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Case of dilapidated Highland camp goes to trial

July 15, 2011

A dilapidated camp in Highland Township must be torn down, according to legal action taken by Highland Twp. Supervisors. Photo by Ted Lutz.

JAMES CITY – A summary trial on a charge of violating the construction code by a Highland Township campowner is scheduled Monday before District Judge Tony King in Johnsonburg.
The Highland Township Board of Supervisors discussed the upcoming legal action during its regular monthly meeting Wednesday.
Russ Braun, the Highland Township building code administrator, last year reported that the "abandoned" camp is "unsafe" and is a "clear and present fire danger."
In a notice to campowner Patrick Paris of Youngstown, Ohio, Braun ordered the owner to "remedy the violation by removing the structure from the property."
No action has been taken since the notice was issued about a year ago.
The camp, a former gasoline station, has been vacant for years. A canopy on the front of the camp has collapsed to the ground. The walls and roof of the building are badly deteriorated.
"The structure presents a danger to human life and to the general public welfare," Braun said in his notice. "The structure is unsecured against entry. Adequate maintenance is not being provided."
In his letter, Braun advised Paris that the "responsibility rests with the property owner" in the removal of the demolition waste. He said a demolition permit is required before the structure is razed.
"The township and I are ready to assist in any way possible," Braun said in his letter to Paris.
Because no action was taken, Braun filed summary charges in district court for a violation of the construction code. After Paris pleaded not guilty, a summary trial was set for Monday.

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