Paterson takes possession of first home using its abandoned properties ordinance | Paterson Times

Paterson takes possession of first home using its abandoned properties ordinance


The city successfully took possession of an abandoned Sherwood Avenue home that belonged to the family of former disgraced mayor Martin Barnes through its abandoned properties ordinance in June of this year, according to city officials and court papers.

Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres celebrated the first actual success story of the abandoned properties ordinance during his state of the city speech. He said the city has learned the process of taking over properties as a result of this test case.

Torres noted taking possession of the property took a longtime – almost two years. Some council members criticized the delays to argue the mayor failed to make use of the ordinance after the council approved the measure back in 2014.

The city sued the owners of the eyesore Gregory Barnes and Kathy Sims for failing to maintain their abandoned property at 304 Sherwood Avenue. It also filed actions against the property’s mortgage and tax servicing company, according to court records.

The property was not legally occupied for six months, was in need of rehabilitation, posed a safety and health hazard, and impacted the property values of the neighborhood, argued the city in its case filed in February 2015.

John Villari, whose property is next to the abandoned home, has been constantly complaining and urging the city to take actions against the property. He has repeatedly said that during rain events water flows from the unkempt property into his.

The city was given possession of the property in early June of this year.

Torres and others have said the case sends a clear message to property owners who fail to maintain their properties. The threat of the city launching legal actions to take possession of abandoned properties has spurred great renovation activity in the city, according to officials.

It’s not clear if the city plans on taking possession of other similar properties. The city’s law director has repeatedly said the city has no wish of becoming a landlord.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/animalabusewar Animal Abuse War

    so the city took possession in June.did they fix the house up to sell & correct the rain problem affecting the neighbor?
    who pays to fix up these properties that now belong to the city?
    when the city sells these properties our taxes go down right?

  • Paterson Resident

    Isn't it funny how they targeted the home of the Barnes family which did not directly belong to the Late Mayor Barnes but the Jayed Rahman made sure he used the late mayor's name just to bring attention to this article. I am also concerned as to why this house was the 1st when the many abandoned homes in the 1st, 4th and 5th Wards where people suffer the most hardships and Fires, and these abandoned homes become Drug Dens and Condos for raccoons and possums, rats and drug attacks. Is it because the home in the 2nd ward can be resold and fetch more money ? because trust me it's not just because the neighbor was complaining. I say buy them all and sell those that you can after rehabilitation and the others tear them down and sell the lot with stipulations to rebuild.
    Please let the Mayor rest in Peace !! leave his family alone because truth be told your family have similar or worse issues to deal with.

  • Paterson Resident

    By the way, Animal Abuse War your Taxes are never going down in Paterson because your council cant find a way to stop giving in, and the Powers that be must maintain their high salaries and luxury life styles that they have come to enjoy at the expense of the tax payers and the State.