City gets its way regarding blighted property on High Street

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The City of Bristol Code Enforcement team was in court last Tuesday to refute an action by Anthony Cammariere and Silvermine Properties LLC concerning the city’s condemnation order on 116-122 High St. The action was withdrawn by the plaintiff as nine members of the Code Enforcement team observed the proceedings.

 

“There is zero tolerance on this issue and all issues related to life safety,” stated Mayor Ken Cockayne in a press release. “The original order to have tenants removed from the building by noon on Wednesday stands, and the owner must also remove combustible materials from the basement, secure the building and ensure that restoration efforts begin as soon as possible.” Cockayne also noted that back taxes must be paid before building permits may be issued.

“116-122 High Street is a casebook example of what happens when investor landlords who don’t care about the quality of life in the neighborhoods get a hold of a multi-unit building, squeeze every dime out of it without putting a cent into it, and compromising public safety,” stated Ellen Zoppo-Sassu, chair of the Code Enforcement Committee, said in a press release. “It is also a pattern that has played out in several other properties owned by this investor group.”

Both Mayor Cockayne and Councilwoman Zoppo-Sassu noted, according to the press release, “the contributions of the many city employees who worked through the holiday weekend to ensure the city’s legal position was ready, as well as the efforts of the Community Services staff who have been working with the tenants to find both short-term and long-term housing solutions as well as storage options.”

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The Code Enforcement Committee is a collaboration of many city officials from 14 city departments, some with statutory authority, who work in concert to improve the quality of life and the health, safety and welfare of the community. This is accomplished by enforcing the city’s Property Maintenance Code as well as working collaboratively in key neighborhoods for team inspections and enforcement activity of multi-faceted code problems.

The news release said, “The overall goal of the Code Enforcement Committee is to educate the public on the benefit of property maintenance, enforce the city ordinances and regulations while reasonably seeking voluntary compliance from owners, operators, and occupants. All of these efforts will result in improved quality of life issues in the neighborhoods and increased property values city-wide.”