This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or email@example.com.
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A walk down Winchester
This is the front porch of 1108 Winchester St. More than a dozen years’ worth of property maintenance violation notices, bills for yardwork by the city and Fredericksburg’s first-ever use of the state’s spot blight provisions haven’t been enough to get the absentee owner of this building to do anything but pay property taxes and occasional maintenance bills.
But soon (and this is the next step in the plan layed out in the spot blight process), Fredericksburg will spend nearly $20,000 to demolish parts of the building that are too far-gone to save–the porch, rear addition and chimney. This is a solution the City Council agreed to last September to appease both preservationists–who wanted the core of the 118-year-old structure retained–and neighbors–who want the building’s rotting carcass and the wildlife that has infested the weed jungle thriving around it gone.
As a side note, a few of this home’s neighbors were also scared that if the building was completely demolished, a new owner of this property would be free to build what they consider a McMansion on the property. Council members were anxious last fall to adopt new rules that would limit what some consider out-of-scale structures in older neighborhoods. The Planning Commission came up with a set of rules to limit this, but when it came time to vote, the council sent the proposal back to the commission without really saying much about what was wrong with it. The commission is awaiting direction from the council before it takes up the matter again.
So anyway, the council last night approved spending $19,125 from its contingency fund to have a contractor demolish parts of the building, board it up and paint a faux facade on it and clean up the property.
We’ll have more in the paper on this soon, but just so you know,
1108 Winchester ain’t the only problem
on the block.