The Constantine Village Council has adopted a resolution declaring a home at 460 White Pigeon Street a “public nuisance” and ordering that it be vacated “until such time as it is safe for habitation.”
The unanimous action came Monday evening (July 16) in response to a report and recommendation by Village Manager Mark Honeysett and comments from neighboring residents with complaints about the home and reports of cockroaches from the structure migrating to their homes.
Honeysett provided the council with a memo on the subject and a detailed report of the July 11th building inspection he did, accompanied by Paul Andriacchi, Sanitarian with the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency. He also included a copy of the village’s building regulations which authorize the council to deal with substandard and dangerous buildings, plus the proposed resolution subsequently adopted by the council.
Honeysett supplemented the written material with a rather graphic verbal report of his findings and said the home needed to be vacated to address the situation. (Mark Honeysett audio clip – 2:37 – 2.4 MB)
Four residents of neighboring homes spoke during the meeting and expressed their desire for the council to deal with the issue.
Trustee Richard Larrance said, “I hate to see anybody displaced out of their home, but as a council member, I see no other choice.”
Honeysett said, “The village doesn’t have any right to take the house down or anything like that. The only thing the village can do is take the appropriate steps that, if they end with demolition and, God forbid, but if it does end with demolition, at least we take all the appropriate steps.”
Regarding the resolution, Honeysett said it gives the owners of the home incentive to get the house rehabilitated. Trustee Gary Mathers said, “I think, at a minimum, that’s got to be done. We have to get them out of the house. It’s not safe for them. Something’s got to be done with the house.” And he added, “I think we owe these people and other neighbors in the neighborhood, we help them to take care of this right now. The problem’s only going to get magnified.”
In the course of his report, Honeysett said he had talked with a representative of Terminix and learned that an initial treatment would cost $171 with each of three subsequent treatments costing $118. He also suggested the probability of some additional expense for treating neighboring homes as well.
The resolution adopted by the council – Resolution 12-16 – reads as follows:
Whereas, the Constantine Village Council desires to ensure that all buildings and homes in the village are structurally sound, sufficiently clean and in good repair, and safe for occupancy, and
Whereas, the Constantine Village Council is responsible for the investigation of all claims or allegations of substandard housing and to take corrective action if and when such claims or allegations are found to have merit, and
Whereas, any structure, place or premises which shall become damp, unwholesome, offensive, filthy, unkempt, and or which is allowed to decay or dilapidate so as to become unsafe or which fails to provide the amenities for the purpose for which it is normally being used, or which is likely to cause sickness or injury shall be deemed unsafe and unfit and considered a public nuisance dangerous to life and health.
Now therefore, be it resolved, the Constantine Village Council declares the home located at 460 White Pigeon Street in the Village of Constantine is a public nuisance, unfit for habitation, and
Now therefore, be it resolved, the Constantine Village Council requires that the home at 460 White Pigeon Street be vacated until such time as it is safe for habitation.
To view the memo by Village Manager Mark Honeysett regarding 460 White Pigeon Street, click here.
To read the report on the July 11th building inspection, click here.