Hamilton new nuisance board issues first death sentence

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
New Nuisance Appeals Board sentences first building to death. House should be razed after 6-8 weeks

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

In less than 10 minutes, Hamilton’s new Nuisance Appeals Board issued its first-ever death sentence to an abandoned building: an asbestos-shingled house at 724 S. 9th St.

Officials expect the board's agenda to grow in coming months as the city attacks problem properties using recently approved laws that expedite the nuisance process.

The six-member nuisance board — composed of the city’s police and fire chiefs, safety director, community development director and two residents — didn’t need to declare the 1½ story 1,024-square-foot building a nuisance. Instead, because nobody had objected to Health Commissioner Kay Farrar’s May 11 declaration that it was a public nuisance, the panel merely accepted Farrar’s report that pronounced it a nuisance.

The new panel, created to erase blight, would have considered a second building at 707 Belle Ave., but it recently sold at a sheriff's auction and is in the process of changing hands to new owners. If the property's problems aren't resolved, the new owners will be cited by the health department, according to Assistant City Law Director Kathy Dudley.

The 9th St. building is a fire hazard, has a hole in the roof, and “is a harborage for vagrants, criminals and immoral persons,” Farrar said. “Individuals had to be removed from the property with the assistance of police.”

Farrar said there have been 29 complaints against the property, including tall grass, rubbish on the property, and the need to secure the building.

Its owner, Kenneth Charles Johnson, died Oct. 26, 2014, according to the city.

“The city to date has about $500 in costs in contractor bills, and about $2,000 in costs for employees to investigate the complaints,” Farrar said.

Utilities have been off at the property since August of 2014. Officials attempted to notify heirs through newspaper publication, and a title search uncovered no other interested parties.

An asbestos survey will be conducted before the property will be bid out for razing.

The demolition should happen in the next six to eight weeks because of procedures that must be followed, Dudley said.

The panel, which convenes the second Thursday of each month at 1:30 p.m., next will gather July 14.