The owners of the vacant Asiana restaurant in downtown Frederick are in the clear again, as Frederick officials have waived all remaining citations issued for code violations at the property.
City staff inspected the property, at 123 to 125 N. Market St., on Monday and found that the owners had addressed all code violations associated with citations the city issued in March, said Scott Waxter, a city attorney.
Still, the property is not yet safe for occupancy, and other minor code violations remain to be addressed.
Waxter asked Judge Earl W. Bartgis Jr. on Wednesday to dismiss the nine court cases that were still open for nine citations, with fines totaling $9,000. There were originally 10 citations of up to $1,000 each, but the owners already agreed to pay the city $1,000 for one citation.
Bartgis dismissed the cases, stating that it was clear the property owner was going above and beyond the city’s expectations when making repairs to the building.
“It’s absolutely wonderful,” Bartgis said. “Everyone in downtown is going to be very happy.”
Owners Myung and Duk Hee Ro said contractors are still working on the building, with the goal of renting out the bottom floor again for a new restaurant.
Contractors will install a sprinkler system, fire alarms, air conditioning, drywall, electrical work and cosmetic items, such as cabinets, Duk Hee Ro said after Wednesday’s hearing.
Once the work is complete, the Ros will need to have the city inspect the property again to receive a certificate of occupancy before allowing tenants.
One open code violation still exists on the property, for the Asiana sign out front, said Brittany Parks, a city code enforcement officer.
All property owners have 30 days to remove a business’ sign from the property once the business closes, Parks said.
In this case, the restaurant has been closed for at least 12 years. The property was condemned about two years ago.
Parks did not know why the notice of violation had not previously been issued for the sign, she said, but she is trying to get on top of all issues at the property now.
Parks found additional code violations at the property when she did her inspection Monday.
Windows and screens on the front, side and back of the building need to be repaired, she said.
The major structural and safety issues at the building have been addressed, Waxter said.
Bartgis had given the building owners several extensions since March to complete the work. The Ros were first notified of the code violations in October 2013. The violations included that the property was not properly secured or maintained, was unsafe for occupancy and had structural damage, had roof and drainage issues, and that electrical panels were not properly secured, among other issues.
Once all work has been completed, the building could remain empty, as the city does not consider chronic vacancy a code violation, Waxter said.
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