EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

December 11, 2013

City plansto flatten problem buildings

Council approves razing four homes with rodents, safety issues

(Continued)

“I am here tonight to say they are not abandoned and we are not walking away from these buildings,” McCarthy told the council.

Osborne told councilors he has no sympathy for McCarthy. He said he cited McCarthy’s company for problems with the buildings three or four times in the last year, but that no one bothered to respond.

“On June 6, 2012, we ordered them to board the building, and it’s still open to intrusion today,” Osborne said of the Tyler Avenue home.

The council voted 8-0 to approve the mayor’s request to knock down both buildings.

Despite that action, McCarthy and the other owners still have 90 days to save their buildings, Osborne said. He said there’s a 30-day appeal window, and then it takes at least another 60 days after that before the building will be razed.

In order to get a property removed from the demolition list, the owner must show the city a detailed rehabilitation plan and prove that it has the money to do the work, Osborne said. Fiorentini said the city does not want to demolish any buildings in which the owners truly plan to fix them in a timely manner.

If the city goes ahead and demolishes any of the buildings, it would pay to demolish them and then attach a lien on the properties to recoup the cost, Osborne said. The city would get the money back when the property is eventually sold or the city can go to court to seize the property and sell it, he said.

A man who said he purchased a lien on the Cypress Street home also tried unsuccessfully to save that building from the demolition list. William Morse of New Hampshire said he did not own the property yet, but that he is in the process of acquiring it. He said he has paid all the taxes on the property and recently cleaned up the yard, but that he can’t enter the home to secure it until he has legal ownership. Morse asked for a delay until spring, but the council refused.

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