Blighted Johnson Lake neighborhood property razed

Mayor Jim Ireton was ecstatic this week that a property he has long sought to clean up — 204 West Philadelphia Ave. in the Johnson Lake neighborhood — was torn down.

The vacant home is one of a dozen derelict properties scheduled to be razed this summer and fall.

In a news release, Ireton called destroying the house “the end of a six-year ordeal for residents of the Johnson Lake neighborhood.”

The house has been vacant since 2008, and condemned because of  “lack of maintenance and disrepair in 2011,” the news release stated.

“The property has been more than an eyesore for the residents of the surrounding neighborhood. Multiple previous attempts to obtain receivership were unsuccessful due to the owner avoiding service of notice from the court.

“On the latest attempt, Susan Phillips, director of neighborhood services and code compliance, was able to successfully petition for alternative service and the city was awarded receivership on May 15. The bank acquiesced, and the property has finally been scheduled for demolition,” Ireton said.

Work to tear down the house started the morning of July 23.

Phillips, also in the news release, said she had “great relief” about  the demolition.

“The manpower has been exhausting for city services over the past six years. This structure has been a nuisance to the neighborhood residents, lowering property values and bringing life, health and safety issues into their neighborhoods,” Phillips said.

Posting on Facebook, Ireton said there are “three other familiar properties in the neighborhood that have been left for us to deal with.”

“We are in it and working aggressively to clean up single-family areas. This is a big win for the neighborhood and there are more to come throughout the city,” the mayor wrote.

He said addresses of other houses that will be torn down can be obtained by calling Phillips’ office at 410-341-9550.

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