By JOSH COTTON
A Pine Grove Township property in the blighted process sailed through the next step in the process.
The Warren County Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved a blighted property designation at last Tuesday night's meeting for the Passenger property at 102 Cottage Place, Russell.
County Planning Director Dan Glotz said that the township "followed all guidelines for their role in the process" including declaring the property as blighted, notifying the property owner and inviting the owner to a township meeting to discuss the concerns regarding the property.
In this specific case, Pine Grove Township Supervisor Chairman Charles Morrison told commission members that "she came to one meeting and that was it."
Glotz said the owner was invited to Tuesday's meeting and said the card indicating the certified letter was received had been returned to the county. The property owner did not attend.
Glotz said that property is in a Residential-1 zoning district. "We did get a gentlemen who stopped in and said he is interested in buying it and would be willing to demolish it, but we have not heard anything more from him," he said.
There was strong sentiment expressed that resolution regarding the property might come through the Redevelopment Authority, where the property will now move for action.
"It looks like a fixer-upper," Commission Chairman Dale Forbes said.
At August's meeting of the Warren County Blighted Property Review Committee, Paul Pascuzzi, reading from the ordinance, said, "The premises is considered to be an attractive nuisance to children, the premises is dilapidated, unsafe, unsanitary, vermin infested or lacking in the facilities or equipment required for healthy human habitation and the structure's a fire hazard or otherwise dangerous."
According to a letter from Morrison read during the August meeting, the structure is not habitable, open to rodents and has been "vacant for a number of months."
"The program appears to be very successful," Glotz said.