Community Development / Government / Housing

Maywood Likely to Demolish 12 Hazardous Properties

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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. 

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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. 

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10 thoughts on “Maywood Likely to Demolish 12 Hazardous Properties

  1. Wow! Looking at these photos is so depressing to see how the village of Maywood have allowed all these boarded up houses to be that way, without finding ways to repair or restore. Some places do need to be demolished. That leads to my question about Maywood’s tax increment fiances (TIF). Where was the money from the TIF to fixed these properties that were deemed too hazardous?

  2. There certainly are more than 12 properties that need to be demolished. Probably the number is closer to 50%-plus need to come down. Let’s say you’re looking to buy a house and decide Maywood might have something you like; you drive through the Village to get a feel for the neighborhoods and you see houses and buildings falling down, yards that look like parking lots for dead cars, no grass, and have all sorts of furniture and other debris lying around. Do you really think someone wants to live in Maywood when they see this? It’s really disgusting. What makes this all worse is that there are a lot of elderly folks living in these run- and falling-down houses that are such a blight on the Village. Would you want your momma or daddy living in a house that has boarded up or broken windows, roof caving in, pieces of the house being blown off when it’s windy, and that’s just the outside! God help us when we think of what the inside must look like! Yet, Maywood administration has consistently over the years refused to enforce building codes and the Village will never recover from this. It really amounts to elder abuse NOT to step in and offer some sort of help to the elderly that are living in these conditions certainly contributes to the abuse that these folks’ relatives are committing.

    Let’s also talk about the Maywood beautification committee. Great intentions, but a bunch of flowers, or shrubs, or nice lawns is ridiculous in light of what Maywood REALLY needs to make it an attractive place to live. That means well-kept houses and buildings, getting rid of these houses that are essentially junkyards, and Code needs to get off its lazy butt and get out there and issue fines – AND find out how to potentially help and advise the people that are in these dwellings on options to fix or even move out of the house to a safe dwelling.

    Maywood administration has an obligation to its residents to make this Village a safe place to live. I challenge the sitting Board and the people who are running for election in April to get their collective heads out of the sand, develop a strategic plan to achieve what they promise…because I haven’t heard anything that would lead me to believe that anyone has done that.

    • I could not agree more with your comment. I’ve lived here for 15 years, and within 2 weeks of moving here started questioning how properties near me could be allowed to look the way they do. I tried to champion, question, ask for meetings with key village officials over the years, and through numerous mayors and managers not much has been done to adress the problem (only new homeowners making improvments themselves) Many of the derilict properties we called to attention still look the same 15 years later—including people living in what used to be garages! Nothing has been done about it.
      There seems to be some invisible hand keeping he appearance of this village down and that MUST change!

      • What?! 15 years and still no improvement. I am really not that surprise. Even former mayor Henderson Yarbrough running again, they should have been some accountability to improve the houses in the village of Maywood.

  3. I agree the house look very bad to the community, but we need to put the properties back on the tax role. The village taxes has increase and the residents need a tax relief. The economic developer needs to look into a program that could serve the community better than just tearing the properties down. The village will not have a chance to prosper quicker. I’m sure that some building programs are out there and willing to assist the village in a beautification program. We need intelligent thinking to uplift the village so we can move in the right direction for the future.

    • Have to agree 100% that we need intelligent thinking. We haven’t had much of that in the last 10+ years. I don’t think that getting houses and buildings back on the tax roles is viable, at least in the shape they are in now because the owners have either abandoned their property, been foreclosed on and still living on the property, and have no incentive to pay taxes. But the Village needs to explore all options to start to move forward in a positive direction before it’s too late.

  4. Property owner:
    Maywood has allowed crime to dominate the streets and use abandoned and empty buildings to steal from the struggling neighbors and destroy even more property. Why won;t the trustees allow a comprehensive audit of the books to find out what happened to the twenty or more million Maywood was supposed to be using to help improve the housing and sewers and streets? Some people had no choice but to abandon their homes and businesses. Where are the malls, the restaurants, the grocery stores, the movies, and other businesses that will keep our taxes down, and why does it take an hour for police to respond? What about the years of bogus over inflated water bills?
    Who will clean up Maywood so people want to stay and fix up, so they can afford to stay and fix up, so our families are safe again?

  5. As far as the house at 1420 so 21st why don’t the village make the owner pay for tearing down her house that been in that condition since 2005. She paid someone in the village to mowe her yard n he ran into my garage damaging it and she refuse to pay can I get help from the village like she is and she doesn’t live in maywood

  6. Has the village look into doing something about the homes in the 1200 block of s. 20th Ave? The village has allowed known drug houses to exist on this block while our older residents live in fear and are unable to protect themselves. Maywood was known as the village of homes, now its the blight in the suburbs. The good people who would really can make a change can’t run for mayor or city council because there is so much corruption. Their good intentions would run into a brick wall and red tape. The real question is what can we do as just common folk to turn around the situation?

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