BV council votes to condemn house

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Berryville City Council is bringing down the house.

The council voted at its Tuesday meeting to pass Resolution 1000, declaring the house at 211 Campbell St. a nuisance and condemning the structure. The resolution states that the house is unoccupied and uninhabited and has become a hazardous area for nearby schoolchildren. It presents a considerable danger of injury to anyone who might enter it, the resolution says.

Mayor Tim McKinney said that a copy of the resolution will be mailed to the owners and posted conspicuously on the house. He said that if the house has not been torn down, removed or repaired to remedy the hazardous and unsightly violations, the city's building Inspector, or his designated representative, will have it torn down and removed from the premises.

McKinney said that a fine of $50 a day will be imposed against the owners of the property beginning 30 days after they are notified of the resolution's passage, until the house is removed.

"The owner is aware of the situation and said he will start to work on it," he said, "but we've heard that before in these situations. We will move forward on condemning the structure, and, if he starts making immediate improvements, we can slow down on the process."

The council also voted to approve Ordinance 999 on its first reading, authorizing the rezoning of a parcel of property located at 401 Huntsville St. from R-1 Single-Family Residential to R-O Residential/Office.

A petition for the rezoning was filed by Peggy Blackston, the ordinance states, and the Berryville Board of Zoning Adjustment held a public hearing on the petition on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The board decided by a unanimous vote to recommend that the city council approve the rezoning request.

City administrative assistant Jay Lee said the petition for rezoning was submitted by the owner to make the property more marketable.

"She thinks the new classification is going to make it easier to sell the vacant lot," Lee said.

Also at the meeting, Berryville Police Chief Robert Bartos presented the police department's monthly report for October. Bartos said that 130 citations were issued, 86 offenses were reported, 13 warrants were served, 12 fingerprints were done, two VIN verifications were done and 14 accidents were reported. The department had a clearance rate of 81 percent, he said.

"You all are keeping that clearance rate way up there," alderwoman Linda Riddlesperger said. "That's super."

"We work really hard at that," Bartos said.

The council's next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, at City Hall.

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