But I think it's about forgiveness, forgiveness
As we go through all the motions of this Vacant Property Ordinance I keep going back to where it all began. A simple how do we get banks as well as absent property owners to cut their lawns? That's what brought on all this Hell , GRASS!
Now do our city administrators know the difference between unoccupied property and abandoned property?
Look the house can be unoccupied yet the structure as well as the landscaping can be maintained on an empty home. I need to know how an unoccupied home is somehow breaking the law? I will ask the city about three properties specifically. One on Fern Dr., one on Chestnut St. and one on Hine Ave. These three fell under the Vacant Property Ordinance yet for the most part no one knew they were vacant. A home on Miller Ct. sat empty for over 20 years, it was maintained and not a soul complained about it, what changed?
Well first I believe the administration is now in the process of extracting every last dime they can from city resident's. It's an old-fashioned money grab! This bunch makes running radar look like child's play. The way a $26,000 property can have close to $10,000 in fees and fines is disgraceful.
Charging a 90 year-old WWII veteran $6,000 on a house that was maintained but unoccupied could not have been the intent of this ordinance, or was it?
Does the city do this to make Painesville a better place to live? Or have they screwed -up so many things (AMP contracts) they now are looking for any source of revenue? That's my take. Look they received $96,000 for an extension for year 4 and 5 on a garbage contract. As the city manager explained he was looking out for the best interest of the city. Well you know speaking for myself if I had somehow garnered $96,000 for the city you can rest assured the whole town would have known about it. "Hey, look what I got you guys1"
Oh, least we not forget our downtown? What are the fees and fines on the old Dollar Bank building at the corner of St. Clair and Main St.? Wonder if they have the same structured fees and fines as say the resident with the $26,000 house if it does it will never ever be sold? Best guess the city will somehow take EBGBee money paint it and put awing's on it.( It still will remain empty) What were they giving resident's at the Holiday Open House? Chipped paint????. There you want an eyesore there's your eyesore right in the middle of your 1.4 million dollar Downtown investment. While we are on the subject what about all the other empty store fronts downtown? Are the up on their fines and fees or do we just do after young men and old ladies? I'm not even sure the city parking garage could pass mustard with this ordinance?
Is The former CORE building on Renaissance Blvd. paying a fines and fees? If it is it will never be occupied!
Closer to home who owns that vacant property where the hospital use to sit? Vacant is vacant right? It's vacant even has a fancy name High Point Centre. By as the city claims by the letter of the law who owns it? By chance could the city be in arrears?
You want to move the city forward? Well we took a small step forward Monday night by reasoning that rehabbing that house that the land bank owned was more important then the fees and fines. That opportunity should be made to everyone who wishes to do the same. Yes, even Bob the Barber son.
The Council should have included an appeal process for all this in the beginning, they didn't. They should now re-write the ordinance and instead of making it a revenue stream for the city, make it friendly for people who want to invest here. Please remember unoccupied doesn't mean the same as abandoned!
Look don't blame a CM for trying to enhance revenue. Only the Magnificent 7 on council can make this right. They will only do it when you make them!
This is from a member of the Housing Task Force
Andy Flock, Lori DiNallo, Paul Hach and myself sat on a housing task force committee with others trying to deal with all the bank foreclosures during "the great recession."
The idea was to figure out a way to get the grass mowed and the houses/buildings kept up. What has morphed out of those conversations is a terrible piece of legislation that the Realtor Association hates, the Title companies hate and property owners hate.
In my opinion, this ill-conceived legislation has done more harm to the image of Painesville than anything I can think of from a business community point. This was never the housing task force's intention nor recommendation. This I believe was the brain child of our former City Manager and her administration and passed by a naïve City Council on the recommendation of the administration. I can only hope this legislation is scrapped and a better plan is developed
PS: by the way after that meeting several years ago the city did not get our support, no other housing task force meeting was ever called to order again.
On a happy note is was reveled today that the Big Bang Theory on December 17 episode that Sheldon and Amy will consummate their relationship. This ought to be rich.