The Schember Administration now says an East Erie property facing numerous violations should be considered blighted property.
A business owner located two properties away explained how 708 Payne Avenue has deteriorated for around five years and is rejoicing over the fact something is being done. “To me thats a great accomplishment because to me that shows the city is at least doing something and I welcome it a lot because its a mess,” said Tom Walsh, owner of Trawka’s Market.
With garbage covering the property Walsh explained what he fears could come from this. “I’m worried about rodents and skunk infections and rodent infection. I am worried about kids getting in their playing and homeless people making shelter out of there and just the neighborhood itself it puts a black eye on the block.” said Walsh.
A mess that hasn’t been a secret to the city. In fact 12 citations and 8 Quality of Life tickets were issued against the property. “We never made it to the district justice, they never recognized the citations and so thats why we are here,” said Andy Zimmerman, City of Erie Code Enforcement director.
Its not just the citations that are being questioned, one member of Erie City Council explained how she is now requesting statistics about quality of life ticketing and just how effective it really is for residents. “The fines kick in and if people aren’t responding to that, then either we need to be more aggressive or City Council needs to look at the Quality of Life ordinance and say does it have enough teeth it,” said Liz Allen, Erie City Councilwoman.
The city will now post the property as blighted and the owner has the opportunity to appeal the decision.