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City takes another swipe at blighted properties

A blighted property on Southwest Main Court. (City of Warrenton)
Thursday, June 6, 2019

Balancing compassion with the strong arm of the law can be daunting, Warrenton officials have found.

A hoarder whose rental property is packed inside and out with bottles, cans and other “collectables” will likely be homeless unless patience prevails in cleaning it up.

City commissioners voted Tuesday night to declare a duplex at Main Avenue and Ninth Street a public nuisance. The property at 951-953 S.W. Main Court is strewn with junk cars, rubbish, overgrown vegetation and boxes of junk.

Community Development Director Kevin Cronin sent a letter by certified mail to property owner Adam Bridgens of Portland and Warrenton Police Department posted the site, which has a single tenant, with an abatement notice on May 9.

Another property at 165 S.E. Second Street owned by Hazel Moore also was declared a nuisance.

“This is two of about a dozen cases open right now,” Cronin told commissioners Tuesday night. “We’ve closed about 40 in the last year.”

City commissioners have made blight removal a priority in the past two years.

“This is one of the clearest cases of nuisances we’ve ever had,” Mayor Henry Balensifer said. “At the same time, we want to activate Commissioner (Tom) Dyer’s task force to help because this problem is beyond one person’s ability to clean up. … We’d be remiss if we didn’t declare this property.”

The city is willing to be patient if continued progress is made in the cleanup, Cronin said.

“My concern is that’s a health hazard,” Commissioner Mark Baldwin said. “But I understand there are extenuating circumstances.”

Dyer, who has a committee of work volunteers, had led a number of cleanup efforts on problem properties, including the former gas station across from Warrenton City Hall.

Dyer was not at Tuesday’s meeting and both properties were declared nuisances on 4-0 votes.

A blighted property on Southwest Main Court. (City of Warrenton)

Kevin Cronin

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