'Blighted' house to be seized: eminent domain by Council vote or due process by Court ruling?
The Joneses own two other vacant properties in Charlottesville. One, at 818 Page St., is a lot that was cleared in 1998 when the city demolished a vacant house there. The other is an empty house at 524 Ridge St. This is the first house to come under the city’s blighted property ordinance, which was added to the city code in 2001.
610 Ridge Street was built in 1945, purchased for $12,800 on 12/7/1964 by L. Juanita and Ruth L. Jones of Silver Springs, Maryland, Deed Book 260 Page 308, and currently assessed at $166,100. The house is stucco wood frame, 2,218 square feet finished living space and 554 square feet unfinished basement, 2 stories, 2 full bathrooms, 7 rooms, 3 bedrooms, backyard.
Search Charlottesville City Assessment Records
610 Ridge Street initially condemned in 1992
Condemnation notice of September 19, 2006
524 Ridge Street
524 Ridge Street
Next door to 524
CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE
"A World Class City"
Department of Neighborhood Development Services
City Hall. P.O. Box 911
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
September 19, 2006
Dear Sir or Madam,
As part of the City of Charlottesville's desire to keep its citizens informed about activities which might affect them, this letter is being sent to you as an abutting property owner or neighborhood association to inform you that the Planning Commission will consider a recommendation from the Director of Neighborhood Development Services to declare 610 Ridge Street a blighted property and to recommend a plan to City Council for the purchase or repair of the property. Staff plans to recommend a course of action for the City to purchase the property from the owner(s).
The property is located on the east side of Ridge Street, just south of Elliott Avenue, and is further identified on the City Real Property Tax Maps as Tax Map 29 - Parcel 263, having approximately 60 feet of frontage on Ridge Street and containing approximately 0.234 acres.
The Planning Commission and the City Council will hold a joint public hearing on this blighted property on Tuesday, October 10, 2006, starting at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall. If you wish to address the Planning Commission on this matter, you must do so at this public hearing, as there will not be any further public hearings on this matter prior to City Council action.
If you have any questions or would like further information, please feel free to contact Jerry Tomlin, Building Maintenance Code Official, 434-970-3182, at the Department of Neighborhood and Development Services, 610 East Market Street, City Hall.
Jim Tolbert, Director, Neighborhood Development Services
Officials declare house 'blighted'
Property may be bought, sold by force
By John Yellig, Daily Progress staff writer, October 11, 2006
The Charlottesville Planning Commission declared Tuesday that a vacant house on Ridge Street is "blighted," teeing up a move by the City Council to forcibly purchase the property from the absentee owners and sell it.
The council will vote at a future meeting on whether or not to go through with the purchase.
The commission’s vote followed pleas by relatives of the house’s owners, Juanita and Ruth Jones, to give them 90 days to hire a contractor to renovate the 102-year-old house.
"Our goal is to get this property fixed up," Urseline Inge, a niece, said, adding that they wanted to rent it to homeless families. "Hopefully we can use this property to get those families off the street."
Commissioners said the requests of the Joneses’ relatives were too late, noting that city housing inspectors have cited the Joneses with at least 50 property maintenance code violations since the 1980s. The house was condemned in 1992.
"It’s being demolished by neglect at this point," Commissioner Michael Osteen said, adding that he is concerned about how much work the house would require. "If we’ve got cornices that have failed years ago, gutters that have failed years ago, if we get in and start repairing … it could be a $100,000 project."
A city report estimates it will take at least $27,000 worth of heating, electrical, plumbing and roofing repairs to make the house inhabitable.
The value of the two-story, 2,218-square-foot house is assessed at $166,100.
Over the years, city crews have maintained the exterior of the property by boarding up first-floor windows and doors, painting the exterior and mowing the lawn. The Joneses, whose address is listed in Silver Spring, Md., have paid for all of the work along with their property tax bills.
They could not be reached for comment.
The Joneses own two other vacant properties in Charlottesville. One, at 818 Page St., is a lot that was cleared in 1998 when the city demolished a vacant house there. The other is an empty house at 524 Ridge St.
This is the first house to come under the city’s blighted property ordinance, which was added to the city code in 2001.
The commission was also set to consider applications for preliminary site plans and special-use permits for two large projects.
The first, proposed by the University of Virginia Foundation, is a six-story medical clinic and a seven-story parking deck on West Main Street, just east of Jefferson Park Avenue.
The second is a nine-story condominium tower proposed for Avon Street, just west of the Belmont Bridge.
The commission had not voted on either proposal by press time.
Contact John Yellig at (434) 978-7245 or email@example.com.
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