Con­demned Prop­erty Re­viewed By Coun­cil

Escalon Times - - FRONT PAGE - By MARG JACK­SON mjack­son@escalon­times.com

Struc­tures at 2101 and 2103 Jack­son Ave., Escalon, have been deemed un­in­hab­it­able, been boarded up, and, based on the ac­tion of the Escalon City Coun­cil on Mon­day night, will be the sub­ject of a spe­cial as­sess­ment on the prop­erty tax rolls.

The prop­erty has been through the code en­force­ment process in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017, City Man­ager Tammy Al­can­tor told coun­cil mem­bers on Mon­day night.

It is a sit­u­a­tion where the prop­erty owner passed away sev­eral years ago and a re­verse mort­gage on the home led to dis­crep­an­cies in own­er­ship of the prop­erty. Con­se­quently, ten­ants liv­ing there were not “re­spon­si­ble to any land­lord,” the city staff re­port noted.

“Over the last 12 months, the Escalon Po­lice De­part­ment has re­sponded to the prop­erty 35 times,” Al­can­tor added.

City of­fi­cials said based on prop­erty con­di­tions wit­nessed by of­fi­cers, along with a code en­force­ment com­plaint form that was filed on the prop­erty, the Build­ing De­part­ment did a health and safety in­spec­tion at the lo­ca­tion. Through that in­spec­tion, a num­ber of health and safety is­sued were iden­ti­fied and the prop­erty was deemed un­fit for hu­man oc­cu­pancy.

The prop­erty has since been se­cured, with 22 windows and seven doors be­ing boarded up, said of­fi­cials, with that process com­pleted in mid-Au­gust. The no­tice of code

vi­o­la­tion was recorded on the prop­erty on Aug. 24; with the Sept. 18 pub­lic hear­ing then set re­gard­ing plac­ing the spe­cial as­sess­ments.

From the city per­spec­tive, the as­sess­ment on the tax rolls is an ef­fort to re­coup the costs in­curred for the code en­force­ment abate­ment, a cost of more than $16,700.

Guardian As­set Man­age­ment has been as­signed to the prop­erty and the home/ prop­erty is ex­pected to even­tu­ally be put up for auc­tion by HUD, the Hous­ing and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment De­part­ment. Al­can­tor said should some­one pur­chase the prop­erty, there would be a long list of items to ad­dress to bring it up to code and make it liv­able once again. Or the pur­chaser could get autho­riza­tion to de­mol­ish the build­ings and re­build on the site.

Tak­ing the podium to speak at the pub­lic hear­ing Mon­day night was Pa­trick Cham­bers, who said he had lived on the prop­erty for the past few years and found it boarded up when he re­turned from a re­cent four-month stay in Las Ve­gas.

“I resided there at least four years, the fam­ily (of the for­mer owner) left it to me,” Cham­bers told the coun­cil.

He said he wanted to know what “his op­tions” were for the prop­erty, in­di­cat­ing he had put money into it over the years with roof re­pairs, clean­ing out de­bris and paint­ing the in­te­rior.

“Guardian As­set Man­age­ment is work­ing to as­cer­tain the owner,” Al­can­tor said.

Mayor Jeff Laugero said the city isn’t in a po­si­tion to al­low Cham­bers back on to the prop­erty, as he re­quested, since it isn’t a city-owned site and there is a con­dem­na­tion no­tice on file.

“You’ve got a big­ger is­sue than we’ve got,” Laugero told Cham­bers.

The city is seek­ing to re­coup its costs while Cham­bers is hop­ing to claim the prop­erty. Laugero said the city could make sure Cham­bers has con­tact in­for­ma­tion for Guardian As­set Man­age­ment so he can fol­low up with that firm and stay in­formed as the HUD process moves along.

Cham­bers, who ad­mit­ted to hav­ing run-ins with lo­cal po­lice in the past, said he is work­ing now and is look­ing to sta­bi­lize his res­i­dency.

“Thank you for lis­ten­ing to me,” he told the coun­cil mem­bers. “I’m not sure what we ac­com­plished but I guess I got some in­for­ma­tion.”

The coun­cil unan­i­mously ap­proved the res­o­lu­tion to place the spe­cial as­sess­ment on the prop­erty tax rolls for the Jack­son Av­enue sites.

MARG JACK­SON

Prop­erty and build­ings at 2101 and 2103 Jack­son Ave., Escalon, have been boarded up by the city and de­clared un­fit for hu­man oc­cu­pancy.

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