Route 7 eyesores may soon be history
The town of New Milford has been "leaning on some property owners" to remove derelict structures, Mayor Pat Murphy said.
"We've been doing a lot," Ms. Murphy said. "We've tried to do things at the least expense to taxpayers, attempting to avoid legal action where possible."
This month, the slowly disintegrating Docktor Brothers car wash structure at 189 Danbury Road (Route 7) should go.
Built in 1968, the building has sat vacant since the late 1980s.
The property has changed hands twice since it was owned in 2003 by the estate of Joseph Docktor.
It was purchased in 2007 by New Milford Specialty Center of Columbus, Ohio for $4.3 million, according to Vision Appraisal.
Plans never came to fruition to raze the building and build a shopping center.
"We filed a lawsuit against the owner, and they have been cooperating with us since. We expect demolition any time now," New Milford town attorney Randy DiBella said Monday.
Its hope is to raze the long-vacant, concrete, former service station and build a 1,800-square-foot retail/restaurant structure in its place.
Built in 1950, the building was used into the 1970s for new and used cars auto sales and as a service station.
It has sat unused as a fire-burned structure since 1975, according to town records. From 1993 to 2006, a retail garden center with greenhouse sat on the southern end of the property.
Town building department officials found the vacant building unsafe in 2010 and requested the roof be rebuilt or the building be demolished.
Mr. DiBella said the town had taken no legal action against the building's owners since they now have an application before the Zoning Commission.
A call to Peppers Partners manager Peter Wiehl was not returned this week.
At the former Agriventure Agway site at 376 Danbury Road (Route 7), the abandoned building and awnings took extensive damage over the winter. Town officials have been trying to get the state Department of Transportation-owned site cleaned up.
A DOT spokesman said June 8 the condition of the property was not a concern to the state, yet a private contractor was engaged last week to "clean up severe vandalism" and "secure the site," DOT spokesman Kevin Nursick said Monday.
A call for bids to purchase the property has been issued by the DOT. Bids will be opened July 7.