City considers Pinner St. park

Published 9:18 pm Saturday, July 10, 2010

For nearly four years, the home at 208 Pinner St. has sat vacant, growing weeds and ivy up its exterior walls.

Now, some city officials would like to see the lot become a park.

The 1,400-square-foot home was deemed uninhabitable in fall 2006. A failing underground storm water structure had caused a foundation failure so severe that the three-bedroom home is currently valued at only $100.

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The city purchased the property in June 2007, and it has since sat in the city’s inventory. The land is valued at $61,400.

This week, weeds, trees and ivy were growing through the porch and up all the home’s exterior walls. Two phone books are sitting on the stoop — one wrapped in fresh yellow plastic, and the other dirty and torn apart by the elements.

Last month, a proposal by John Faircloth to purchase the property for $65,000 was withdrawn before City Council could hold a public hearing on the conveyance. They held the session anyway on June 16, hearing no input from the public.

Mayor Linda T. Johnson, however, had some ideas of her own.

“We purchased this property basically because it was uninhabitable and because of our stormwater failure,” Johnson said, suggesting the lot should be made into a park. “There are very few areas in downtown that are parks, green space.”

Capital Programs and Buildings Director Gerry Jones estimated about 2/3 of the .69-acre lot is usable as a park. Councilman Joe Barlow suggested that a report on possibilities for the land be brought back to City Council.

“I know we’re always hearing about wanting more and more parks,” Johnson said. “I’d really like to see if it can be used for passive space.”

City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn told council members that a full report on all the city’s inventory will be presented in September, and she said the Pinner Street property will be included.