The owner of a bed and breakfast business in Atlantic who is in violation of the City’s Minimum Maintenance Code, has been given a little more time to complete the exterior portion of his project. City Code Enforcement Officer John Lund said the decision was reached during a meeting this (Thursday) morning with S.F. Martin House owner, Roger Steffens. He says Steffens has been given a 30-day extension, but no more. After that, he will face fines for violating the City’s Code. Lund says the City understands the scope of the project, but at the same time, Steffens has been as much, if not more time than other residents to get their properties into shape, when given a compliance notice.
He says November 1st is the final deadline. Lund says they tried to make it as fair as possible. Regardless of what the National Register of Historic Places guidelines are, he says the City’s “Minimum Maintenance Code is called that for a reason. He says it’s “Not the Historical Victorian Standards Maintenance Code,” and the City is only asking Steffens to get the front entrance way taken care of, siding in-place and for the structure to be painted. Lund says six-months was an unreasonable amount of time for that to take place, to begin with.
Prior to his meeting with Lund, Steffens had faced an October 1st deadline to complete repairs on the exterior of his business, which is on the National Register of Historic places. The building has been what several people have described as an “eye sore” in Atlantic, especially on the east side. Work on the exterior of the house has been underway for at least 15-years, while the inside is pristine. When confronted with the earlier deadline, Steffens said during Wednesday night’s Council meeting that he needed more time to “Do the work the right way,” and that he’s already spent “Tens of thousands of dollars” on the on-going project, but he’s not willing to do the job hap-hazardly.
Atlantic City Councilman Shawn Shouse says it not the type of work being done that is the problem, it is all about the amount of time it is taking to get it done. Shouse said by Steffens’ own admission, he is taking too long. He says that’s what the council feels, as well. Steffens thought he was being singled-out by the City, but Shouse said that’s not the case. Shouse said the City has sent out notices to other property owner’s who are not in compliance with the Code.