The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH)

Code sweep aims at East 28th Street

Appeals board throws out 1 so far

- By Richard Payerchin rpayerchin@morningjou­

The city of Lorain’s latest property code enforcemen­t sweep hit East 28th Street this summer.

At the end of June, a city inspector from the Building, Housing and Planning Department logged violations on at least 33 buildings along East 28th Street and a few neighborin­g streets.

Notices of the violations were turned over to the city Law Department, which in turn mailed out notices to the property owners this month.

The property owners must address the violations or face a Sept. 24 hearing date at Lorain Municipal Court, according to the Law Department.

The property code enforcemen­t sweep came at the request of Ward 6 Councilman Rey Carrion, said Max Upton, director of Building, Housing and Planning.

Carrion has been a vocal advocate for his ward.

Reasoning behind action

He is adamant East 28th Street needs to be cleaned up because it is a major corridor for getting into Lorain and the city inspectors agree, Upton said.

Other examples of targeting that area include the February 2020 demolition of the former El Patio site on Grove Avenue, which also is Ohio Route 57 that continues on East 28th Street.

This month, the city Demolition Board of Appeals condemned the connected buildings of 2925 and 2931 Grove Ave., which sit next to the former El Patio restaurant.

The city administra­tion, staff and relevant department­s have condemned 2261 Homewood Drive.

It is the former Hills department store and power equipment salvage yard, which also uses the address 3725 Grove Ave.

The city inspection staff are happy to partner with any City Council members to hold property owners accountabl­e and keep Lorain’s houses and buildings in nice condition, Upton said.

At least one East 28th Street property owner won’t face consequenc­es because their operation is in order.

On Aug. 16, the Lorain Housing Board of Appeals met to consider a city complaint about a possible scrap yard operating at 2600 Wood Ave.

Tom Hakaim, owner and operator of Certified Auto Sales & Certified Auto and Truck Repair, said his company leases that land from O.E. Meyer/Black River Corp. The business has its state licenses to deal in new cars, used cars and auto salvage, Hakaim said.

The vehicles mentioned in the city complaint were to be repaired or resold by Certified Auto Sales.

According to state law, they are not required to have current license plates, Hakaim said.

They also had to be 100 feet from any roadway in an enclosed area hidden from view with a proper fence and coverings, he said.

Upon further review, the city inspectors have no issues with Hakaim and he is complying with city regulation­s about the relevant permits, fees and annual inspection­s, Upton told the Housing Board of Appeals.

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