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Hudson nuisance abatement board declares Martin Drive property a public nuisance; home could be torn

by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published: April 2, 2014 12:00 AM
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Hudson -- The Hudson City Board of Nuisance Abatements unanimously ruled March 28 a home at 5812 Martin Drive was a public nuisance and could be torn down if repairs are not made.

Attorney Michael Allen Drew, representing property owner Richard Warren, said they would wait until the city sent an official written order before they decide if they will appeal the ruling to the city board of zoning and building appeals. No one is currently living in the home.

The three-member board of Nuisance Abatements consisted of Mayor William Currin, Council President Hal DeSaussure and Interim City Manager Scott Schroyer. They were advised by Thomas Reitz of Christley, Herington & Pierce.

The city will next provide a written order to the owner with the finding. According to Hudson ordinance, the necessary repairs or demolition of the home must start within 15 days after receipt of the order, at the owner's expense."

Within 10 days of the receipt of the order, the owner can demand in writing an appeal.

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The 1-story bungalow house was built in 1923 and has 930 square feet of living space, according to the Summit County fiscal officer property website. The land is valued at $9,970 and the building at $21,480 and described as in "poor" condition, according to the county auditor's report.

"No one could live in this house," Chief Building Official John Morelli said. "It's been in bad condition for at least 20 years and is beyond repair. It should be demolished."

Warren, who lives in Brady Lake, said he wanted to build a new house but the property was rezoned in 2008 to industrial/commercial.

"It's been my home for 36 years, and I've spent a great deal of time there," Warren said.

He said he paid off the mortgage in 2006 but has no insurance on the building. He said he never received an answer in writing from the city of Hudson whether he could or could not build a new house on the property.

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The city said they will be preparing a response to the homeowner, but could not be specific at press time.

Hudson Code Inspector Fred Englehart said he received an anonymous complaint about animals entering the vacant building in July 2009 and took photos of the exterior.

"It is in such disrepair, I can't imagine someone living there," Englehart said.

Hudson Code Enforcement Officer Jeff Prochnow checked in April 2012 to see if any repairs had been made.

"Gravel had been poured around the foundation, but animals were still getting inside," Prochnow said.

Prochnow sent a list of violations to the owner's attorney in July 2013 after returning to the property to see if any repairs had been made. The owner was given 45 days to begin repairs. Prochnow said in September he confirmed no repairs had been made.

Judge Kim Hoover of Stow Municipal Court granted a search warrant and Prochnow, Englehart, Morelli and a police officer, who served the warrant, found on Nov. 15, 2013 the kitchen and bathroom were not functioning, and there was 2 feet of water in the basement. The furnace had no duct work. Traces of mice and raccoons were seen in the house.

Morelli said the structure was under tension with the roof pushing down and the walls wanting to cave in.

He said everything structural needed replaced, including the foundation, all beams, floor, walls and roof. He estimated replacement cost would be $150,000 to build it according to present codes.

"It's at risk of collapse at any moment," Morelli said.

Warren said the 1-1/4 acre property would be useless if the building was demolished. He said he spent $4,000 on repairs that he and friends have done but could not provide any receipts at the hearing.

"I don't know if he can build a new house, and if he can't use the property, it has no value," Drew said

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP

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