When the Seymour Planning & Zoning (P&Z) Board met last week for its regular monthly meeting, there were two groups waiting on its seven members.
Both were property owners.
And both had received notice from the city that their respective properties had been declared nuisances and had been given 90 days to remedy the situation.
On the agenda were Kenneth Lang and Roberta Taylor.
Taylor spoke first, noting that she is the owner of a home at 110 Center Drive.
“I know the home has problems, and we do plan to take it down ... we’re in the process of having that arranged,” she told P&Z board members.
“How long will that take?” asked Alicia Hagen, president of the board.
“It may take awhile,” Taylor responded. “We’re getting the Amish lined up to take it down. And we, meaning members of my family, need to get things out of the home.”
“Within 90 days?” Hagen asked.
“I think it will probably take longer than that,” Taylor responded.
“That’s not good,” Hagen said. “We need to see progress very soon. And if it’s going to take more than 90 days, then we need to know exactly how long.
“The issue (at the home) is public safety. That home isn’t safe in many ways.”
Taylor acknowledged that the home needed to be razed.
“How about this, Mrs. Taylor?” Hagen proposed. “How about you visit our next (P&Z) meeting in March, then you can provide us with an update of the progress? Is that a fair proposal?”
“Absolutely, yes,” Taylor responded. “We’ll be glad to do that.”
That meeting arrives at 5:30 p.m. Monday, March 2, in council chambers at Seymour City Hall.
Lang was next to speak.
He told P&Z members that his property was the old MFA feed building located on the north side of the city square.
When he addressed the board, Lang noted that he had repaired and boarded the building’s second-floor windows, which were cited by the city in its public notice.
“How long have you owned that building?” asked Sonny Van Ness, a member of the P&Z board.
“About two years,” Lang answered.
“What kind of shape is the back of that building in?” Van Ness continued.
“There are leaks in the roof,” Lang said.
Lang then asked Hagen to specifically address what improvements P&Z officials sought at his building.
“I think our letter to you, as well as the public notice, addresses that, Mr. Lang,” Hagen said.
“I don’t think the brick is unsafe,” Lang said.
“Well, we disagree,” Hagen responded. “If you just walk down the sidewalk, you can see there is brick falling.”
She continued by telling Lang that some tuck pointing or painting to the brick at the front of the building needed to be completed.
“Again, this is a safety issue,” Hagen said. “That’s a part of our downtown, right on the square, that is traveled often by pedestrians.”
Van Ness then asked Lang about the floors of the building on the first story.
“Those have been removed,” Lang said.
“When are you going to put a new floor in ... or are you going to do that?” Van Ness asked.
“Yes, that’s something that’s planned,” he responded.
“That’s also something that will cost $8,000 to $10,000. It’s a project that I’ve delayed while working on other parts of the building.”
After members of the P&Z board spoke with Lang about improvements made to the building, Lang said that if a buyer could be found, he would consider selling the building.
“You got a price?” Van Ness asked.
“Well, I paid $15,000 for it,” Lang responded.
“I would be interested in selling it, but I don’t want to sell it for less than I paid for it.”
Lang told the board that over the next few weeks, he will begin the process of fixing the brick at the front of the old MFA building.
He also agreed to attend next month’s P&Z meeting to give members an update of his progress.