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Two Vacant Homes Declared Dangerous Buildings

12 Fieldstone Ln.

At its meeting on April 5, 2022, the Sanford City Council voted to adjudge the homes at 12 Fieldstone Ln. and 26 Roberts St. to be dangerous buildings under state law, and ordered the nuisances created by them to be abated. A separate hearing was held for each property, and Ian Houseal, Director of Community Development, made the presentations on behalf of the City.

12 Fieldstone Ln. is a 960 sq. ft. ranch style home. It has been owned by Lori A. Cote since 1992, when she purchased it with her husband Michael R. Cote for $81,000. The home was new at that time. In 1994 she became the sole owner. There is a mortgage on the property through USDA Rural Development. They have not initiated foreclosure proceedings, although the building has been vacant for several years. The water has been shut off since 2015, and no electric meter is present. The property has never had a vacant building license which is required by City code. The most recent notice of violation notes that the building is unsecured, with a missing basement window; has exterior deterioration; and mold and mildew visible throughout the interior. No representative of USDA appeared at the hearing. The City does not have a current address for Ms. Cote.

26 Roberts St. includes an 1,119 sq. ft. New Englander style home, plus a 1,710 building behind it that is also vacant. Neither building has electrical meters and the water has been off since 2015. Mr. Houseal noted exterior deterioration on the streetside home, but said the building behind is a major concern. Photos showed it is wide open in the back, has some boarded up windows, and the inside is full of junk including old TVs and tires. The property was purchased by Judy A. Roy in 2002 for $85,000. The mortgagee, Wilmington Trust, has foreclosed on the property, according to an attorney for them who appeared at the hearing. The attorney said the mortgagee is taking bids on the property, but may opt to fix the issues before selling it. She said they have no problem with it being declared a dangerous building.

The Council will have the opportunity to reaffirm the dangerous building judgements at its next meeting, following which the City will have the legal right to abate the nuisance if the property owners or parties in interest do not follow through with a rehab or demolition plan.

The home at 26 Roberts St.
The second building at 26 Roberts St.
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