As previously reported in the News-Enterprise
ISSUE: Radcliff code enforcement process improvements
OUR VIEW: City is right to address Redmar Plaza
Radcliff appears to have resolved an ongoing concern about code enforcement.
Fire Chief Jamie Henderson recently reviewed a series of accomplishments with Radcliff City Council. Some dilapidated and dangerous structures had been torn down and others were in the process of being razed or being restored to code. The progress included property off Mill Creek Road, Hill Street, Red Hill Road, Rogersville Road and Nalls Lane.
In an effort to address eyesores and deal with risks associated with neglected property, Radcliff has been addressing its code enforcement performance for the past three years. Techniques have included changing the way citations were issued and working more closely with the county attorney’s office when citing chronic violators.
Bigger news for the council and the community came out of Henderson’s presentation last month. The city is trying to address a major piece of property just outside the Wilson Gate near Fort Knox.
Built in the late 1960s, Redmar Plaza served as a center for retail in Radcliff for decades. A lot has happened since then and many factors resulted in businesses going dark along North Wilson Road and Knox Boulevard.
The winds of change in retailing resulted in the exit of anchor stores such as W.T. Grant, its successor Murphy’s Mart and Winn-Dixie. A U.S. Army decision in 1995 to make the 194th Armored Brigade at Fort Knox inactive was another factor impacting all of the business community in northern Hardin County. Today, the post’s current pattern of closing the Wilson Gate each evening also influences business in that quadrant of the city.
As Redmar has fallen in disarray, it has become a symbol of failure. As the mission of Fort Knox changed following the Base Realignment and Closure, which was completed in 2011, newcomers were turned off by this abandoned retail relic.
To address this issue, Radcliff and its newly reconstituted code enforcement team is taking the issue to the property owners. Mayor Mike Weaver described a meeting with Eddie Cato Sr. and a May 25 deadline set to present a renovation plan.
If approved by Radcliff’s planning staff, the owners would have 90 days to complete the work, according to ordinance.
Unless the owners make necessary improvements or raze the buildings themselves, Weaver said the council could be asked to pay for the demolition from reserve funds. A lien then would be attached to the property to recover the city’s money, which potentially could result in a public auction of the property.
As Henderson recently reminded the council, due process is required and effective action on the part of property owners can take time. The process in place now includes clear expectations and deadlines.
With the fire department’s help and under Henderson’s leadership, Radcliff appears to have this process on track.
The result of the Redmar Plaza process is of interest to many i and will serve as a milestone on the city’s progress in addressing appearance. But it is only one element of Radcliff’s code enforcement progress.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.