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Two Houck-owned properties face code enforcement action, liens

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Friday, June 3, 2016, 7 p.m. (UPDATED with meeting video, 11 p.m.) — The Bardstown Code Enforcement Board has enforcement actions in place on two properties owned by Brooks Houck, the boyfriend of the Crystal Rogers, the Bardstown woman who disappeared last July.

GRUNDY DRIVE. The home at 111 Grundy Dr. was cited on March 29, 2016, on a series of violations that include an accumulation of garbage, an unsafe outbuilding at the rear of the home, and issues related to drainage and general property maintenance.

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Jim Dittmeier and Ann Rosalie Ballard take part in discussions during Thursday’s meeting of the City of Bardstown’s code enforcement board.

If the city’s code enforcement officer receives no response from a violation notice, a formal citation is issued. If there is no progress or action regarding the violation or the citation, the code enforcement board can opt to take final action, which starts the process of placing the accumulated fines as liens against the property.

The Grundy property was one of six properties the board took final action on that could lead to liens filed for the recovery of fines.

LARCH STREET. A second home owned by Houck Rentals at 211 Larch St. was cited on Jan. 5, 2016, for violations that included a junked vehicle with expired tags being used as storage and an accumulation of garbage around the home.

The tenant of the home had paid the fine, interest and filing fees related to the citations, board secretary Kathy Graham told the board. The code enforcement officer typically will cite both the tenant and the property owner, Graham said. The city attorney is also in process of filing a lien against Houck’s Larch Street property.

The other properties the board OK’d for liens include four properties owned by James Cotton (107 and 108 West Muir and 332 and 414 South Third St.); and a property at 119 Fern Lea owned by Heather Martin.

DUE PROCESS. One of the last steps in the code enforcement process is the board taking final action that can result in the filing of a lien on the property. The board works with homeowners and tenants who may need extra time to bring their property into compliance — provided they respond to the city’s notices, Graham said.

Property owners or tenants who are cited may request a public hearing prior to the board issuing a final order.

Once the board has approved its final action, the property owner has 30 days in which to appeal the board action in Nelson District Court. If no appeal is filed during that time the city attorney moves forward with filing the necessary liens.

BOARD DISCUSSION. Graham provided the board with an update on action regarding the long-closed hotel on New Haven Road — formerly known as a Howard Johnson hotel, 1875 New Haven Road.

The hotel is moving forward with renovations, and plans to re-open with 26 renovated rooms, she said. Work is already underway, she said. If the project stalls, the city may move forward with condemnation proceeds.

NEXT UP. The code enforcement board will meet next on Aug. 4, 2016.

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