Berkeley Co. Council to cite three property owners

September 15, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The Berkeley County Council Thursday authorized that citations be issued to three property owners who have allegedly failed to respond to county notices requesting they remove unsightly debris and dilapidated structures.

The properties are at 3 Potomac Park and 129 Rebel Drive in Falling Waters, W.Va., and along Route 3 in the North Mountain area of Hedgesville, W.Va., according to county documents presented to  council members.

If property owners fail to take action after receiving a citation from the county, then legal action can be pursued in Berkeley County Magistrate Court, according to County Council Attorney Norwood Bentley III.

The owners of all three properties were initially notified of code violations in 2009, according to a petition filed by the county's Safe and Clean County Enforcement Agency.

A vacant structure targeted at the Rebel Drive property was being used as a doghouse, and there is an "extreme amount of trash, debris, remnants from a demolished mobile home and building materials," according to the petition.

Windows are boarded with insulation on the exterior, and motorcycles and household belongings were being guarded by dogs, the petition said.

Donna Seiler, the county's litter control and code enforcement officer, told council members there also was a rat infestation at the property.

The main North Mountain structure was gutted by fire many years ago and left unrepaired, according to a petition filed with County Council.

Two of the three owners reside out of state, according to the petitions.

Seiler told council members Thursday that the county was moving forward to have two other properties demolished that were previously cited.

She also reported that a dilapidated property at 911 Moler Ave. Extended just outside of Martinsburg was recently demolished by the owner.

Seiler said she has since received a number of calls from thankful residents who live next to that  property.

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