Cider Mill Hill property proves troublesome

The Warren County Blighted Property Review Committee met recently to review unresolved properties and a proposed county-wide ordinance.

Chairman Paul Pascuzzi said, “The only issue we have is the Cider Mill Hill property.”

Dan Glotz, Warren County planning director, said the property at 819 Cider Mill Hill Rd. has been declared as blighted, and the owners live on Priest Hollow Road.

Glotz said, “Letters were sent out by you guys (the committee) as well as the township. We sent them a letter inviting them to meetings, but we’ve heard nothing.” He also noted that there are a number of abandoned vehicles on the property.

Pine Grove Supervisor Linda Farnsworth said, “We got after them for junk on their Priest Hollow property, but they just moved it down there (to Cider Mill Hill).”

Warren County Redevelopment Authority member John Zavinski reported on properties still under review by the RDA, noting that they would be discussing them in the authority’s meeting next Tuesday, May 21.

The Hecei property on E. Fifth Avenue in Glade Township needs $10,000 to $15,000 worth of work on a private septic system, according to Glotz, but other internal work would need an estimate from a contractor. Any plan for a conservatorship would require accurate figures to present to the court.

He said, “It would be up to the court to designate a conservator, such as the RDA.”

Zavinski reminded the committee that there were still questions about a $55,000 mortgage and who is the legal owner.

Zavinski also said there is some confusion who is responsible for a trailer at 121 Farm Lane in Pleasant Township. The trailer is owned by Tonya Elletson, and the property is apparently owned by her parents.

He also said in his report, “The RDA has been in a demolition phase lately, maybe we should think about changing to a redevelopment phases…” taking into consideration Habitat for Humanity and the Forest-Warren Economic Opportunity Council.

Pascuzzi replied, “The things we’ve looked at recently are pretty bad, with just trees sticking up.”

Glotz spoke of other properties that had “willing buyers that don’t want to pay what the sellers want.”

Regarding a county-wide ordinance for blight investigations and responses Glotz said there are three requirements for municipalities: an analysis report, a resolution declaring blight and an itemized list of conditions to be addressed.

A property that has been renovated from a blight condition must be inspected before occupancy.

Joe Scully, Glade Township supervisor, said the fines specified in the ordinance “puts teeth” into enforcement.

Pascuzzi said getting projects moving this time of year is very important to the committee, as it is easier to complete repairs requiring four or five months of warm weather than it will be in November and December.