WARREN Board approves motel demolition
A decision is expected in about 30 days on the Parkman Road Shopping Center.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
AKRON -- After hearing that the Imperial Motel's owners and Warren city officials agree the building should be razed, the Ohio Board of Building Appeals upheld a Warren building official's demolition order.
The board suggested that Warren and the property owners continue talks to determine if they can agree on a demolition date. In the meantime, they want security at the building to ensure that vagrants and children don't get inside.
The fate of the Parkman Road Shopping Center, which is owned by Atty. Donald L. Guarnieri, is expected to be decided within 30 days.
Christopher A. Taneyhill, Warren's interim building official, declared both buildings safety hazards in December and ordered them demolished by Feb. 22.
Guarnieri, who also owns the motel along with his brother, Albert Guarnieri, and sister, Lucille McGuire, appealed the order to the state appeals board, which conducted hearings on both cases Wednesday. Donald Guarnieri didn't attend the hearings.
Taneyhill, Mayor Hank Angelo and health, community development, police and fire officials told the state panel, which includes an engineer and a pipefitter, that the buildings present dangers to the safety forces and are a detriment to Warren's economic development efforts.
Among the motel's shortcomings are a disconnected fire-alarm system and entryways and staircases that aren't structurally sound.
Atty. William McGuire, who represents Donald Guarnieri's siblings, said the owners want to apply for state money to abate the problems at the building that relate to the caulking used in its construction. The caulking material is no longer permissible because of environmental concerns.
That abatement increases the demolition cost to about $100,000.
"This building needs to come down," Albert Guarnieri said. But most people don't have $100,000 immediately available, he added.
Warren must apply on the property owner's behalf. Private property owners aren't eligible for the funds.
But even if the money is awarded, it could take months before it's received. A Family Dollar store wants to lease the property once the building is demolished, McGuire said.
Setting a date
The mayor said he's willing to work with the property owners, but he wants a "drop-dead date" for the building's demolition regardless of whether the state money comes through.
He said he's willing to work with the property owners. McGuire also said he's willing to work with the city. If an agreement on a demolition date can't be reached, McGuire said he hasn't ruled out appealing the building board's decision in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.
David Rockman, a Warren architect, spoke on Donald Guarnieri's behalf about the shopping plaza, which has been vacant for about 10 years.
"There's nothing that can't be fixed under the code," Rockman said, adding that the problems aren't structural.
Taneyhill referred to a roof which he says is falling in and a disconnected sprinkler system as examples of the building's unsafe state.