The property was previously owned and lived in by James Irwin, an astronaut and the eighth person to walk on the moon, and is currently owned by Mae Jemison, an engineer and astronaut who became the first Black woman to travel to space, according to city officials.
The property, located 18410 Kingstown Court, underwent an inspection conducted by the city in agreement with Jemison. According to a posting from the city dated Aug. 23, the inspection resulted in the city declaring the property a “public nuisance” subject to demolition.
According to the posting, the city’s inspection of the property found the following conditions: a dilapidated and insecure structure, standing water in different areas of the house, a roof in need of replacement, settled foundation by almost 2 inches, no drywall on most walls and ceilings, no flooring, high grass and debris, and 10 other conditions that resulted in the public nuisance declaration.
Nassau Bay Mayor Phil Johnson said the city filed for a public hearing in November with Jemison to resolve the property’s conflict with city code, which Johnson said has been uninhabitable since 2007. He said if a resolution is not met that is a “win-win” for both parties’ intentions, including the city’s minimum repair standards, the city will then move to legally demolish the property.
“There’s a minimum standard that we are not going to go under, and I’m pretty insistent on that,” Johnson said.
After the city’s and Jemison’s legal counsels met for a closed-doors in-person discussion on the issue Oct. 6, city officials said at an Oct. 10 meeting Jemison’s legal counsel intends to provide a document that details the scope of work planned for the property by the end of October or early November.
Johnson said he is optimistic about the progress being made between both parties, saying the resolution to this issue has been 15 years in the making.
“A lot of the public does not know the depth of the issues with the house and the burden the surrounding citizens have had,” Johnson said.
Jemison could not be reached for comment by press time.