A former auto repair shop at 1142 S. 17th Ave. that could be torn down if the village board authorizes fast-track demolition on March 7, which it’s likely to do. | All photos by Village of Maywood
Thursday, March 2, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Updated: 12:54 p.m.
During a March 1 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting, the Maywood Board of Trustees voted unanimously to consider authorizing village staff to demolish 12 vacant properties that village officials have deemed unsalvageable and threats to public safety. The board is likely to approve the measure at its next regular meeting on March 7.
Most of the vacant properties are single-family homes. One property is a former auto repair shop located at 1142 S. 17th Ave. Village officials said that the owners of the properties have been unresponsive to calls to repair the properties.
The village will utilize a process called “fast-track” demolition, which allows municipalities to bypass the courts and demolish properties, no higher than three stories, that are “open and vacant and determined by the Village to be continuing hazard to the community,” according to a recent memo drafted by the village’s contract law firm, Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins. The board approved the process last July.
Attorneys with KTJ have stated in the past that they “do not generally recommend the use of the fast-track demolition process due to concerns about due process and its general constitutionality,” the memo adds.
There are, however, some exceptions in which the legal risk of using fast-track demolition is relatively small and the process is appropriate; particularly, in cases where the owners of properties that are “demonstrably dangerous or unsafe” appear to have abandoned them.
“These properties have been an eyesore and create an immediate danger,” said Assistant Village Manager David Myers during Wednesday’s LLOC meeting.
Myers said that the village has budgeted $15,000 for demolitions and was recently awarded $75,000 in grant money to use for demolitions. In addition, Myers said, Cook County will assist during the demolition of the 12 selected properties.
Myers added that the first priority of village staff with respect to vacant and abandoned properties is to determine whether or not the properties can be salvaged and, ultimately, restored. In the case of the 12 listed for demolition, he said, that wasn’t a possibility. Myers said the village had tried contacting owners and had spent money maintain the properties.
The fast-track process requires the village to notify the owners that the properties need repairing. That notification is then followed up by a letter to each owner warning them that, if they don’t repair the properties, then the structures will face demolition. The owners have 30 days to respond and, if they don’t respond with that time, the village has 120 days to demolish the properties, Myers explained.
Myers added that there are more properties throughout the village that could probably be subject to fast-track demolition in the future.
The board voted 4-0 to move the matter to the next regular board meeting to put the authorization of the fast-track process to a binding vote. Trustees Antonette Dorris, Michael Rogers and Ron Rivers were absent.
Maywood properties scheduled for fast-track demolition
1304 S. 21st Ave.
2108 S. 8th Ave.
440 S. 14th Ave.
1205 S. 16th Ave.
1242 S. 16th Ave.
1142 S. 17th Ave.
1817 S. 20th Ave.
419 S. 21st Ave.
1248 S. 21st Ave.
1420 S. 21st Ave.
1821 S. 21st Ave.
1825 S. 22nd Ave.