MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Members of the Morgantown City Council could schedule a nuisance property abatement hearing at its Tuesday meeting.
The council would consider three properties — 625 Pennsylvania Ave., 324 Dewey Street and 619 Brockway Ave. — and a hearing will allow the properties’ owner, Berthy Herald Jr., to present evidence on if each plot is not a nuisance.
Herald could be ordered to take action to improve the properties. If actions are not taken, the city could place a lien on the areas.
Firefighters responded to a two-alarm fire at the Brockway Avenue property in February. Witnesses told authorities two men and a woman ran from the burning building with large backpacks.
“We had 16 firefighters on that fire within eight minutes of the call,” Morgantown Fire Chief Mark Caravosos said. “They were able to contain the structure, keep it to the structure. They did their job.”
Adelheid Schaupp, a resident of the Greenmont neighborhood, proposed a nuisance ordinance to the council about the Brockway property. Some residents have expressed opposition to the plan, citing a lack of due process and concerns the process is used to target minority renters.
“By putting this into play we can run this through city council and see how this process works and how long it would take to get abatement,” Scaupp said.
Fellow Greenmont resident Barbara Parsons voiced support for the city taking action.
“They’re dangerous, they’re unsafe and people do go in,” she said. “They shouldn’t be there and it’s creating a problem.”
The city council will meet virtually at 7 p.m.