OLYMPIA - The city has sued the owner of a former garden nursery on Boulevard Road in Olympia, seeking legal authority to clean up the property if the owner fails to do so, the deputy city attorney said Wednesday.
Jeffrey Nevin and Nevinland LLC, the owners of property at 2021 Boulevard Road S.E., are named in the lawsuit, which was filed in Thurston County Superior Court. The property is the former site of a business called Boulevard Nursery Garden and Gift Shop. The business closed in August 2008 and the building and grounds have fallen into disrepair, angering neighbors and leaving many wondering about the future of the 1-acre parcel.
According to the lawsuit, the property has:
• Substantial accumulations of garbage and debris.
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• Garbage and debris accumulations that constitute “harborage” for rats.
• Greenhouses that are collapsing.
“It’s not only unsightly, but it poses a health and safety hazard to the public,” Deputy City Attorney Darren Nienaber said Wednesday.
The clock is ticking for Nevin to clean up the property, Nienaber said. If he does not, the city will take over cleanup, then will ask the court to put a lien on the parcel to cover the city’s expenses, Nienaber said. Cleanup costs are estimated at $5,000 to $10,000, he said.
City officials and others have had trouble finding Nevin. His last known address was in the Eastern Washington town of Davenport. Although the city has hired a process server to serve Nevin with the lawsuit, he also can officially be notified via the publishing of the lawsuit in a newspaper as a legal advertisement, Nienaber said. Once the lawsuit has been served or published, Nevin or his legal representative has 20 days to respond. If they do not, the city can move forward with efforts to clean up the property, he said.
Leslee Osborne, who lives next to the property with her husband, Roger, welcomed the city’s decision.
“That really is good news that something is going to happen,” she said. “I know all the neighbors will be happy.”
Thurston County assessor information shows Nevinland LLC paid $290,000 for the property in August 2001. Nevin later became the sole property owner. The property was scheduled to go to auction in May as part of a foreclosure proceeding at the Thurston County Courthouse, but it did not sell.
City officials posted orange “condemned” signs on the property in September. Condemnation makes being on the site a misdemeanor violation unless the visitor is trying to correct the problem. The city also has fined Nevin more than $1,000 for trash, debris and dilapidated structures on the site, city officials have said.
Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403