Mayor Coleman Proposes Harsh Punishments for Negligent Landlords
The office of Mayor Michael Coleman has announced an aggressive new plan to fight urban decay in Columbus. According to a press release issued by the Mayor’s office Monday, the proposal would allow the city to penalize owners of unsafe properties to the tune of $1,000 a day until the properties are brought to acceptable standards.
If passed, the law would apply to all Columbus properties, but the measure is intended for “dealing with commercial properties, multifamily apartments, hotels, motels and landlords.” The Mayor’s office named 10 commercial properties as “public nuisances” to be targeted by the new law. According to the press release, these 10 properties have remained in “perpetual disrepair” due to the complicated structure of the current enforcement process and the refusal of property owners to comply with city repair orders.
“Sometimes it takes a threat of economic loss to get a negligent property owner to follow the law,” said Columbus City Attorney Richard Pfeiffer. “That’s too bad, but that is the way it seems to be.”
The 10 “public nuisance” properties do not include the vacant Madison’s building at 72 N. High, which has been a subject of frustration for both the Downtown community and the city for some time. The Department of Building and Zoning Services designated the property as “unsafe and dangerous to human life” over the summer, after an inspection found “multiple areas around the entire building indicating deterioration and damage to structural components,” “mortar voids, falling concrete patches, severe cracking and dislodged and broken bricks” “ceilings are collapsing on multiple floors” and “exposed and damaged electrical components throughout the building.”
Building and Zoning Services Director Scott Messer said that one of the factors used in determining which properties would be on the “public nuisance” list was the length of time a property has been non-compliant with repair orders handed down by the city. Since the repair orders for the Madison’s building were only issued a few months ago, the property is not considered a target for the new proposal.
“While the property is a focus of our department,” said Messer in an email, “the properties released today have a longer track record of difficulty on the enforcement side.”
The Mayor’s proposal will now go before the City Council for approval. In the press release issued by Coleman’s office, Council Member Michelle Mills, who chairs the Development Committee, wrote of her desire to support responsible property owners while holding noncompliant owners accountable.
“I look forward to holding hearings on new legal options that will help the city better punish irresponsible landlords whose nuisance properties endanger the public and degrade the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” said Mills.
The 10 “public nuisance” properties to be targeted by the Mayor’s proposal are listed with their owners below:
3150-3218 Allegheny Ave
Columbus, OH 43209
Owner: Limited Investment Group Corp.
731 W Rich St
Columbus, OH 43222
Owner: Lloyd T. Wickline
1462-1464 E Main St
Columbus, OH 43205
Owner: Jeffrey Hatem
5000-5020 Gender Rd
Columbus, OH 43110
Owner: GBS Gender LLC
2485 Cleveland Ave
Columbus, OH 43211
Owner: Moussa and Mbalou Fatoumata Dabo
2840-2842 W Broad St
Columbus, OH 43204
Owner: Angelo K. Bendoff, II
627 Greenlawn Ave
Columbus, OH 43223
Owner: JZA Realty Investments
2720 Briggs Rd
Columbus, OH 43204
Owner: Briggs Road Shopping Center Corp.
1289 E Dublin Granville Rd
Columbus, OH 43229
Owner: Sunstar Columbus Inc.
2667 E 5th Ave
Columbus, OH 43219
Owner: Mark Lisska
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