Owner fined for not securing Westminster building

City issued citations after squatters appeared

May 21, 1999|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The owner of a vacant Westminster apartment building was fined $500 in Carroll County District Court yesterday for failing to secure the structure and was found not guilty of a second charge, city officials said.

Nelson B. Dorsey of Reisterstown, owner of the building at 110 E. Main St., was acquitted of a charge of failing to vacate the property, said Thomas B. Beyard, the city's director of planning and public works, whose office issued the citations in February. The maximum punishment for the municipal infractions is a $1,000 fine.

The charges were filed by the city's code-enforcement officer when squatters moved into the building.

The city ordered Dorsey to fix up or tear down the property, Beyard said. The case was delayed by a federal bankruptcy proceeding, but is now "clearly back in Mr. Dorsey's responsibility to rectify the problem."

Dorsey could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Among the health and safety hazards alleged by the city were problems with electrical wiring, accumulated trash, and inadequate sanitary disposal, said Beyard.

If Dorsey does not respond and the problems are not corrected, Beyard said he would seek permission from Westminster's mayor and Common Council to go to court for an order allowing the city to tear down the two-story, brick-and-frame building.

It would be the first such action since Westminster's "uninhabitable buildings" law was passed in 1995.

Pub Date: 5/21/99

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