EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

October 22, 2013

Town, AG's office take action on vacant house

Neighbors complain about unsanitary conditions

NORTH ANDOVER — Neighbors say they are sick and tired of the vacant two-family house at 88-90 Saunders St.

People have broken into the dilapidated building and its presence has an adverse effect on neighbors’ property values, said Robert and Maryann Ramsey, who live next door. While no one lives in the empty house now, it has been the scene of drug-related activity, the Ramseys said.

Last night, selectmen voted unanimously to join the state Attorney General’s Office in petitioning the Northeast Housing Court to appoint a receiver for the property. A receiver would have the authority to make repairs to the house, Town Manager Andrew Maylor said.

“It’s an eyesore,” Selectman Donald Stewart said of the house, which is a few hundred feet from the rear of the Town Hall.

The owner is Peter Moses of Dedham, according to the petition filed by Assistant Attorney General Edmund Donnelly. The Bank of New York Mellon holds a mortgage on the property.

The house is in violation of the state sanitary code in many ways, according to the petition. Garbage and waste are strewn throughout the interior; there are broken pipes, which could cause mold; and animal waste and used hypodermic needles abound in the house, according to the petition.

“Due to its abandoned state, the property has been used by homeless and other unknown individuals for shelter and the property has been used as a location for the use and sale of illegal narcotics,’’ the petition states. “Police and fire personnel have been called to and/or sent to the property on reports of a sudden death, drug activity and other disturbances.’’

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