Panel advances 3 blighted properties

Three properties in Sheffield Township have been forwarded by the Warren County Planning and Zoning Commission to the Redevelopment Authority.

The first, on Route 6 in the Saybrook stretch between Tiona and Sheffield, was reviewed by the Blighted Property Review Committee on two separate occasions. County Planner Dan Glotz said that 2011 taxes are delinquent and that the township and review committee followed the blight process appropriately.

Commission member Gary Olsen asked if the property was salvageable.

John Diperro, owner of the property, told the commission, “The lot is fine. The house is structurally sound.” He acknowledged that the appearance of the property is bad and that the appearance “is probably the biggest issue.”

Diperro said there are no utilities to the house and that it is currently used for storage of exotic woods. He told the commission that a roof on a garage has been removed and noted that a side of the house was cleaned up

“It’s been an eyesore for the township for 30 years, probably,” Sheffield Township Supervisor Jim McMillen said, noting that efforts made by Diperro have been “just a fix” and not resolution to the blight concerns.

“The building is still the same itself (as) it was 30 years ago,” he added.

“In the neighborhood, it is identified as a blighted property,” commission member Paul Pascuzzi said.

The commission also forwarded a property located at 106 Hall St., which was damaged by fire in January 2012. Glotz explained that there has been difficulty attempting to contact the owner of the property. He said both 2010 and 2011 taxes are owed. “It may go for upset tax sale if no bids are received on the property,” said Glotz.

The third property forwarded is located at 706 S. Main St. The owner, Maurice R. Dickey, is deceased and family are handling the estate. Glotz said some 2011 taxes remain owed but noted that some components of the trailer that was on the site have been removed. “We need to keep this one moving forward,” Pascuzzi said. “Maybe by the time the RDA takes care of this, all that’s left is the metal of the trailer. They’re making progress.”

Pascuzzi alerted the commission to a property that will be coming before it in either March or April. Notices will be sent regarding the property at 101 1/2 Hall Street on Tuesday. “This one, I think, is one of the biggest threats of any neighborhood I’ve ever seen,” Pascuzzi said. “I don’t think we want to take a while on this one.”

Noting that it is located in a densely populated neighborhood, he said, “I want this one to be moved forward as quickly as possible. I can’t imagine someone cannibalizing a house that bad.”