Some tenants at 60 Riverside Ave. in Sanford have reached a settlement with the owner of the building that spells out terms on how they’ll move out. The building was condemned by the city in July. TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune

SANFORD — Three tenants of a condemned Sanford apartment building have reached a settlement with the owner and the property manager.

The city of Sanford condemned 60 Riverside Ave., a 10-unit apartment building, as unfit for human occupancy in July.  The tenants had sought an injunction against Hill Street Apartments LLC,  MaineLy Property Management and Timothy Ly.

Pine Tree Legal attorney Rachelle Parise, representing  tenants Cassandra Day and Todd Day, Carolyn Normand and David and Kathryn Duplessis, and attorney Michael Devine, representing Ly, worked out a settlement before their court appearance on Friday. The settlement gives the three families two weeks to leave the property, an undisclosed sum of money, and moving assistance from Ly if they request it.

Pine Tree Legal attorney Rachelle Parise, left, pauses with client Cassandra Wood outside Springvale District Court on Friday. Parise and an attorney for the owner of 60 Riverside Ave. in Sanford  reached a settlement on how Wood and two other families will move from the condemned apartment  building. TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune

According to city inspectors, the building has inadequate wiring, windows were not weather tight and glass was broken, all of the porches and steps were in disrepair and some were not adequately secured to the building, windows were not able to be opened or capable of being held in position by window hardware, and most smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms were missing.

Parise, the tenants’ attorney, noted in court filings that while some of the steps and handrails at the back of the building were new, the support posts for the landing and an overhang had not been replaced.

Wood and Day and their three children have found a new place to live and will soon be leaving 60 Riverside Ave.

“I feel better,” said Wood following a brief hearing at Springvale District Court before  District Court Judge Michael Cantara on Friday afternoon, where terms of the settlement were laid out. “There’s been lots of stress.”

Normand had praise for Parise’s efforts on behalf of her and the other tenants. She said despite efforts, she has yet to find another place to live.

The city condemned 60 Riverside Ave. as unfit for human occupancy on July 13, and informed the owner that tenants were to leave by Sept. 13 – but according to a tenant who has since moved, a representative of the owner allegedly told the tenants they didn’t have to move as long as work was being done on the premises.

The owner had sought and received a permit for electrical repairs, city officials said previously. Some work on the outside stairs had been started, but the owner had not sought a building permit and so the city ordered the work to stop until permits were secured.

As well as the condemnation, the City Council on Sept. 22 unanimously voted to declare the building dangerous under state statutes. That meant the owner had 30 days from when the order was drawn to submit a plan for its rehabilitation, said Community Development Director Ian Houseal.

“If that plan is not approved, the city will demolish the building,” Houseal said in an Oct. 1 interview.

According to court documents, Hill Street Apartments LLC, acquired the building from the estate of the prior owner in December 2017.

Two other tenants, who were not part of the court  action, are believed to be living in the apartment building; other families have moved out.

Judge Cantara thanked the attorneys for their work on the case.

“We can all agree that the issues of safe and proper housing are important and I appreciate the efforts of counsel,” he said.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 282-1535 or [email protected]une.com.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: