Anyone living in the Columbus area can predict which houses will be targeted, if they get a copy of the proposed vision for the Columbus Community. If there's a proposed pedestrian corridor around a light link type transit plan, those neighborhoods designated as stations come under an amazing new ideology that insists the City must own or control all property within a five mile radius of the station.
Records obtained from the WA State elections commission showed many Seattle public officials had prepurchased properties near PS Light Link Rail proposed stations... before the plans became public knowledge. Actually though, these plans never do really become "public knowledge" even long after they're passed and implemented.
Plus, Dawson v. Seattle established the legality of SWAT raids against houses suspected of blight, because as the 1954 Berman case established, "blight" causes disease, crime and immorality to spread. Kelo v New London was based on Berman.
Best use and eliminating blight are backdoor implementation of communitarian property law (Berkeley Law Professor Antonio Rossman called Kelo "a benign communitarian decision"). For background on the "theory" this whole concept of cleaning up the neighborhood is based upon, look up The Broken Window Theory. That's where "fear of crime" comes from, this was HUD's idea of how run down houses, old cars and different looking people are the cause of "full blown fear." It's a "livability issue." It's about "quality of life."
County bolsters blight battle with new campaign
Tuesday, February 17, 2009 11:38 PM
By Barbara Carmen
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Neighbors call the abandoned house on Makassar Drive a disaster and a disgrace. Brush obscures the lawn. A section of the roof recently caved in. And there are squatters - opossums, mice and raccoons.
Where Blendon Township neighbors see a threat to safety and property values, Franklin County Treasurer Ed Leonard sees the perfect test case for a new countywide campaign to fight blight.
Leonard has asked officials from the county's 17 townships to inventory their most irksome properties. He wants to compile a sort of dirty-dozen list of properties the county should take.
That list should be done this month; then a team will set priorities. Leonard is looking for the ugliest, most hazardous properties, or those most likely to boost a neighborhood if they are razed or redeveloped.
"We only have so many resources," he said. "We have to be strategic."
Until now, townships have fought nuisance properties one at a time. Now, Leonard envisions a team backing them, including Franklin County commissioners, county planners, Health Department officials, township representatives, prosecutors, police and community advocates.
Franklin County Environmental Court Judge Harland H. Hale said "it's absolutely a good idea to target" nuisance properties.
Today, commissioners approved Leonard's request to transfer the first property, on Makassar, into the county's land bank. This will strip away back taxes so commissioners can then transfer the land to the township.
"We're going to tear it down, fill in the basement, and we think we've already got someone interested in the land," said Bryan E. Rhoads, Blendon Township's code enforcement director.
The house was auctioned twice at a sheriff's sale, on Dec. 5 and Dec. 26. The first time, it sold for $40,000. That purchaser backed out. No one bid the second time.
Owner Henry A. Bobulski said he lost the house to foreclosure over a business debt of $12,000. He said he bought the house new in 1969 but stopped maintaining it when it became clear that he would lose it.
Leonard's office said that Bobulski owes $12,129 in taxes, which have been listed as delinquent since 2000. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien served Bobulski with nuisance-property violations in 2007, but the property only got worse.
"Things are out of my hands," Bobulski said when asked what he'd tell frustrated neighbors. "I lived alone, and I didn't really know anybody."
He said he moved out about 18 months ago. Neighbors say the house appeared vacant for years.
Pam Clegg, a Makassar homeowner and block-watch coordinator for the Huber Ridge Area Association, was jubilant after commissioners agreed to take the property.
"It will mean pleasant views for the neighbors," Clegg said.