A property at 108 N. Park Ave., Warsaw, cited as substandard in violation of city code in December 2014, will now have a demolition hearing set for 1:30 p.m. Monday, May 18. This was the decision Monday during a Warsaw Code Enforcement hearing.
Phillip Allen Smith is the owner of the property, which has been discussed the past several months during code enforcement hearings. The home, which is vacant, was found to have a dilapidated rear porch, broken windows, unsecured entrances, has had electrical service discontinued and red flagged for further electrical service.
The property was discussed at the Feb. 18 code hearing at which time Lawrence Clifford, hearing officer, set a $2,500 civil penalty against the owner if the property was not brought up to standards. That penalty is now effective immediately.
During Monday’s hearing the owner was not present and Todd Slabaugh, building commissioner, presented two certified letters. One letter was unclaimed, the other letter was refused. According to Clifford, the refusal letter was a default indication. Slabaugh noted since the last hearing the rear porch area, which was open and unsecured, has been boarded up and secured. Two of the broken windows have also been boarded up, according to Slabaugh.
It was stated there was a permit issued years ago for the home and it had been gutted. But the home has stayed in that condition since then.
There was also discussion that the home may be in foreclosure. Slabaugh will research the foreclosure matter and attempt to contact the mortgage company. It was also learned of a possible place of employment for Smith. The new order will be hand delivered to Smith.
“This is as close to ducking as you can find,” stated Clifford referring to the refused certified letter.
Two other cases were heard by Clifford with only one of the property owners appearing for the hearing.
Raul Ramos, 202 S. Union St., Warsaw, was given 60 days to bring his property in compliance with city code or face a $500 civil penalty. It was noticed there was still some brick repair and facade work needing completion. Work on the brick, with the help of several individuals, has begun on weekends.
“You and two guys ought to get it done by when?” asked Clifford. With Ramos stating a month, Clifford extended it to two months with the civil penalty if not completed.
It was stated the seven of the eight items on the original substandard items are in compliance, or 90 percent complete. Ramos is to return on June 15 if not completed. “Let’s get it done and you’ll never have to see me again,” stated Clifford.
No representative for Evelia Vega, 410 W. Winona Ave., Warsaw, was present. Slabaugh stated he had spoken with her son, Manuel, on Friday. While 80 percent of the items had been removed and cleared such as televisions. tires, trash and junk items, a large pile of scrap lumber remains. It was estimated it was a pick up truck load.
Slabaugh indicated the family had wanted to keep the wood — busted up pallets, railroad ties, landscape timbers — to use for recreational burning. However, they were advised that was not allowed within the city limits. Slabaugh also stated it felt the family was not sure where to take the items.
It was noted in September a $500 civil fine was imposed, but postponed. A letter will be sent adding an additional $500 penalty, for a total of $1,000. Half of the penalty will be postponed to May 18 and if the property is not in compliance at that time the property owner, or a representative, is ordered to attend the meeting.