The owner of a dilapidated building on Main Street in Buzzards Bay will not face fines stemming from violations of the Town of Bourne’s blight bylaw.
The property has been cleaned up enough that it is now considered in compliance with the bylaw.
That was the determination by the board of selectmen during its July 9 meeting. The selectmen unanimously agreed that property owner Michael J. Maxim had taken the necessary steps to make the structure at 328 Main Street look habitable.
The board advised Mr. Maxim during its meeting on June 18 to clear vegetation that had grown up around the house, and to take down plywood that had been put up over the windows. At the July 9 meeting, Bourne Town Administrator Thomas J. Guerino concurred that Mr. Maxim had complied with their orders.
“[Building Inspector Roger M. Laporte] reported to me that the work that has been done to the property has raised it out of the blight issue,” Mr. Guerino said.
The single-family home is located across from the Starbucks coffeehouse and just off Belmont Circle. Selectmen advised Mr. Maxim last month that it was not necessary for someone to actually live in the home to be in compliance with the bylaw. The structure just needs to appear habitable, the board said.
Under the town’s blight bylaw, owners of blighted properties are given seven days to bring their property into compliance following notice being issued. After seven days, the owner shall be fined $50 per day for 30 days, $100 a day for another 30 days if nothing is done, and $200 per day after that until the violation is remedied.
The board voted unanimously to take no further action relative to Mr. Maxim or the property at 328 Main Street.
Despite the recent efforts by Mr. Maxim, a red X placed on the building’s exterior by the Bourne Fire Department is still there. The red X signifies that the structure is unsafe for emergency responders to enter. It also warns firefighters that they should fight any fire there from the outside and use extreme caution when deciding whether to enter the building.
Bourne Deputy Fire Chief David S. Pelonzi said that a reevaluation of the building by the fire department would have to be done before the red X could be removed. Deputy Chief Pelonzi said a decision to remove the X involves more than cleaning up the exterior.
“For us to take it down, it has to do with the entire integrity of the building,” he said. “The floor could still be rotted out.”
Mr. Maxim has told the board that it is his plan to raze the current structure on the property and build new. The new building would be mixed-use with commercial office space on the first floor and a two-bedroom residential apartment on the second floor. Mr. Maxim said he is working with Canal Land Surveying and Permitting Inc. to draw up a conceptual site plan.