The City of Roseburg is looking to sell two derelict properties in its ongoing efforts to either clean up or get rid of “zombie homes” that are considered an eyesore and potentially dangerous, and turn the properties into something nice.

The vacant properties, located at 1054 NE Cedar St., and 154 SE Mosher Ave., were registered as derelict by the city in 2018. The owners of the properties failed to fix them up, and the city eventually foreclosed on them.

In January 2020, the city held a public auction to dispose of the properties, but no bid was received for either property, so the city went ahead and purchased them. State law requires a one-year redemption period for such purchases, giving the previous owners time to pay all money owed and redeem ownership. Neither owner did so.

Last month, the building on 154 SE Mosher Ave., was deemed dangerous and the city had it demolished, leaving behind an empty lot.

City officials said several individuals have expressed an interest in purchasing one or both of the properties. The real market value for the vacant lot at 154 SE Mosher is $37,500, and the property at 1054 NE Cedar has a real market value of $99,178, according to the Douglas County Assessor’s website.

On Monday, the city council declared the properties as surplus, which will allow the city to move forward with the process of selling the properties to recoup the costs incurred. The council also decided to turn the marketing, pricing and selling of the properties over to a real estate professional, who has yet to be chosen.

The costs incurred by the properties to date are as follows:

  • $11,499.42 for the property at 1054 NE Cedar St., which includes liens, delinquent building fees, property taxes and other costs.
  • $34,450.74 for the property at 154 SE Mosher Ave., which includes more than $22,000 in demolition costs as well as back property taxes, liens, attorney fees and more.

The existence of vacant, derelict buildings and vacant lots has been a problem the city has been wrestling with for years.

In December 2017, the Roseburg City Council passed an ordinance meant to address the growing number of so-called “zombie homes” popping up — residential properties that were not kept up and often inhabited by squatters. The ordinance took effect in spring 2018.

Under the ordinance, the city can register buildings considered derelict and begin to impose fines if the properties are not cleaned up. It also sped up the time it takes to put a lien on a derelict property. When the ordinance was passed there were about two dozen such properties, said Stuart Cowie, director of development for Roseburg.

That number has been whittled down to about 10 properties, mostly homes, he said.

A property is considered derelict if it is unoccupied and boarded up or generally unsecured.

Two of the most prominent and troublesome vacant properties in downtown Roseburg are the Rite Aid building and the adjacent vacant lot that used to house the Safeway market.

Rite Aid has been vacant since 2005 and the former Safeway next door was also vacant for about 15 years before finally getting torn down nearly two years ago. Both properties have been owned for decades by the same family.

Cowie has been in negotiations with the family to do a better job of maintaining the properties. The Rite Aid building, in particular, is often vandalized with graffiti and has trash strewn about it. Nearby business owners say they often are left to pick up used needles, trash and feces from around the property.

Scott Carroll can be reached at scarroll@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4204. Or follow him on Twitter @scottcarroll15.

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(3) comments

NJ

Click bait for me, thanks. After looking at both properties, the Craftsman on Mosher is the more attractive house and location. There's accessibility to mass transit, a plus. However, there's a substantial expense outside. That tree growing out of the foundation and two others in the front should be taken down, it also appears to have the same issue in the back. There will be foundation repair from that tree, porch repair, and possible roof repair/replacement. No doubt it's a small house full of small compartmentalized rooms. It would be a plus if that fireplace is in good condition. Surely the kitchen and bathrooms will have to be gutted, with any luck there won't be any water damage or mold inside, one would find out if walls were taken out. I would bet you lunch the electrical and plumbing would all have to be brought up to code. At $37,500, I believe I'd offer no more than 28 to 32 after I had walk through. I also believe I may have been there decades ago, because...kegger.

The Cedar street house isn't in a bad location and would have access to more marketing and mass transit. The lot is cleaner, one would have to plant trees and landscape. The same issues would arise with it as with the one on Mosher, and I'm going to assume from the appraisal price it includes that empty lot beside it. There's options with that if zoning allows. One could refurbish the existing home, for pete's sake take down that carport, and build a new house on the lot to live in or sell depending on how fast you wanted to pay off the mortgage. Either one really isn't a bad investment depending on zoning for the Cedar place. I'd be happy to take on either one, If I was in the market. [beam]

smedleyb

I looked at 156 Mosher last nigh and all I saw was a vacant lot. What's with the talk of roof and porch repair. There's no there there!

NJ

I looked with Google Street View and a pinpoint at the lot with the blue house. But you're right, the map says it's 154 and there's no indication of any 156. I wonder if it's that tiny overgrown piece in the back of 154? Those poor folks at 154 could be wondering why I'm offering my assessment of their house. My deepest apologies to them! Carry on, folks. (and I should apologize for now giggling about it too)

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