Council Backs Ordinance to Clean Up Properties

In an effort to clean up some properties the City Council voted to amend an ordinance regulating the maintenance of abandoned, foreclosed residential and commercial properties.

The ordinance acknowledges the number of foreclosed homes with banks and large real estate conglomerates having no connection to the community and the property they own.

During this time it is not unusual for code violations to take place.

“We seldom get cooperation from the banks, which are often out of state,” said Michael Donovan, chief inspectional services officer. “This allows us to fine them if the property is not being kept but the banks are generally good if we send them a bill.”

One large property that came immediately to mind was the old Anthony’s Hawthorne Restaurant. The landmark closed in 2003. Since then developers have come and gone. At one time the Athanas’ planned on developing the site on their own.

Opened in 1937 by the late Anthony Athanas, the Hawthorne quickly became one of the most popular restaurants in Boston’s suburbs. With waitresses dressed as pilgrims, doling out warm popovers and serving up steaks and lobsters, it was a destination for politicians and athletes. But in 2003, the Athanas family closed the Hawthorne and two years later, its founder — who also built Anthony’s Pier 4 in Boston — died.

Code violations and other violations, unoccupied buildings, and others are susceptible to vandalism and/or open structures rendering them unsafe. Violations also include yards full of trash, unshoveled snow, overgrown grass and bushes and unsecured swimming pools. This ordinance seeks to rectify the situation.

The fine for failing to maintain your property is up to $300 a day.

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