Red Cliff tears down first house |

Red Cliff tears down first house

Christine Ina Casillas
Special to the DailyA house on Eagle Street in Red Cliff was so badly damaged and dangerous that town officials asked the owner to tear it down.

The first run-down building in Red Cliff has been knocked down, thanks to a nuisance ordinance town officials approved last summer.

“The building didn’t meet code and followed the criteria in the nuisance ordinance,” said Guy Patterson, Red Cliff town manager. “The owner recognized that it was a nuisance.”

The building – an old house on 446 Eagle Street – was so dilapidated and hazardous the town sent the owner a letter requesting he clean up the building or tear it down, Patterson said. If the owner didn’t comply by the end of October, the town was prepared to demolish it.

The owner, Elmer Rodriguez, couldn’t be reached for comment.

“It was nearing the end of the month, and we didn’t hear anything from him, and we’d seen no action,” he said. “He finally knocked it down over the weekend.”

The nuisance ordinance was designed to clean-up Red Cliff, Patterson said, and the first one to receive a violation based on its criteria was the town itself.

“We look for stuff that can do physical harm to someone,” Patterson said. “This building fit that criteria.”

The “nuisances” include junkyards and dumping grounds for salvaging or disassembling of cars, trucks, tractors or machinery. The ordinance also includes the discharge of noxious liquids, such as household chemicals or paint thinners. Even vacant buildings are considered nuisances.

“It is declared a nuisance of the owner of any vacant building to fail to replace any broken window, door or fail to secure by any other means of entry into such building within 72 hours after notice is given by the town,” according to the ordinance.

The penalties for violating the ordinance will be punished by a fine of no more than $1,000 or no more than 180 days in jail.

“It worked out how it was supposed to be worked,” Patterson said.

Christine Ina Casillas can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607 or at

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