Wood County officials train focus on blighted properties | News, Sports, Jobs
PARKERSBURG — The owners of a number of abandoned and dilapidated properties are going to be called before the Wood County Commission to discuss the status of their properties.
Wood County Compliance Officer Sarah Robinson and County Engineer Maria Hardy appeared before the commission Monday to discuss the status of the properties at 15 Rising Sun Ridge, Parkersburg; 22 Ivy Brook Road, Parkersburg; 2675 Wallace Road, Parkersburg; 33 Harvest Ridge, Williamstown; 554 Homewood Road, Parkersburg; and Gihon Terrace Trailer Park, Parkersburg.
Some of the property owners have been before the commission before and were given time to make progress on getting them cleaned up, but have not done much.
Many of the properties have trash and debris scattered around them, some have junk vehicles, some have not been mowed, others have houses/structures on them that are falling apart and are structurally unsafe while some have been condemned. Others have obstacles that make the areas unsafe and other factors that are deemed unhealthy.
Many of the properties have had nothing done in a while. Some have more trash on them.
“I would ask the commission to bring the property owners back in for another hearing so we can move forward in some manner,” Robinson said.
The property at 2675 Wallace Road is a new one with the first complaint coming in last December. Robinson was in initial contact with the owners who were going through a divorce and has not been able to contact them again. Robinson put up some no trespassing signs and taped off certain areas to let others know it was hazardous. The property included an open well cap.
“They have had six months to determine what they are going to do with it and I can’t get them to call me back,” Robinson said.
The property at 33 Harvest Ridge was bought at a foreclosure sale in 2019. The owner was going to renovate the property with family, but nothing has been done in awhile, Hardy said.
The home there has structural issues, there is construction debris around the property and more. Hardy said they asked to meet the owner twice and no one showed to the arranged meeting times.
The commission had previously discussed the Gihon Terrace Trailer Park and had the owner in to discuss it. Robinson said there were 19 mobile homes on the property that are dilapidated and condemnable. She estimated there were around 10 or so trailers in the park people are actually living in.
“It has not changed since the last time we were there,” Robinson said.
Hardy said many of the abandoned trailers are sitting on failed or partial foundations and had partial utilities hooked up underneath. Many of the trailers had open bottoms where kids and others could crawl underneath. Some of the conditions in the park were contributing to a landslide issue that will have to be addressed.
Commission President Blair Couch said before the owners told officials they did not own some of these trailers and there were legal issues in moving them.
“That is neither here nor there,” he said. “If they are located on their property, they are their responsibility.”
Couch said they have been dealing with this property for over a decade with a number of issues that have come up.
Officials believe a lot of the trailers being discussed have been abandoned and whoever owns them does not want them anymore. Commissioners discussed the possibility of cleaning up the park and putting a lien on the property.
The commission approved calling in each owner for a hearing to discuss their status and what the status of the cleanup efforts are.
“Let’s get them in here,” Couch said.
Brett Dunlap can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org