Columbus city attorneys and neighbors call the Franklin Park Trolley Barn a 3-acre magnet for drug deals, prostitution and other crimes.
On Thursday, a county judge told the property owner to clean up the property or pay.
“It’s a blight to our neighborhood,” said neighbor Rebecca Cornely. “It’s a great facility that over the years has just continued to decline.”
Cornely said the old Trolley Barn is a hazard to the neighborhood because of the falling bricks and roof slates that flow into their homes and yeards.
Franklin County Environmental Judge Harland Hale took his courtroom on the road on Thursday to inspect the property in response to a complaint against property owner Minnie McGee.
The six buildings, built between1880 and 1920 just south of Franklin Park, have been the source of collapsing roof trusses and window panels.
The judge gave McGee an extension to repair the property but after touring the site on Thursday, ruled her in contempt of court.
Beginning April 1, McGee will be fined $250 per day, the maximum allowed, until the property is brought up to code.
Considered prime real estate in the redeveloping east side neighborhood, the owner now has 30 days to bring the site into compliance before the city puts it in foreclosure.
“Obviously, having it developed into something would be great, but really right now, I just want it to be safe and not a hazard to our community,” Cornely said.
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September 29, 2012: East Columbus Residents Want Historic Landmark Cleaned Up