Repairs still needed at troubled Wood Ridge apartments


by JESSICA VESS / KVUE News & Photojournalist MICHAEL MOORE

Bio | Email | Follow: @JessicaV_KVUE

Posted on December 12, 2012 at 8:22 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 12 at 8:40 AM

AUSTIN -- A Southeast Austin apartment complex is facing tough questions on Wednesday. Owners of the Wood Ridge complex on Burton Drive are under fire for a series of code violations that are now months past due.

The problems started earlier this year when a second story walkway collapsed. As of Wednesday morning the walkway hadn’t been replaced. Wednesday evening the owners were scheduled to go before the City of Austin Buildings and Standards Commission to update code inspectors on exactly how repair much work remains across the property.
Following the initial walkway collapse, inspectors found more than 700 code violations at Wood Ridge. The city ordered dozens of residents to evacuate amid safety concerns. All 15 buildings at the complex had some sort of problem. The owners estimated repairs would cost around half a million dollars. It was money they said they didn't have.
In August the Buildings and Standards Commission said it would begin imposing a $15,000 weekly fine until all required repairs were complete.
While some residents have yet to move back into Wood Ridge, others are still living at the complex. They complain that conditions remain unhealthy and unsafe.
“What I want to know is what's going to be done? That's where we are now. What is going to be done?” questioned tenant Doug Robb.
A group of tenants filed a lawsuit against the Wood Ridge owners in October, seeking reduced rent until repairs were complete.
During Wednesday’s meeting the commission could order further evacuations of those remaining residents. It may also issue additional penalties or order the demolition of Wood Ridge.

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