Neglected property sparks outrage in Columbus

Published 11:52 am Friday, July 21, 2023

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Neighbors allege property poses danger and affects property value


COLUMBUS—The Columbus City Council held a regularly scheduled meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 20. At the meeting, several citizens expressed their concern with an abandoned house off of Beechwood Dr.

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D’arcy McKinnon told the council members that the building, located at 75 Beechwood Dr. West in Columbus, has had issues with drug users, animals and out-of-control foliage. Neighbors also stated that it was a fire hazard and is bringing down surrounding property value.

“It really is an embarrassment… if that house were beside your property, you wouldn’t let it go on this long. There’s no way you would,” said Beechwood Dr. resident Lindsay Moore. “It’s not even a house anymore, it’s just a structure that’s deteriorating. It’s just not safe.”

Numerous complaints have been made about the property, and the town of Columbus has issued various warning letters to the owner. Town Manager Tim Barth said the owner has complied with what the town of Columbus has required of her in terms of ordinances. 

Neighbors are still angry that despite the owner’s compliance, the home is still unoccupied and the owner has no intention of occupation, alleging it hasn’t even had running water since 1996. 

As a result, Town Attorney Lora T. Baker wants to get an administrative warrant to perform a reassessment of the property, so that the town can explore its options.

“We all agree it’s a nuisance. The problem is to make sure we don’t do anything illegal where we end up having to build another house for her. That’s what we don’t want to do. We’ve got to do it legally, so we can do it correctly,” said Mayor Patrick McCool. “Our first step is, we can get that warrant, let the building people give us the lowdown on what needs to be done and see where it rates, as far as their concern.”

I’m sure it’s not going to be a two-week thing. But we’ll get back to it again, and see what we can do. I’m sure Ms. Baker will put us on the right track to get rid of this nuisance.”