West Orange to Demolish 4 Properties
Last updated 7/5/2022 at 8:14pm
The West Orange City Council met Tuesday, July 5, and approved to condemn four delinquent properties in the city. Two of the property owners attended the meeting and asked for alternatives to demolition.
Building Official Michael Corbett for the city reviewed the four structures that all had been residences but are now vacant. Corbett told the City Council that all four properties are delipidated, substandard, and constitute a hazard to the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens in West Orange.
The properties in question are located at 2011 Bradford, 709 Flint, 2326 Houston, and 2307 Western. The city had posted delinquent structure notices on each structure previously.
Nellie Miller Flanigan is the registered owner of the property on Flint. Flanigan said she would be willing to sign the property over to the City of West Orange including any mineral rights. Flanigan also paid back taxes on the property earlier on July 5.
Flanigan had tried to make repairs to the residence which was damaged during Hurricane Harvey. Flanigan explained, "I'll do whatever I need to do to try to be helpful in this situation, but I don't have a lot of money."
Mayor Pro-Temp Meritta Kennedy moved that the council accept the proposal of Flanigan and have the ownership of the property be transferred to the city due to hardship. Kennedy amended her motion for demolition to be done on the structure after 30 days, which was unanimously approved by the council.
Alderman Jay Odom thanked Flanigan for coming to the meeting. "I think it's very brave of you to come here and do what you did," Odom commented. Several other council members echoed that sentiment.
The owner of the property at 2326 Houston attended the meeting. Landon Rothstein told the council he has been trying to sell the residence on the property through owner finance.
Rothstein was forced to foreclose on the person living in the residence to get them off of the property when they stopped paying him. It was after that it was disclosed to Rothstein the problems and the possible condemnation of the property on Houston.
Rothstein said he paid a $581 fine for an unsecured building and $181 for overgrown grass on the property. He wants to sell the property and if that is not possible he would like to knock the structure down.
The structure would require at least $65,000 of renovations to fix it up Rothstein estimated. Renovations plus another $28,000 owed the lender by Rothstein means he needs to find a buyer for the property willing to spend $93,000 for him to break even. Rothstein admitted the house is probably only worth fifty to sixty thousand dollars in good condition.
The request from Rothstein to the council was to give him some time to find a buyer for the property. Odom moved to give Rothstein 30 days to repair, sell, or demolish the property. The motion was approved by a vote 4 to 1 with Kennedy the only one opposed.
There was no discussion of the properties on Bradford or Western since the owners did not attend the meeting. The council approved both be demolished in 30 days.
The next regular meeting of the West Orange City Council will be held Monday, July 18, at 5:00 PM in the West Orange Community Center off of Austin Street. The main item of business will be the council voting on a proposal to adopt the tax rate on the agenda of a future meeting as an action item. One public hearing will be scheduled for Thursday, September 8.