Campbell city planning to demolish condemned houses, landlords feel they can be fixed
The city of Campbell wants to tear down several rows of the old sheet and tube houses on Chambers Street. Officials say most of them are condemned and can't be fixed.
“Roofs are caving in on them. There's a serious problem down here with rodents, with drugs,” George Levendis, Campbell City Council President said. “There are huge delinquent taxes on these properties, sewage bills that are delinquent. I mean, it's bad.”
The city is partnering with the Mahoning County Land Bank to clean up the area and tear the houses down but landlords feel they can be fixed. One landlord said before he could file an appeal for the demolition, workers from the Land Bank came and started the process to demolish the houses.
“The Land Bank came in and started kicking in doors and ripping off boards and actually walked right into an occupied apartment,” Tim Sokoloff, a landlord said.
“They’re not representative of the fire department or the police department so without permission I think they were trespassing,” Alden Chevlen, an attorney for some of the landlords said.
Levendis said the Land Bank was just doing their job. Neighbors in the area also want to see the buildings gone.
“A lot of these empty buildings just give parents a place to worry a little bit,” one person who lives near the houses said.
Sokoloff said they were in the process of fixing the neighborhood to make veterans housing.
“Our city is short sighted,” Sokoloff said. “All they see is the blight in front of them that they don't want to take the time out to fix.”
The houses are connected with five or six all under one roof. Some of them are condemned and empty but others still have people living in them and now they aren't sure what will happen.
“I personally was told my home was in no danger at all but here I am thinking that I may have to move after being here for 16 years,”Sokoloff said.
The landlords are planning to file an appeal of the demolition with the city.