WILMINGTON — Property owner Jonathan Blake pleaded guilty to three charges of zoning violations during a hearing at the Clinton County Municipal Court on Friday.
Blake, along with Sarah Hapner, faced seven zoning violation charges each, all third-degree misdemeanors. According to City Prosecutor Laura Railing Gibson, the charges involved violations of the city’s codified ordinance.
Hapner’s charges were dismissed due to her signing a quick claim deed, thus turning over all her properties.
Blake pleaded guilty to three charges, resulting in the other four charges being dismissed. Blake will not face any jail time but will have to pay $500 for each case along with additional court costs.
The charges were related to residential properties on Grant, Charles, and West Locust streets. Violations ranged from peeling paint to an unsafe driveway. Another property on 411 Grant St. was signed over to the land bank and is set to be demolished.
Mayor John Stanforth stated his pleasure on the progress of their mission to clean up the city. He said his goal is not to take people to court, but to clean up the neighborhoods.
“The events of today are only the beginning. If you don’t clean up your property, I will take you to court. Clean up your properties. Be a good neighbor,” said Stanforth
The next step, according to Gibson, will be a meeting between her, Stanforth, Blake, his attorney, Hapner and other city officials to talk about current concerns.
“We’d like to try and get back on the same page and say, ‘Here are the current concerns and here’s what we’d like to see you do,” said Gibson.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574