Task force to bring problem property owners to court

Feb 12, 2020

The Board of Selectmen voted on Tuesday night to allow a team of officials working to enforce codes to bring the owners of three problem properties to court.

The task force, composed of representatives of both fire districts and the police department, along with Health Agent Bob Ethier and David Morris, the director of inspectional services, was formed in July 2019 to coordinate enforcement efforts.

Now, the group is looking to bring the owners of 16 Wareham Ave., 2838 Cranberry Highway, and 193 Main St. to court, which Town Counsel Richard Bowen described as a “last resort.”

The owners of the properties have not responded to the team’s visits, calls, and letters, and their properties have been the subject of numerous complaints. The Wareham Ave. building is owned by Donald McMullen, the Cranberry Highway building is owned by Richard White, and the Main Street building is owned by Carl Cornwell.

The Main Street building, home to Carl’s Floor Covering, has had caution tape behind it for months, and has even damaged cars as its rear facade crumbles.

The property on Wareham Ave. has partially collapsed during various storms.

And the owner of the Cranberry Highway property is operating a business in the house, despite being located in a residential district.

“What you see here is the worst of the worst,” said Selectman Peter Teitelbaum.

The task force has successfully brought a number of other properties into compliance without bringing the owners to court.