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Commission: what to do about deteriorating property?

The Glencoe Planning and Industrial Commission debated what to do about deteriorating, foreclosed properties and incomplete repair jobs on other buildings at its monthly meeting Thursday night at the City Center.
It took no action to strengthen its blight ordinance even after hearing horror stories from its building inspector, local fire marshal, city attorney and police chief.
At the end of the hour-long discussion, commission chairman Dewey Klaustermeier said, “I don’t know if we accomplished anything.”
The main issue is how to get property owners to comply with the often lengthy process of notifications, delays and possible court action that cost the city money and recently resulted in the city becoming the owner of another condemned property.
Several properties sparked the latest debate over the blight ordinance — the former co-op elevator on Hennepin Avenue, the old creamery building that stands vacant on Ninth Street, and a residential home the city now has in its possession at 506 E 15th St.
City Administrator Mark Larson said the residential home was condemned for occupancy after it was discovered raw sewage was being pumped out of the basement with a sump pump after a sewer backup.
According to the current ordinance, the home must either be cleaned up and reinspected before occupancy is allowed, or it must be demolished and removed.
Since the city now owns it, Larson said it will likely be demolished at city expense and the property sold, which includes a usable garage.
“We’re running into more of these situations,” Larson told the planning commissioners.
“We usually condemn them for occupancy, not structurally,” he added.

For more, see the Oct. 15 print edition of The Chronicle.