HomeNews TranscriptNews Transcript NewsPlan to level burned out Englishtown home delayed

Plan to level burned out Englishtown home delayed

By Mark Rosman
Staff Writer

ENGLISHTOWN – A burned out home that borough officials were hoping to demolish may stand for a while longer.

The home at 2 Park Ave. sustained heavy damage during an early morning fire in March 2015. Authorities have not determined how the fire in the vacant home began.

The home has been boarded up and municipal officials had been making plans to knock it down and to place a lien on the property for the cost of the demolition. The lien would have to have been paid before the property could have been sold.

However, at the May 25 meeting of the Borough Council, Councilman Greg Wojyn said, “We are stuck with (the boarded up home) until further notice. Things are status quo for now. I know it’s frustrating.”

Borough Attorney Joseph Youssouf later told the News Transcript that the owner of the property is current with the taxes owed and has expressed an intent to sell the property for the purposes of redevelopment.

In order for the borough to demolish the house, officials would have to prove it is an imminent threat and a hazard to public safety, he said.

At another location in town, officials were able to prove that a property posed an imminent threat to public safety, Youssouf said. That was different from the situation at 2 Park Ave. where the owner has indicated there are plans to rehabilitate the parcel.

The attorney said officials will continue to monitor the situation, but he said there is no time frame as to when any changes at 2 Park Ave. may occur. The possibility of pursuing eminent domain (condemnation) remains, but that option “must be used judiciously and sparingly,” Youssouf said.

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