The goal of Frederick city officials continues to be to create a thriving place where all storefronts are filled with successful businesses, Mayor Randy McClement said Tuesday at a news conference.

"The fact is," McClement said, "try as we may, properties throughout the city are still vacant."

Taking the podium at City Hall, McClement said he hoped to clarify code enforcement processes and what the city is doing to encourage owners to take care of their property.

"In my opinion, the information out there does not show the whole picture," he said.

McClement said he wanted to be upfront. The majority of concerns that residents and business owners have about code enforcement is about a handful of vacant properties along Market Street owned by one entity, he said.

In the last month, downtown residents and business owners have focused their interest on one of these properties, the old Asiana restaurant at 123 N. Market St. 

Frederick Gorilla on Jan. 27 published an editorial from former Mayor Jennifer Dougherty about the city's lack of fines on the property, and The Frederick News-Post published an article Feb. 24 outlining the city's decisions since October regarding enforcing code violations on the property.

The city's warning to the property owners to correct structural and safety issues in the building expired Thursday, and on Friday, the city issued $10,000 in violations to the owners.

A few days before that — and before McClement scheduled the news conference — residents organized a rally to take place at 11 a.m. today outside the Asiana to spur action from the city.

After the news conference Tuesday, Dougherty said the rally would still take place.

McClement said Tuesday that the news articles contained inaccurate information.

When asked after the meeting what was inaccurate, McClement said the city has not yet determined if the Asiana building is a "blighted" property.

Blighted properties pose a serious or immediate danger to the health, safety or general welfare of the community, he said during the news conference.

A property must be considered "blighted" to be applicable for a law the city established last summer called receivership, which allows the city to take the property and give it to a qualified owner.

To communicate with residents, the city has created a brochure outlining the city's code enforcement process.

The city has also added to a mapping tool on its website the ability for residents to search for live information about code violations.

McClement also added an item regarding code enforcement processes to the city's April 2 workshop agenda, at the request of aldermen and residents.

The city issues fines to a property owner only after it confirms a violation, issues a notice of violation and does not receive compliance from owners within a set time frame, McClement said.

When a resident asked what the city's process was for repeat offenders, Dan Hoffman, the city's code enforcement manager, said the city needs a more standard process for this.

"It's something we need to work on," he said.

If a building is condemned due to unsafe conditions, the building will remain vacant and condemned until the property is brought up to code, McClement said.

McClement said one concern the city has heard is that "all complaints are not being addressed." 

"That is not true," he said.

McClement said code enforcement examines every case reported and recorded more than 872 cases since Jan. 1.

"We take code enforcement seriously and address it wholeheartedly," he said.

Follow Jen Bondeson on Twitter: @Jen_Bondeson.

(38) comments

whoville2

Why oh why, has it taken 10 years to get to this point? How much longer now?

quemzeee2

The property owned by these nasty persons realy is not a blighted item. But what they are actualy doing is holding the city hostage financialy.
They are refusing to help develop the economics of a thriving down town area.
They are in fact black mailing the tax payers.
It is legal.
By there refusal to move ahead they have in fact taken money out of tax payers pockets. They know this all to well.
Not to good is it .

averagejoe33

shouldn't our mayor be more worried about the drug problem

recon77

I know Randy personally and professionally. He has done more for the city than most previous mayors, plus he is a man of honesty and integrity. Perhaps that is the reason he earns such vilification from the morally bereft and vacuous left. the good thing is he doesn't let all the BS bother him.

touscents

What vilification from the left? He is mostly popular with the left and right, which is why he was re-elected.

fredneckian

Money talks and you know what walks. The Ros are lining some powerful pockets.

FreddyFred

Randy has had all the answers to this issue for years when he got the Blighted Property Committee together, and then disbanded it without following their recommendations. His approach to governance is insulting to the public, in that he has solutions to these problems, yet refuses to act. Gives a bogus press conference (only after a FNP article), when he could have offered real solutions. Does Randy do anything proactively, or is it all just a scrambled-rush to crisis- approach? He hates negative headlines more than he cares for the citizens. The fact he isn't sure if Asiana is "blighted" demonstrates how out of touch he his. Maybe at the end of 4 years he can tell us? Randy... no solutions, just rhetoric and the status quo.

angelwingzinflight

So True FreddyFred[wink]

Comment deleted.
xroads1213

Someone is getting paid-off so nothing is going to happen. We have to follow the money.

elymus43

This is business as usual for Frederick. What's needed is a new MAYOR and BOA. The people did not elect Nash, Schmidt, or Aloi for the Mayor and BOA. The city officials want to get along good with each other. What business wants to come here in the first place??????? The Mayor and BOA will continue playing around with this issue until it goes away.

quemzeee2

Ros properties do not strick me as blighted from the outside. They are no worse than some others downtown, They are empty, thats it.
Blighted, drive thru pennington court in Hillcrest.
Blighted, drive up McCain drive and check our lauren court facing the McCain area, LOL oh yah,,
Go into the apartment buildings on South and Market, see how some have had use toilets to wash in.
Then go into the apartment building on Bentz and South and walk down the hallways.

Blighted,, drive to Zion road, rte 180 and take a look at the house with 10 broken cars in the front yard. piles of garbage bags, piles of trash and litere all over the front yard. [ and the umpteen people who all live there, working for the guy who owns them,, ops,, i mean the house. ]
Then go next door and ask the folks how they feel about that. LOL

angelwingzinflight

Not much is getting done anywhere the way I see it.

president8444

Board it , like S Market where its ok since the flood of 1976.BLIGHT?? who really cares??Painted plywood fronts go look in historic area.Elite asleep??

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FreddyFred

"best mayor we've had in years."

Yeah, if you like decreased services, no vision or action. Best mayor ever!

soule1061

People are not lining up to buy the Asiana property and its owners are stuck with it. Despite a few bright spots like Cafe Nola, Downtown is dying if not already dead. Good luck with levying fines on absentee owners.

matthewboh

The owners are asking absurdly high rent for the property with all improvements to be paid for by the renter. The property is not for sale and even if it was, I'm sure the asking price would be several times market value.

touscents

I was surprised that Mayor Randy said "the city has not yet determined if the Asiana building is a blighted property." Why not? He said that determination must be made before the city to attempt receivership. Is there no city inspector that can make the determination if the property is blighted???

angelwingzinflight

Guess ten years time is not enough to figure out if it is "blighted" -- probably take at least another ten years to figure it out. Unfortunately blight is like any disease, eventually it spreads.

Comment deleted.
squibmyer

So, you plan on running for Mayor next time?

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j9581

He is being careful about what qualifies for eminent domain, and we should thank him for being careful about that. However, being slow to fine the owner is a problem, too.

recon77

Perhaps former Mayor Dougherty's code enforcement should be reviewed lol.

j9581

The word former is the best thing to hear in that sentence.

chuckasaurus

Ditto. Thank the universe she got trounced in the primaries.

FreddyFred

Actually... Dougherty had a great record on code enforcement and issued more fines to blighters than McClement or Holtzinger.

chuckasaurus

...and yet the same pesthole properties that plagued DTF during Jennifer's one term reign are still a problem and the likes of Ro, Kline and Jemal; with Ro being the biggest offender, are still operating as they always have.

There is a reason J-Doh keeps running for whatever office she can find and continues to get her ass handed to her on voting day. She is just as full of crap as all the others, but her abrasive, bitter, abusive personality fails to hide her incompetance.

Dwasserba

I know her personally and I don't recognize this description of her personality. This post doesn't reflect well on yours. This is how rumors start. I liked your other post that demanded action.

quemzeee2

I believe we [ city of Frederick] are so bogged down in archaic rules of code enforcement that it can not move expediantly.

Just to get a car towed after being abandon on the streets, even if it had not moved in a year, takes weeks upon weeks..
The cutesy laws from years back no longer work. Frederick city is not happy small town county any more.
You have many financial preditors here. And not one law to protect home owners in any expediant manner. NOT one.
The issue as I see it is more of a disparity of neighboorhood. What is now aceptable filth in Hillcrest, would not be allowed in Baker park.

FreddyFred

[thumbup]

Ca55

"We LOOK at every complaint....." And there you have it. He didn't say anything about actually DOING anything about complaints, did he. "Looking" and DOING are two entirely different things. And the Mayor's eagerness to get out there and plead with us to pay no attention to the truth is very telling about who it is he's shielding. "An entity"? Seriously? We ALL know it's Duk Hee Ro and the mayor and his admin are scared to death of her for some reason and care nothing about the owners and tenants of the properties that adjoin hers and ARE being adversely affected by her total lack of maintenance. Those owners/tenants need to start filing BIG lawsuits against the City for total neglect of the laws. Get a good deep discovery process going and see where it leads.......

angelwingzinflight

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain"......and any day now, Glenda the Good Witch will fly in from Oz, wave her magic wand and make it all better. Yeh..sure.[ohmy]

quemzeee2

I was hoping for more on this.
Blight in Hillcrest are the dozens of shoping carts laying on sidewalks, streets and yards.
Blight in Hillcrest is the 4 t.v dishes on a 3 bedroom town house with litter all over the place.
Blight in Hillcrest is the hundreds upon hundreds of discarded diapers tossed onto sidewalks, yards and parks.
Blight in Hillcrest are the dozens upon dozens of automobiles parked for months at a time, [ city law prevents imediate actions] so the city can not clean the streets, there by acrueing piles of discarded bottles, red bull cans, and leaves and branches.
Blight here is not the same as a small amount of empty buildings down town. Blight here is disease potential. filth, overcrowding, and poverty.

angelwingzinflight

We were all hoping for more but in reality everyone knew that we were going to get what we have always gotten --- no action and no real solution.

kingesquivel

Duk Hee Ro - The Entity

C8H10N4O2

There is little point in enforcing building codes on one hand while preserving run-down empty old buildings like the old Coke plant with the other. Much of Frederick needs razing, for it looks like it belongs to a bygone era in western Kansas.

kingesquivel

I don't see the old Coke building collapsing and damaging any neighboring buildings.

Ca55

It's not but it's also not "historic" in the same manner that the downtown district is and is should most definitely NOT be protected by those same rules.

chuckasaurus

The old Coke plant was also recently purchased and the buyer has some very good plans/ideas on what to do with the space...meaning... in addition to spending the million+ dollars to buy the property, he is also planning to spend additional 100s of thousands to IMPROVE the building and property. At this moment it is being talked about as a possibly "historic" building, which would effect and maybe alter the planned improvements. Nonetheless, progress is being made and a once empty building will soon have new life. Unlike the Ro's who won't spend a dime to improve ANY of their properties and only take the smallest of measures to do minute "repairs" without proper permits, and then cry that they are poor immigrant victims of the city.

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