Bellaire Village Council members did the compassionate - as well as the smart - thing last week when they gave Sonya Shreve more time to repair her house. Municipal officials deserve credit for recognizing that haste to address a pressing problem in many towns and cities resulted in an error in Shreve's case.
The problem is dilapidated buildings, of course. Few communities in the Ohio Valley are not plagued by at least a few irresponsible property owners who allow structures to become safety and/or health hazards, as well as eyesores. Bellaire is among towns where officials have decided to take decisive action by razing some junk buildings.
Shreve owns a house on Harrison Street in Bellaire. Little by little, she has been repairing and renovating it in the hope of making it her primary residence. She believed village officials were going to give her enough time to do that.
But late last month, Shreve heard her house was scheduled to be demolished because it was not in compliance with municipal codes. June 25 had been set as the date when crews would begin razing the structure.
Last week Bellaire Village Council agreed to give Shreve more time to make necessary repairs to the house. Officials also met with two other property owners who want to make repairs rather than have their buildings razed.
Council members are right to work with such property owners. Renovated, occupied structures certainly are better than empty lots left after demolition, after all.
Of course, if building codes are not complied with, the wrecking ball may have to be brought it. But for now, Bellaire officials are taking the proper course.