Cleveland residents ask Mayor Bibb for help tearing down ignored nuisance property

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 10:14 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A vacant house on Kinsman Road in Cleveland’s Union-Miles Park neighborhood sticks out like a sore thumb; the bold, black spray painted message is hard to ignore.

“Mayor Bibb, please please please tear this house down.”

The house barely stands on the 10000 block of the busy East side roadway, complete with broken or boarded up windows, a failing roof, crumbling brick and a small piece of paper posted on the front condemning the property.

“I’m afraid they’ll find a body in there, or someone will go in there and burn it down,” said neighbor Sonny Williams.

Williams told 19 News he’s lived beside the deteriorating house for five or six years and can’t remember anyone ever living in it.

According to public property records, the house has changed hands seven times over the last ten years, often swooped up by out-of-state investors.

“Only the suburbs get special treatment. You don’t see nothing like this in the suburbs,” Williams said.

When reached by email, a spokesperson for Mayor Bibb said the house was condemned by the city’s Building and Housing department in April of 2022.

County records indicate the house was sold just days later for pennies on the dollar.

The new owner, according to the city spokesperson, obtained permits to either fix or demolish the building, which effectively put the city’s demolition plans on hold.

However, on February 24 of this year, the Building and Housing department voided the permits and notified the owner of the revocation.

Assuming there are no appeals, the Law department will review the case and could ultimately approve the house to be demolished.

Once that starts, the property could be entirely razed within a couple of months, according to the city spokesperson.

Williams hopes that happens.

“Sometimes [people] do drugs back there and stuff like that,” he said.

He also told 19 News people use the backyard as a dumping ground.

“Please tear this house down,” he reiterated.

The subject of out-of-state investors has become a hot-button topic among Cleveland City Council, which is expected to take up legislation addressing the issue this year.