klimist said although he has yet to officially inspect the awning, it appears to be structurally sound.
"That awning is just like it was before Harvey," he said. "It survived a Category 4 hurricane, and it's still the same. Other than the appearance of it, I'm curious to see what the city believes is dangerous about it."
Klimist said that before the hearing, city officials and Richards will probably have engineers inspect the awning.
"At the face of it, I'm at a loss because before all this happened, it was insured and passed an insurance inspection and went through a Category 4 hurricane," he said. "I'm not really sure what could test it more than that."
Officials called for a hearing because Richards didn't respond to the first notice about the awning, Fulgham said.
If a property owner doesn't comply with an order issued by the commission, the city will repair the structure and file a property lien on the building.
"We haven't received any correspondence back in regard to the awning," said Juan Briones, city senior code enforcement officer.
City officials previously asked the owner to secure the building in March 2016 when a broken window and side door to the theater was open, Fulgham said. Richards voluntarily complied and secured the building by boarding up the openings.
Klimist said Richards' ultimate goal is to renovate the theater to honor its late owner and his previous partner, Rubin Frels. He said he didn't know when Richards would begin renovations. Klimist said he's not certain why renovations haven't begun but said litigation over the property and Hurricane Harvey were hurtles Richards had to overcome.
"I can promise you if he restores the building, it will not have an awning with the appearance that one has," he said. "If he's going to restore it to honor Rubin, it will be restored whether or not the city can show it's a danger or not."
Day 1: Here comes Harvey
Day 2: Brace yourself
Day 3: 'Prayers protect us'
Day 4: 'We thought we were going to die'
Day 5: 'At least God let us live'
Day 6: 'It's the luck of the draw'
Day 7: 'Everybody will pull together'
Day 8: Guadalupe floods parts of Victoria
Day 9: Texas Zoo evacuates animals (w/video)
Day 10: The Long Road Ahead (w/video)
Day 11: Residents rely on families to rebuild
Day 12: For some, normal still far away
Day 13: Church offers refuge for devastated town
Day 14: Victims find hardship, opportunity (w/video)
Day 15: FEMA frustrates Harvey victims
Day 16: Displaced and in disarray
Day 17: Disaster for humans means catastrophe for pets
Day 18: Nature interrupted (w/video)
Day 19: 'It was like we had been bombed'
Day 20: Students returning to school feel weight of Harvey
Day 21: International Crane Foundation loses office after hurricane
Day 22: Ranching structures, cotton mostly damaged by Harvey
Day 23: Port Lavaca struggles back after Harvey
Day 24: Refugio: 'We're trying to get back to normal'
Day 25: Nonprofit leaves people lost after Harvey
Day 26: 'We are human beings like everyone else'
Day 27: Refugio schools find way to reopen
Day 28: Bloomington schools begin year in different classroom setups
Day 29: Methodist church serves those in need after hurricane
Day 30: Scientists measure damage to endangered species' habitat (w/video)
Day 31: Medical community feels impact of Harvey
Day 32: Harvey's speed leaves many in harm's way
Day 33: After Harvey, Seadrift couple forced out of home
Day 34: Bloomington Elementary School educates students in FEMA dome
Day 35: School districts share issues with state, US senator
Day 36: VISD students observe See You at the Pole
Day 37: Expectant family struggles after Harvey (w/video)
Day 38: Woodsboro pulls together after Harvey
Day 39: Housing options slim for displaced families
Day 40: SBA approves more than $500M in disaster loans
Day 41: Hunger greater in Crossroads post-Harvey
Day 42: 'Harvey broke me'
Day 44: Goliad baby born as hurricane swirled toward Crossroads
Day 45: Mother recalls 'scary' birth during Harvey
Day 46: Harvey devastates homeowners without insurance
Day 47: Officials have no details on housing relief
Day 48: Harvey impacts couple's 2 Victoria businesses, Rockport home
Day 49: Crews begin repair work on historic McFaddin church
Day 50: Hurricane, flood force Jaguars to make adjustments
Day 51: Texas Zoo thanks Vickers students for donation
Day 52: Seadrift women helping people affected by hurricane
Day 53: Mold creates big problem for homeowners
Day 54: Crossroads public agencies deal with FEMA challenges
Day 55: Special delivery
Day 56: Texas Gulf Coast mayors discuss Harvey aftermath
Day 57: Tenants sue after Harvey eviction
Day 58: Nonprofit directors face difficult fundraising decision after Harvey
Day 59: VISD applies for waivers to reduce Harvey burden
Day 60: Victoria's relief efforts lacked coordination, leadership
Day 61: Popular restaurant battles back from Harvey
Day 62: City looks to buy sprinkler controls for $160K
Day 63: Housing after Harvey (w/video)
Day 64: City looks to help with hefty water bills
Day 65: Men's shelter, soup kitchen closed because of Harvey
Day 66: Watt routes almost $1M to Crossroads' hungry
Day 67: Recovery group seeks members, community leaders
Day 68: Habitat volunteers help Harvey victims rebuild
Day 69: Lawmakers, counties to discuss Harvey response
Day 70: Oyster season opens after Harvey; new rules adopted
Day 71: Crossroads leaders talk storm damage to lawmakers
Day 72: Symphony to open concert season after Harvey delay
Day 73: Harvey recovery group works to measure unmet needs
Day 74: City considers ways to shore up water system
Day 75: County officials: Mobile homes need more oversight
Day 76: Recipient of state honor persists despite Harvey setbacks
Day 77: Heroes, lessons emerge in Harvey's wake
Day 78: Harvey, budget shortfalls challenge local leaders
Day 79: Salvation Army traditional holiday meal to continue
Day 80: City water had no bacteria despite Harvey outage
Day 81: Leaders still don't have Harvey recovery details
Day 82: Devereux officials remain hopeful despite hurricane damage
Day 83: Bloomington students, district still feel impact of Harvey
Day 84: Officials consider waiving school accountability ratings
Day 85: FEMA center in Cuero to close Nov. 22
Day 86: Zoo to spread its wings again
Day 87: Recovery group urges residents to apply for FEMA
Day 88: Rural Victoria County fights for help after Harvey
Day 89: Council to revisit rules on temporary housing
Day 90: Customers, employees respond to Lacks, Harbor Freight reopenings
Day 91: State officials remove sunken damage along Texas coast
Day 92: Refugio couple lose roof, but not hope
Day 93: Salvation Army Thanksgiving meal a success
Day 94: Home improvement stores prosper on Black Friday
Day 95: 'They are small, but their voices are loud'
Day 96: Harvey increases construction business, causes shortage of workers
Day 97: Tourists return to area ravaged by hurricane/a>
Day 98: DeWitt County unveils drone program
Where to get water, gas and other supplies
Helpful information after the storm
Updates on city services