Bevins Applauded for Demolition of Community Eyesore

The Avenue News | April 14, 2014

Dilapidated building at corner of Pulaski Highway and Reames Road razed

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MIDDLE RIVER — For years, a dilapidated building at the corner of Pulaski Highway and Reames Road in Middle River has been vacant, deteriorating and attracting graffiti, illegal dumping, and derelict activity. But Middle River residents and passersby along Pulaski Highway will no longer have to tolerate the blight, as demolition crews have started work to raze and remove the unsightly building, formerly Charlotte’s Bar, 10059 Pulaski Highway, Monday, April 14.

Hearing pleas from residents and community leaders that the property was an “eyesore,” Baltimore County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins urged county code enforcement officials to address the code violations, and to get the property cleaned up, and the building razed.

Despite its unsightly appearance, however, officials in Baltimore County’s Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections indicated that the building was structurally stable, and thus, could not be condemned. Still, citations for code violations were issued, and the county hired a contractor to remove the trash and debris, cut the grass, secure the building and paint the exterior.

The clean up costs, expenses and fines were added to the tax bill as liens, but ultimately the violations were abated when the outstanding balance was paid with the property taxes each year.

“We did everything we could to get the property cleaned up and secured, but unfortunately the building wasn’t considered a safety hazard, to the point it could be torn down,” Bevins said. “Still, it just kept getting worse, and as long as the owner continued to neglect his responsibility to maintain the property, it was going to be an eyesore, and a target for vandalism. My communities deserve better, so we filed complaints and reported them over and over again.”

Efforts to raze the building improved this winter, when a rear portion of the roof and rear wall of the building collapsed. Bevins immediately notified the county administration, and requested a re-inspection. The investigation determined the building was unsafe, and following notice, posting, and a code enforcement hearing, an Administrative Law Judge issued an Order to raze the building.

Demolition crews began preparing the property, and the building was razed and removed early Monday morning.

“I know how important this was to the neighborhood,” Bevins said. “It has been in disrepair for the better part of the last decade, so when the community asked for my help, I made it my priority, and I am thrilled we can finally say goodbye to this blight on this community.”