For at least a year, a conjoined cluster of six properties on East Franklin Street has had a significant structural problem — a collapsed basement wall.
Paul W. Fulk, an inspection manager in the Hagerstown Department of Community and Economic Development’s Planning and Code Administration Division, said the wall is between 326 and 326 1/2 E. Franklin St.
The City of Hagerstown heard from one of the owners about the failing wall on Oct. 18, 2011, and sent a structural engineer to the site, then condemned the buildings, Fulk said.
Fourteen months later, the problem lingers.
The tricky part has been getting the five owners of the six private properties to reach a consensus, city officials said.
The city is working with the owners, but it’s up to them to figure out what to do with their property, Fulk said.
“If the owners fail to take action, we’ll have to,” said Kathleen Maher, the city’s planning director, who also manages code administration.
Fulk said there have been multiple meetings with the owners and their representatives.
“We’re getting more answers,” he said.
“We’re trying to act as a coordinator,” said John Lestitian, the city’s director of community and economic development.
It was not clear what, if anything, has been accomplished so far.
Mark Boyer, a lawyer representing the city, declined to talk about specifics of the situation, citing attorney-client confidentiality.
In April 2012, a city code administration officer charged Anna J. Taylor with failure to comply with an order to either demolish or repair 326 1/2 E. Franklin St.
The Maryland Judiciary’s online court database shows that Taylor pleaded guilty on Aug. 8. She was given probation before judgment and was fined $200, plus $5 in court costs.
Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation records list Harold Edward and Anna J. Taylor of Hagerstown as the owners of both 326 1/2 and 328 E. Franklin St.
An attempt to reach them was unsuccessful.
Edward Button, an attorney who represented Anna Taylor in the municipal infraction case, didn’t return phone messages left at his office.
The four other property owners also could not be reached for comment.
State assessment records list them as:
- Mohammad T. and Saira Khan of Hagerstown, for 322 1/2 E. Franklin St.
- Wen Chih Yang, care of Yi-Chou Yang of Germantown, Md., for 324 E. Franklin St.
- U.S. Liens LLC of Gambrills, Md., for 326 E. Franklin St.
- Federal National Mortgage Association of Fort Washington, Pa., for 330 E. Franklin St.