RDA seeks to unload lots
The county owns them.
The county doesn’t want them.
And the city wants the county to fix their sidewalks.
Three parcels in the City of Warren continue to be proverbial hot potatoes – 11 and 13 Madison Ave. and 414 Laurel St.
They were discussed during this week’s City of Warren Redevelopment Authority meeting.
The properties were privately owned until a 2016 plea in a criminal case included property forfeiture. They were subsequently transferred to the county commissioners and remain in the ownership of the commissioners, according to online county assessment records.
Code Official Ken Hinton said that the county approached the city about signing over the properties but noted that would require the city undertaking sidewalk repairs and grass cutting.
There is a structure on 13 Madison but the other two parcels are empty lots.
Terry Williams, the city’s director of codes, permitting and recreation services, said that 13 Madison is a “demolition from what we know about the property.”
The sidewalks come at a steep price tag – Department of Public Works Director Mike Holtz estimated a $4,500 cost for the Madison parcels and an additional $2,000 to $2,500 at Laurel St.
Williams noted that the county has received notices of violations for the condition of the sidewalks.
The question before the RDA is whether they would want to take on the properties.
Williams said the sidewalk work would need to be done as “these sidewalks would need to stay there.” She said the goal would be to “get it into the hands of a developer somehow.”
She said the city would be issuing citations on the notices of violation if the county continues to not respond.
All three parcels are zoned residential but Williams noted that the Laurel St. parcel is adjacent to a commercial zone and could likely be re-zoned there.
Authority chairman David Cantrell proposed an investigation to see if the adjacent business would be interested in the Laurel St. parcel and said he would like to speak with the commissioners on the issue.
The RDA tabled action on the issue and Williams said she would invite someone with the county to the September meeting.
Hinton said the city is “literally in a holding stage now” with the notice of violations.