After nearly four months without running water at the Sabine Park Apartment Homes in Orange, a judge has ruled that nine buildings must be demolished due to being unlivable and not up to city code.
The ruling was made after the city presented evidence on Wednesday morning to support its claim that the buildings were a serious health and safety threat to both the complex and the city as a whole. The evidence included raw sewage being pumped into a grassy area and unsecured buildings.
City Attorney Kate Leverett came prepared with 1,000 pages of evidence to present to Judge Jim Sharon Bearden Jr. No representatives from the Sabine Park Apartment Homes appeared in court.
The ruling will take effect in 30 days, with the two remaining tenants in the affected buildings having until May 19, 2023, at 9:30 a.m. to vacate the premises. Utilities to all nine buildings will be cut off by the same date.
Rudy Salerandi, who still resides at the complex, expressed relief that action is being taken to address leaks and mold.
Judge Bearden has also ordered the owners to cover the cost of the demolition.
The saga began on Christmas Eve in 2022, when freezing temperatures caused several pipes to burst, leaving residents without running water. Tenants reported other issues, including electrical problems, leaks, and caved ceilings.
The ruling comes as a relief to residents who have been living without running water and in substandard living conditions.