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City goes after additional blighted properties

Friday, July 6, 2018

The City Commission named two more properties as nuisances this week, which sets the clock ticking on stricter enforcement activities.

A home at 719 S. Main Ave. was declared a public nuisance and the owner will be given 10 days to remove inoperable vehicles, trash, scrap metal and construction materials.

The owner, who lives in Alaska, is renting the property and told city officials they plan to give the tenant an eviction notice.

The debris is in an unfenced front yard, next to the Methodist Church and an apartment complex and on the town’s main street, which city leaders have been trying to beautify.

The second targeted property is at 1062 N.W. Warrenton Drive. The rental property has many large vehicles parked along the right of way, blocking the view of neighbors attempting to drive in and out of Alder Creek Village.

All five commissioners voted in favor of determining them nuisances.

With scrap collectors paying good money for metal and willing to tow away vehicles, “there’s really no excuse for anyone to have abandoned vehicles,” Commissioner Mark Baldwin said.

There is plenty of buzz in town now that the city is taking action, Commissioner Tom Dyer said. “The people that are on the list, they talk."

Added Mayor Henry Balensifer: “We’re doing a historic load of code enforcement here. … It’s full throttle.”

Progress has come to a stand-still on two other properties recently declared nuisances – a former gas station across from City Hall and a dilapidated two-story blue house on Harbor Drive, interim Community Development Director Kevin Cronin said.

While the house on Harbor was demolished, “the remains of the facility are still smattered around the property,” Balensifer said.

And the gas station has five inoperable and unlicensed vehicles on the property, Cronin said. “The expectation is that they clean up the mess.”

The city now can finish the clean-up and place a lien on the properties.

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