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Condemnations paused during coronavirus, 130 make list

1 month 3 weeks 1 day ago Tuesday, August 04 2020 Aug 4, 2020 August 04, 2020 7:19 PM August 04, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Among the things that have been put on hold since the start of the pandemic is blight and condemnation requests. The last time condemnations were on the agenda for public hearing at a Baton Rouge Metro Council meeting was Mar. 11, 2020. 

The list of properties is getting longer. One of the properties on the condemnation list is 8042 Sharon Street. A woman named Janet has lived next door to the property for years and says she's watched as the property has slowly decayed.

"Something needs to be done," Janet said. "They had started tearing this house down, and they just left it like this."

The house is down to the studs and there's no floor, you can see right down to the dirt. Windows are smashed or removed and the grass is overgrown. Janet says she worries about what's lurking in the tall vegetation.

"We have kids in the neighborhood that's playing around, we don't know if there are snakes in the grass or rats could be in the grass," she said.

The property has been on the parish's radar since January 2020, when an initial inspection was scheduled. Photos were taken of the property in February and a letter was sent to the owner in April. The property was sent to the parish attorney's office for condemnation on July 21 and has been waiting to be heard by the Metro Council.

The Sharon Street property is one of about 130 properties on a list pending condemnation or repairs and in a constant state of flux. The requests are being held by the parish attorney's office until the council can hear them.

Moving forward, condemnations will be on the Aug. 12 agenda for introduction and on the agenda for a public hearing on Aug.26.

Initially, condemnations were not added to the virtual meeting agenda because the public wasn't able to participate in the meeting. The decision has been made to resume placing condemnations on the agenda because the process by which the public can participate in the meeting has been established.

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