La Feria News

City Commission Approves Orders to Demolish Several Trouble Properties

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416 Cooper Lane

In a particularly well attended city meeting on Tuesday, March 12th, members of the city commission heard concerns from local residents over several properties deemed public nuisances. Of the many items on the agenda for the meeting that night, the properties slated to be discussed brought many La Feria residents who were eager to voice their concerns.

These properties included Lot 5, Block 2 of the Taylor Acres subdivision on 413 W. 9th Street; Lot 23 of the Citrus Valley subdivision on 416 Cooper Lane and 1/3 of Lot 1, Block A of the Schmidt’s Terrace subdivision off E. Bus. Highway 83. Most if not all the properties have been vacant for some time, years in two cases, with efforts to contact property owners unsuccessful to date.

In a presentation provided by Planning and Community Development Director Irene Szedlmayer, each of the three properties was presented to city officials and those in attendance. The presentation included photos and information providing examples and details of the dilapidation, overgrown lawns, delinquent taxes and code violations. Over thirteen residents of the Citrus Valley subdivision were in attendance to not only confirm the unsafe conditions of the property in their neighborhood, but also to report that the property had been a haven for vandals who use it to sneak into the subdivision and break into other homes there. Neighbors on both sides of the property expressed their concerns regarding animals that are breeding on the premises as well.

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A large saguaro cactus adorns a yard in the manicured neighborhood

“Critters are breeding over there and then trying to get into our homes,” complained one resident. Another resident explained that the overgrown lawn was leaning against her fence and had almost knocked it over several times over the past two years.

Due to an overwhelming amount of evidence as well as comments from local residents, the Commission voted to have the Citrus Valley and Schmidt’s Terrace properties ordered to be demolished within 30 days. If no one comes forward to demolish these two properties, the city would step in and clear them and attach liens to the property to offset the cost of clearing them. A 90 day order to repair was voted on for the Taylor Acres property after which time it too would be demolished and cleared.

Other agenda items discussed during the meeting included an unanimous vote to cancel the May 11th General Election for the city of La Feria, a report by Texas Department of Transportation on La Feria related projects and a report on racial profiling presented by police chief Don Garcia. There was also a unanimous vote to approve a resolution in support of University of Texas Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa to work with the Texas Legislature to establish a new university that incorporated The University of Texas – Pan American, The University of Texas – Brownsville and the Regional Academic Health Center.

The next regular meeting of the City of La Feria City Commission will be held Tuesday, March 26th at 6:30 p.m.

Beautiful flowering trees and lovely landscaping in the yard next door to the offending property

Beautiful flowering trees and lovely landscaping in the yard next door to the offending property

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