City decides to put empty lots up for sale by bid

By Angie Baldelomar

The Oberlin City Council decided Thursday to put two of its properties for sale, vacant lots at 212 N Rodehaver and 706 E. Commercial. Bids will be accepted on both until Wednesday, Aug. 31, the council agreed.

The city has had the properties for some time, but the council decided that since to use either, the best option was to try to sell them. The city acquired both lots after it demolished fire-damaged houses.

City Treasurer Steve Zodrow said that someone had asked about buying the lot at 212 N. Rodehaver. No offer was made, he said, but the person expressed interest in it. One of the issues that came up was that, once they announce the bidding, the council needs to let people know about ordinances that might prevent a buyer from building on the properties.

The main issue, City Attorney Steve Hirsch said, was that whoever buys the lots would have to conform with the city zoning code. The lots are too small to build another house with a garage, he said, so people need to be aware of that when they think of bidding.

The members said that unless someone with adjacent property could use the lots for a garage, they would just be buying a lot. Another issue was the property tax a buyer would pay with two properties. Mr. Hirsch said that the taxes would be minimal, so that should not be a problem.

The council approved a motion to open the properties for bid until Aug. 31 on a 4-0 vote. Councilwoman Marilyn Horn was absent.

In other business, the council:

• Agreed to move the Aug. 4 meeting to Thursday, Aug. 11, so as not to not interfere with the county fair. In the Aug. 11 meeting, they will also have the budget hearing, since they need to publish the budget in the paper 10 days before the meeting.

• Approved an agreement with Glassman Corp. for maintenance of The Gateway’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning units, for a cost of $2,595 per year, with extra charges for unscheduled service or repairs.

• Approved an ordinance regarding city right of ways by utility companies, with an added section on granting a waiver of the permit, inspection and pavement-cut fees for companies with existing franchise agreements.

The story was published on page 8A of The Oberlin Herald‘s print edition on July 27, 2016.


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