The appeal contends the demolition order constitutes an unconstitutional taking of private property.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- The owner of the Imperial Motel has appealed the city health board's order to demolish the structure.
The health board met Aug. 28 and passed an emergency measure ordering Donald L. Guarnieri to demolish the former motel at 415 E. Market St.
In the appeal filed Wednesday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, Guarnieri, who is an attorney, contends that the health board is a residential board and made findings on a commercial property.
The appeal also says that an environmental impact study wasn't done by the health board, and the board didn't complete building guidelines concerning foundations, walls and superstructures.
He also contends the board's order amounts to "unconstitutional taking of private property without appropriation proceedings."
City officials condemned the property last month. They said it isn't structurally sound and questioned the structural integrity of steps leading to the motel's balconies.
Ready for court battle
"He fails to see the safety issue for people in the city, especially our firefighters," said Mayor Hank Angelo.
He said the city won't back down from a court battle and asking the judge to consider the safety issue.
"It would be a miscarriage of justice to allow him to continue to completely disregard the rules, regulations and laws of the city of Warren," Angelo said. Officials also said entrances that are boarded up are safety hazards if a fire occurs.
The building has been in bad shape for many years and initially was shut down when residents complained it was a haven for prostitution. City building, health and fire inspectors were able to get into the building last week when a break-in was reported. They found evidence that people had been living in the motel, and it was condemned.
The condemnation referred to its being unfit for human habitation.
Guarnieri, who lists a Warren post office box as his address, has several other properties in the city through business partnerships. A demolition order of a West Park Avenue house he owns has been in court for more than a year.