Chase Lane lot cleanup progressing very slowly

Dec 13 2011 - 12:04am

CENTERVILLE -- Cleanup of the much-talked-about Chase Lane property is slowly progressing as safety concerns are eliminated, but the building is still considered dangerous.

This enforcement matter was the subject of four meetings in September and October, though the issue goes back even further.

The property at 85 E. Chase Lane has been the subject of much discussion because officials say it has been an eyesore and safety hazard for some time, with unfinished structures that were deemed "dangerous."

On May 27, the city sent to the owner, and anyone holding an interest in the property, a notice and order to repair or demolish the buildings on the property.

Notice was sent to all involved parties informing them of the intent to either clean or demolish the property, thus terminating the dangerous building certificate. It also stated that a lien will be placed on the property for reimbursement of any associated costs.

Since then, the city has made efforts to move this forward by approving a bid to clean up the property.

Specifically, officials say the property has a significant amount of junk, trash, debris, garbage, construction materials, boulders, lumber, metal scraps, weeds and abandoned or discharged objects that need to be cleaned up. This violates city code, making the property unsafe and a nuisance.

Now, the county has a new owner on record, Lewis Jones LC. Assistant City Manager Blaine Lutz said the new owner has been notified of the remaining violations. The city has not yet verified if all the required improvements have been completed for the property to no longer be considered hazardous, he added.

Councilman Paul Cutler said if the improvements are made, the building will no longer be considered hazardous, just dangerous.

"That just means it's not an immediate danger," he said, noting it is boarded up so no one can get in. "It can be in that state for a period of time."

However, he said, the city wants to get this issue resolved as soon as possible.

"It's hard to balance the private property rights of the owner and the safety of the community," he said. "But this property is an eyesore that needs to get cleaned up."

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