Parksley Council Targeting Blighted Buildings

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By Carol Vaughn —

The Parksley Town Council voted Monday to have the town attorney proceed with legal measures that ultimately could lead to condemnation of seven buildings determined to be blighted if the owners do not rectify problems with the properties.

Council member Dan Matthews noted having a blight ordinance was a condition of a revitalization grant Parksley was awarded.

The council adopted the ordinance in June 2021.

It includes requirements that property owners ensure structures are “equipped with proper windows and doors” or that all window and door openings are covered up until they can be replaced, within 30 days of their damage or removal.

Additional requirements are that property owners keep structures clear of “weeds, ivy, vines, or other foreign growth that is physically attached to a structure,” and that shrubs and trees close to the structure “be maintained for appearance, structural integrity, public safety, and to ensure they do not encroach on public walkways or utilities.”

The property owners on the list voted on have been notified they need to correct problems, according to Town Clerk Lauren Lewis.

Council member Ricky Taylor said he is concerned about fairness with the process.

“There’s more than this list in this town. … I guess my concern is, we’re not going to pick and choose who we’re doing this to. We’re going to do it across the board for everybody, no matter who you are,” he said.

Still, Mayor Frank Russell said, “It’s not fair to have a nice, well-kept, well-maintained home and then have a firetrap right beside it. It lowers their property value — and we’re getting our town looking good, things are moving forward, and this is all part of the process.”

Parksley’s blight ordinance and other ordinances can be found at https://www.parksley.org/town-ordinances

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